Capital One Bowl: College Football Icon vs. The Mad Hatter

Dale WeaverCorrespondent IDecember 28, 2009

STATE COLLEGE, PA - NOVEMBER 7: Head coach Joe Paterno of the Penn State Nittany Lions watches warm-ups before a game against the Ohio State Buckeyes on November 7, 2009 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania. Ohio State won 24-7. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Hunter Martin/Getty Images

The 2010 BCS bowls have some intriguing matchups to say the least. Alabama against Texas is most likely the most intriguing and for all the marbles—that’s hard to argue.

However, the most intriguing non-BCS game (in my humble opinion) is that credit card bowl between Penn State and LSU.

Sorry—I can’t bring myself to calling bowl games by their sponsors. I’m old school like that.

Speaking of old school, that’s a nice segue into Penn State’s iconic coach Joseph Vincent Paterno.

I don’t know why it’s never really hit me the way that it has right now, but when you stop and think about "JoePa" and his legacy—it’s staggering! Staggering!

Do you realize that Coach Paterno is in his 43rd season at Penn State? Forty-three seasons! He’s coached a total of 60 seasons altogether.

It’s hard to imagine that a coach on the modern day college football landscape will ever make it coaching at one school for 43 years. But Coach Paterno has and looks as though he will coach as long as he’s able.

I just can’t get over the fact that JoePa will be matching wits with our beloved Coach Miles.

It almost doesn’t seem fair.

It’s like the Pope going up against an altar boy in catechism. Like Hulk Hogan going up against Forrest Gump in a wrestling match. “Run Mad Hatter!!! Run!”

Good thing LSU has some big time athletes to go up against Linebacker U. and their juggernaut coach.

Coach Miles has to look forward to spanking the Nittany Lions, but a spanking doesn’t seem very realistic this year.

Not because of his respect towards his elder (for much respect Coach Miles will pay Coach JoePa), but because LSU has not proven itself this year as a team that can’t put the mustard on the whole hot dog.

And if putting the proverbial mustard on the proverbial whole hot dog is ever most important for a bowl game, it’s this game.

Penn State's reputation precedes itself in that it doesn’t commit many mistakes. They play driven and precise. They rarely shoot themselves in the foot. This is the mark of a Joe Paterno coached team.

It’s highly unlikely that LSU will demolish Penn State like they have in past bowl games…(Georgia Tech, Miami, etc.), but if they are to win—it must be a night where the Tigers have to play their most complete game of the year.

If you play for the pope of college football, and you’ve had to listen to how the SEC is so much better than your conference—wouldn’t you come in with a chip on your shoulder and want to punch someone in the mouth?

Coach Paterno grew up in Brooklyn…he knows all about punching someone in the mouth.