Joe Paterno, Penn State
You hate to say it, but it will come up every year until -- or if -- the Nittany Lions rebuild themselves. Paterno, as we've been told time and again, is one of the legends of the game, trailing only Florida State's Bobby Bowden in career victories, with 341. He does things, as we've been told time and again, the right way.
But the reality of the situation is that Penn State (2-3) has victories over only Central Florida and Akron, and in its three losses -- to Boston College, Wisconsin and Minnesota -- it has averaged 5.7 points.
"I don't know the word to describe how we feel," Paterno said this week. "We feel frustrated, maybe."
How to measure how far Penn State has fallen? When today's opponent -- Purdue --
last came to Happy Valley (when, by the way, is it time to come up with a more appropriate name?), it was the autumn of 2000, and the Boilermakers' quarterback was Drew Brees, not Kyle Orton. On that day, Penn State managed a 22-20 victory.
But since the 2000 season, the Nittany Lions are 24-29. Paterno is now 77, and could well be on his way to his fourth losing season in the last five years. Does anyone truly think Penn State will beat Purdue today? Sure, it could happen, if the Lions can figure out a way to stop turning the ball over, which they have done 16 times. But the fact that a Penn State victory would be so unexpected is the true measure of how a legend can end up on the spot.