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Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Pelini still a pup compared to most bowl coaches

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

I feel a little remiss that we didn't celebrate Nebraska coach Bo Pelini's birthday last week in a suitable manner.

Pelini turned 41 on Saturday, a likely day for stoppage of mail and garbage delivery considering his early success with the Cornhuskers.

A rash of recent hirings of younger coaches has dropped Pelini to 13th among the youngest FBS head coaches. And his matchup with Clemson's Dabo Swinney in the Gator Bowl will be only the second time that Pelini has been older than his opposing coach. The only other time that happened was when he beat Ron Prince and Kansas State earlier this season.

And here's another way to place Pelini and Swinney's youth in perspective. Their combined ages at kickoff for the Jan. 1 game in Jacksonville will be 80 years, 1 month and 31 days. That total is far less than Penn State's Joe Paterno, who will be 82 years and 11 days old on that date.

Here's a look at the youngest FBS coaches in the nation. Coaches who have been hired since the end of the season to their new jobs are indicated with an asterisk.

Youth Movement
NameSchoolAgeBirthdateBowl berth
Lane Kiffin *Tennessee33May 9, 1975--
Pat FitzgeraldNorthwestern34Dec. 2, 1974Alamo
Steve Sarkisian*Washington34March 8, 1974--
Dan Mullen*Mississippi State36April 27, 1972--
David ElsonWestern Kentucky37Aug. 26, 1971--
Mario ChristobalFla. International38Sept. 9, 1970--
Bret BielemaWisconsin38Jan. 13, 1970Champs Sports
Mike Locksley*New Mexico38Dec. 25, 1969--
Dabo Swinney*Clemson39Nov. 20, 1969Gator
Al GoldenTemple39Aug. 4, 1969--
Derek DooleyLouisiana Tech40June 10, 1969Independence
Butch JonesCentral Michigan40Jan. 17, 1968Motor City
Bo PeliniNebraska41Dec. 13, 1967Gator