Maisel: Even absent, Paterno presence felt

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- On a brilliantly crisp autumn afternoon, the kind of Saturday that explains why God gave a pig skin, the Penn State community gathered in Beaver Stadium to find comfort and, for three hours, forget its suddenly great troubles. Over the course of the last seven days, so much of what they hold dear has been demolished.

They fear they harbored a monster in their midst. They miss their beloved head coach. They continue to swear allegiance to the school that fired him. They are worried about the future, mad at the messengers and nervous about the next news bomb to drop.

Faced with all of that, No. 12 Penn State's 17-14 loss to No. 19 Nebraska didn't seem like all that big a deal.

For Ivan Maisel's column, click here.