NCF Nation: Gary Paterson

1. Regardless of your opinion on whether 6-6 records are bowl-worthy, no teams’ seasons are defined by their bowl results quite like these. Louisville beats Southern Mississippi to go 7-6? Charlie Strong has a successful rookie season. Air Force takes advantage of a slew of Georgia Tech mistakes to win, 14-7 in the Independence Bowl on Monday night? The Yellow Jackets (6-7) lose five of their past six games and face a very long offseason.

2. Leave it to Sue Paterno to crush the rumors of her husband’s ill health. Joe Paterno is fine, Sue said Monday during Outback Bowl week, and the two of them have not discussed the possibility that he will not coach in 2011. Paterno, who turned 84 last week, has been quoted as saying he plans to coach five more years. That’s been his stock line for 25 years, which is also about how long he has had to deal with rumors of his impending retirement.

3. Most coaches schedule a walk-through at the stadium on Friday. By Monday afternoon, both Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema and TCU coach Gary Paterson already had taken their teams to the Rose Bowl. They did it to take pictures and, of course, to minimize the jitters that will overtake the players when they come out of the end zone tunnels on Saturday. And they did it because who wouldn’t visit the Rose Bowl as soon as you could?

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