This Saturday the Penn State Nittany Lions will host the Nebraska Cornhuskers in Beaver Stadium. It's the type of game that Penn State fans live for: both teams are ranked, the outcome is crucial for the Lions' chances at the Big Ten Championship, and the forecast is for a clear, beautiful autumn day in the low 50's. It should be an ideal football day.
Sadly it will be anything but ideal. For the first time in the modern era of Penn State football, Joe Paterno will not be representing the Nittany Lions.
It will be the first time the Penn State fan base congregates in Happy Valley and confronts the question:
What is Penn State without Joe Paterno?
For the first time in over 60 years, Penn State will take the field without coach Joe Paterno. His "Grand Experiment" and "Success With Honor" mantras, national titles, and undefeated seasons contributed more than any other factor towards transforming the Pennsylvania State University from a rural agricultural school to a name-brand top public institution. He is the school's hallmark tradition. He, more than any other individual, made the school.