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6 Days - 30 B1G Years - 2005

It's not unusual for even the strongest programs to enter a slump for 4-8 year span. If you look at the traditional forces in college football  - Texas, Oklahoma, USC, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska - they can all point to a window where things just didn't work. But what you rarely see, is the head coach surviving the downturn and rebuilding the team to its past glories. Then again, none of those schools had Joe Paterno.


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After a stretch of four losing seasons in previous five years, Penn State bounced back in a big way. First Joe Paterno defeated the administrators who thought that he should retire. Then he led his team to a 10-1 (7-1) season, a Big Ten title, a #3 ranking, and an Orange Bowl win over ACC Champion Florida State (while the BCS Championship Game was played in Pasadena). Ohio State 9-2 (7-1) shared the Big Ten crown and won their third bowl game in Tempe, Arizona in the previous four seasons, defeating Notre Dame by 14. Ohio State's desert story would eventually take a different turn, but that's a story for next year...