Joe Paterno is still roaming the sidelines, which poses the intriguing question given that his team is currently ranked in the Top 20 in the country: How is it that JoePa can still relate to college athletes?
It's an interesting study. Paterno has been in the game for decades, and is now more than 80 years old. And yet after having people call for his head after a handful of subpar campaigns not long ago, he has restored Penn State to its usual position: A perennial Top 25 contender.
But how is it that a man more than 80 years old with glasses so thick you couldn't shoot a bullet through them communicate in an effective way with the current crop of spoiled college athletes? Picture your grandfather talking to a cocky 18-year old recruit: How would you imagine that conversation would go?
Not well, indeed.
The guess here is that Paterno relies heavily on his coaching staff, which no doubt has changed dramatically and includes plenty of younger personalities. Paterno may still be a genius when it comes to Xs and Os, but one has to imagine he has plenty of help walking into the living rooms of recruits and selling them on Penn State.
However it happens, one thing is clear: It works. Penn State has been a contender for the last several years, and even following Saturday's lopsided loss to No. 1 Alabama, remains a viable program where other storied teams like Michigan and Notre Dame have fallen off. The one constant has been Paterno, so the dude clearly knows what he's doing.
How does he communicate with current college athletes? Who knows. But he's doing something right.
Just ask the coaches who vote in the weekly coaches poll.