Penn State Sports Information Director Jeff Nelson is a good follow on the twitter. He's a huge fan of the program (understandably) and a big supporter of our coaches and players. On Tuesday, he was in New York at the Waldorf-Astoria to support Stefen Wizniewski's receipt of one of this year's 15 National Scholar Athlete Awards, the first Penn Stater to be so honored since Paul Posluszny in 2006. Stefen has a 3.91 grade point average in secondary education (second highest of the 15 to only Bucknell LB Travis Nissley, a 3.96 Mechanical Engineering student). Gradulations again, Wiz! You make us Penn State Proud.
Nelson's tweets are also rich in tidbits and factoids (although depressingly devoid of shenanigans and tomfoolery). Anywho, here are a couple quick hit Penn State and Joe Paterno bowl game facts courtesy of His Informationness and some other sources:
Fact: Joe Paterno is the all-time CFB leader in bowl appearances and wins (24-11-1)
Fact: Joe Paterno is the all-time Big Ten leader in bowl wins with 10 since joining the league in 1993 (he's 10-3 in that time). Next in line are Barry Alvarez with 8, and Coach Hayden Fry and Lloyd Grimace Carr tied with 6 each
Fact: Penn State is 3-0 in the Outback Bowl, with wins over Auburn (1996: 43-14), Kentucky (1999: 26-14) and Tennessee (2007: 20-10, Tony Hunt)
Fact: For the third straight year, Penn State will play a team which has won an MNC since 2004: USC, LSU, Florida
Fact: Penn State is 9-5 in bowl games vs the SEC, winning 7 of the last 9
Fact: Joe Paterno is 8-4 in bowl games vs. the SEC
Fact: Penn State is 0-2 vs. Florida (1998 Citrus Bowl: 21-6 and 1962 Gator Bowl: 17-7). At Monday's press conference, having heard the question asking for recollections about the '62 Gator Bowl, Joe replied:
I have a lot of memories. It was a ball game where Florida played really well. They stopped us on the goal line one time and dominated the line of scrimmage. The score should have been worse than it was. We felt fortunate that we came out of that thing as close as we did because Florida played very well; they were a good football team.
Fact: Joe Paterno is 17-7 in his 25 New Year's Day bowl games
Fact: Since the start of 2005 (not coincidentally the end of the PSU Dark Years), Florida is 64-15 (81.0%) which ranks #4 in the country. Penn State is #10 at 58-18 (76.3%)
Fact: Jeff Nelson's favorite number is 17 because of Don Meredith. RIP Don.