Outback Bowl, Florida vs. Penn State: The Urban Meyer Era Ends For The Gators

The Outback Bowl featuring Florida and Penn State may be the strangest match-up of New Year's Day for many reasons. It's a matchup of two powers coming off less-than-satisfactory seasons; it will feature two dysfunctional offenses; and finally, it is sponsored by an "Australian" steak chain actually headquartered in "Tampa."

The weirdness of all weirdness is that 84 year old Joe Paterno will not be the coach just a few hours from retirement in this game. That would be Urban Meyer, Florida's coach, who earlier this month announced his second retirement due to health concerns.

Not outlasting Joe Paterno is no shame, since whole countries have come and gone in the span of his long and extremely productive life. The great question today is whether Urban Meyer will get to play the opposite of role he occupied against Michigan in the 2008 Capital One Bowl when a retiring Lloyd Carr beat Florida. It's a very different situation tactically--Florida's going to play three quarterbacks who barely add up to one whole signal-caller--but in the pregame motivational game, the advantage is clearly Florida's here.

Stay tuned to this StoryStream for updates. And for more on these teams, check in with our Florida blog, Alligator Army, and our Penn State blog, Black Shoe Diaries.

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