Prior to this week, Joe Paterno was the coach you thought of first when you thought "college football."
Now, he's out, and time will tell if his decades-long legacy will be undone because of the purported vile and disgusting actions of one of his former assistant coaches, and Paterno's response to it.
Which current coach replaces Paterno as the face of college football?
A few nominees:
1. Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech: He's the active head coach with the most wins; no other coach has been at his school longer than Beamer, who arrived in Blacksburg in 1987. Some off-the-field incidents involving is players tarnish the image.
2. Mack Brown, Texas: A proven winner, including a national championship; a consensus good guy in a field in which arrogance often is on display. However, when you think "Texas," you think "arrogance."
3. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa: If Hollywood were casting for a coach, he'd be high on the list; he's a winner at Iowa, and he's reportedly turned down offers to go elsewhere. No championships makes him a long-shot selection.
4. Les Miles, LSU: A man everyone seems to like; he could be on his way to his second national championship. Is he harmed by the SEC being the SEC?
5. Gary Patterson, Texas Christian: He's put "TCU" and "national championship contender" in the same sentence. But he's not grabbed that brass ring, yet.
6. Bo Pelini, Nebraska: His middle name has to be "Intensity"; resume still developing.
7. Chris Petersen, Boise State: The young guy on this list; the Statue of Liberty call against Oklahoma remains priceless. Anytime you say "Boise State," you often hear "yeah, but...."
8. Nick Saban, Alabama: He's won everywhere; a second national title in three years is still possible. But not staying in one place for a long time weakens his case.
9. Bill Snyder, Kansas State: The grandfather and the man who made Kansas State football relevant; his teams have never come close to a championship.
10. Steve Spurrier, South Carolina: He's a Heisman Trophy winner; he's won the national championship. Is he liked and respected enough?
With those names, my ballot: