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Paterno a finalist for Eddie Robinson Award

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Penn State head coach Joe Paterno has been named one of nine finalists for the Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year Award.

Paterno, the 2008 Big Ten Coach of the Year, has been named National Coach of the Year three times (1978, 1982, 1986) by the Football Writers Association of America. He also was a finalist for the award in 1997 and 2005.

Florida's Urban Meyer, Alabama's Nick Saban and Oklahoma's Bob Stoops are the other previous winners nominated for this year's award.

The 2008 nominees are:

  • Mack Brown, Texas

  • Pete Carroll, USC

  • Mike Leach, Texas Tech

  • Urban Meyer, Florida

  • Joe Paterno, Penn State

  • Chris Petersen, Boise State

  • Nick Saban, Alabama

  • Bob Stoops, Oklahoma

  • Kyle Whittingham, Utah

I'm not sure what Cincinnati's Brian Kelly did to tick off the national voters for these awards, but how he's repeatedly left off these lists baffles me. Few coaches in America could have handled a very difficult quarterback situation better than Kelly did this fall.

Paterno doesn't have a great shot to win the award -- my vote will go to Saban -- but the nomination is still nice.