You might not find two FBS coaches from the same league who have more mutual respect than Kirk Ferentz and Joe Paterno.
Ferentz grew up near Pittsburgh idolizing Paterno, and rarely passes up a chance to gush about the legendary Penn State coach. Paterno admires Ferentz and the way his Iowa teams perform, and for good reason: Ferentz has more wins over JoePa (8) than any coach in history, and Iowa has won eight of the past nine games in the series, including three straight.
Still, any spice to the Iowa-Penn State rivalry won't be coming from the two coaches.
Thank goodness for Penn State linebacker Glenn Carson.
Carson on Tuesday recalled being on the sideline last year at Kinnick Stadium -- where Iowa's fans are practically on top of the field -- during Penn State's 24-3 loss to the Hawkeyes.
"The stands are really close to you," he said. "You could hear the Iowa fans heckle us and scream at us, 'Raise your hand if you ever beat Iowa.' That's one thing that stood out in my mind and why this game is so important. Iowa is a wrestling school and Penn State is a football school, so we've got to take it to them."
Ouch. And wait, didn't Penn State win a national championship in wrestling earlier this year?
Carson later said he was joking about the "wrestling school" line. But he and his teammates haven't forgotten the feeling they had last year in Iowa City.
"They think they have this stranglehold on us," Carson said. "We just have to humble them up a little bit."
Former Iowa safety Tyler Sash, now with the New York Giants, quickly responded on Twitter: "Hey Glenn Carson. When was the last time Penn State beat Iowa in football?"
The answer: 2007.
I asked Iowa wide receiver Marvin McNutt about Carson's comment.
"I heard that," he said. "I'm just ready to play football. We're not really going to do too much talking."
Game on ...