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Joe Paterno is the best college football coach ever

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/27/2008 Category: Sports
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,093 times Debate No: 6346
Debate Rounds (3)
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Most Wins by a College Football Coach Ever
Most Bowl Wins by a College Football Coach Ever
50+ years running the best program in the country
Built the program from scratch
Community Leader and Humanitarian


Joe Paterno is a great coach, yes. But there a better coach. Paul William "Bear" Bryant of the Alabama Crimson Time. First, I am going to argue the reasons you brought up, and add a few of my own.

1. Most Wins.
This is true, Paterno (Penn State) does have the most wins, but not the best percentage. His record is 383 wins, 126 losses, and 3 ties. But he has also coached for 43 years. Bear Bryant (37 years), on the other hand, has a record of 323–85–17. Using a little math, Paterno has a win percentage of 74.804 while Bryant's percentage is 76. Therefore, Bryant has a better win record.

2. Most Bowl Wins
Paterno does have more Bowl wins than Bryant. But. Bryant has FAR more Conference and National Championships. Paterno has one 3 Big Ten Conference Titles and 2 National Champion Titles. Bryant has 10 SEC Championships and 6 National Championships (most ever). Also, when Bryant coached, there were less bowl games to go to. So Paterno has an advantage there. But you also have to consider what's more important - Bowl wins (which Paterno has the advantage of more opportunities) or NCAA/Division Titles. Obviously the answer is the latter.

3. 50+ years running the best program in the country
Really? Plenty of teams would say that's wrong. Any evidence to support this?

4. Built the program from scratch.
So did Bear Bryant. A few times actually. With A&M and Alabama. And in two years, he lead A&m to win the Southwestern Conference.

5. Community Leader and Humanitarian
If this is a reason to be the best coach, that's fine. Bryant also had a life of service. Serving in World War Two after enlisting in the Navy, Bryant (Lieutenant Commander) disobeyed orders and saved the lives of fellow soldiers on the sinking SS Uruguay. Also, Bryant was a strong advocate for integration at University of Kentucky, Texas A&M, and University of Alabama.

Now my own arguments

6. Diversity of Teams
Bryant has coached at 4 different schools and has won Conference titles with three of those teams. Paterno has coached at one team.

7. Consistency
Bryant has had only one losing season. Paterno has had 5.

8. Time coaching
Bryant has won more titles than Paterno while coaching less time

9. Legacy
Sixty-five of Bryant's former college players were in professional football, and 44 more were head coaches of college or professional teams.

10. Awards
Bryant has been Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year 10 times, National Coach of the Year 3 times. (this award is now named Paul "Bear" Bryant award), Head Coach of Sports Illustrated's NCAA Football All-Century Team, awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Ronald Reagan, received 1.5 votes for the Democratic Party Presidential nomination in 1968, and was honored with a U.S. postage stamp in 1996. If you add up the "real" awards, Bryant has won 14 awards. Paterno has won a total of 12. Again, Paterno has won less in more time.

And the most important comparison**************

11. Head-to-Head
Bryant and Paterno have played against each other only 4 times. All four times, Bryant won. One year, Paterno only lost one game. To Bryant. Alabama won by 3 touchdowns.

Thank you for posting this debate, and good luck.
Debate Round No. 1


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Debate Round No. 2


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Debate Round No. 3
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Both dropped out, but pro did first leaving con's argument unchallenged.