Possible Joe Paterno Replacements At Penn State Headlined By Urban Meyer

Tom Bradley begins his stint as interim Penn State head football coach Saturday against Nebraska, but the media is already beginning to wonder who will replace fired legend Joe Paterno on a more permanent basis.

Some candidates, besides Bradley, mentioned by ESPN.com and/or the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Urban Meyer

Meyer won two national championships at Florida, and owns a 104-23 record at three head coaching stops. He retired from Florida after the 2011 Outback Bowl, when Florida coincidentally outlasted Penn State. At the time, Meyer cited a desire to spend more time with his family. Now 47, Meyer could be looking to return to the sidelines.

Greg Schiano

The 45-year old Schiano has coached Rutgers since 2001, compiling a 65-66 record.

Dan Mullen

The 39-year old Mullen took Missippi State's head coaching position in 2009, guiding the Bulldogs to a 19-15 record since.

Kevin Sumlin

The 47-year old Sumlin is a fourth-year head coach at Houston. The Cougars are 9-0 this season and ranked No. 11 in the country.

Kirk Ferentz

When Paterno was fired, Ferentz, 56, became the longest-tenured coach in the Big Ten. He is in his 13th season as Iowa's head coach, guiding the Hawkeyes to nine bowl games and two BCS appearances during that time.

Pat Fitzgerald

Widely considered one of the nation's top young coaches, Fitgerald, 36, was pursued by Michigan last summer but signed a 10-year contract with his alma mater, Northwestern, in the spring. Northwestern is 4-5 this season, but Fitzgerald has led them to a bowl game in each of the previous three years.

Al Golden

Golden has led Miami to a 5-4 start in his first season as the team's head coach. School officials have indicated they would like to extend Golden's contract, but he might be wary to take the job due to looming NCAA punishment.

Mike London

The 51-year old London has guided Virginia to a 6-3 record during his second season at the school.

Jon Gruden

Gruden has been out of coaching since being fired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2009. The current ESPN analyst is said to like his job, but his coaching experience, and success, makes him a desirable candidate for any open head coaching position.

Bill Cowher

The 54-year old Cower achieved great success with the Pittsburgh Steelers, compiling a 149-90-1 record during a5 seasons with the team. He is currently an NFL analyst for CBS, and could be a candidate for NFL openings.

-- For more Penn State coverage, visit our team page, or our blog Black Shoe Diaries.

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