Nittany Lions earn 27th Lambert Trophy

University Park, Pa. — Penn State has earned an unprecedented 27th Lambert Meadowlands Trophy presented by the ECAC, symbolic of Eastern football supremacy. The Nittany Lions also have been selected ECAC Team of the Year for the 12th time.

Joe Paterno's squad topped Big East Champion Cincinnati in the final Lambert Meadowlands Poll presented by FieldTurf Tarkett to earn its 23rd Lambert Trophy under the Hall of Fame coach. The Nittany Lions posted an 11-2 mark, earning their 14th season with at least 11 wins under Paterno. Penn State won its second Big Ten Championship in the past four years and played Pac-10 champion USC in the Rose Bowl.

Established in 1936 by brothers Victor and Henry Lambert in memory of their father, August, the Lambert-Meadowlands Trophy was first captured by Penn State in 1947, led by Coach Bob Higgins. Coach Rip Engle guided Lambert winners in 1961, '64 and '65. The first of Paterno's 23 Lambert titles came in 1967, his second year as head coach.

Fifteen different institutions have captured the Lambert Meadowlands Trophy, but no four schools combined can match Penn State's 27 titles.

The Nittany Lions were selected ECAC Team of the Year for the 12th time since becoming eligible in 1985. Penn State last won the Lambert Trophy and ECAC Team of the Year accolades in 2005 following an 11-1 season.

Joining Penn State as Lambert Meadowlands Teams of the Year are Richmond from the Football Championship Subdivision, California (Pa.) in Division II and Cortland State in Division III. The FCS ECAC Team of the Year was James Madison, with West Chester (Div. II) and Cortland State (Div. III) also earning ECAC honors.

The teams will be recognized at the annual Eastern College Football Awards Banquet presented by FieldTurf Tarkett on Tuesday, February 24 at the Pegasus Restaurant at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, N.J.

The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, operator of the Meadowlands Sports Complex, took over the administration of the Lambert Meadowlands Awards in 1983.

To be eligible for the Lambert Meadowlands Award, a school must be located in the East or play half of its schedule against eligible Lambert teams. The territory includes New York, New Jersey, New England and Pennsylvania while teams in the bordering states of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia and the District of Columbia qualify if half of their schedule features eligible teams.

The Nittany Lions won their second Big Ten title and Bowl Championship berth in the past four years during the 2008 season. Penn State was No. 8 in the final Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls, earning its 22nd final Top 10 ranking under Paterno.

Penn State has earned one of the nation's Top 10 records since the start of the 2005 season, posting a 40-11 (78.4) mark, good for No. 9 nationally. The Nittany Lions have won 42 of their last 53 games overall, dating to the final two games of the 2004 season.

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Last Updated November 18, 2010