Jul 28, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin addresses the media during the Big Ten football media day at Hilton Chicago. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Evil James Franklin’s Fearless 2014 Predictions



But, but, but… can he coach? Give me a break with that question. Evil Bill O’Brien paved the way for fearless predictions, but he also failed to deliver on the perfect season. I will take the torch passed to me and actually deliver on the predictions. I have promised him to continue the general distain for Tim Beckman, punting, referees and all of EBOB’s nuances while adding a few new ones. Now with Rutgers and Maryland I have some easy targets that I will make my own.

I’ve seen a lot of predictions that range from last in our division, 6-6 and the common 7-5 prediction. As you can imagine, mine will be slightly different.

Defensive Player to Watch – Nyeem Wartman: This was Evil Bill’s pick last year and I am going to stick with him. Foxsports.com writer Stewart Mandel referred to the defense as pencil thin and those comments do not sit well with anyone. With the improvement of Wartman, Brandon Bell and an impressive d-line, I look forward to proving that statement to be pencil thin on logic.

Offensive Players to Watch – Jesse James and Kyle Carter: With all of the focus on the depth of the offensive line, I am choosing two tight ends as the offensive players to watch. Quick strikes to these massive targets will be key with the 2014 team. James is just too big to handle for most linebackers in the country and after recovering from a 2012 injury, Carter looks to rebound for another impressive campaign. Impeccable coaching won’t hurt either.

Enough of the accolades, on to the picks:

8/30/2014 vs. Central Florida at Croke Park; Dublin, Ireland: Lee Corso said UCF will wax us and coming from a man that resembles a wax figure, I will just ignore that. A revenge game after last year’s tough loss at home to Bortles and company. Volcano Bárðarbunga poses the biggest threat and really, that’s the only thing that could slow us down (it won’t). O’Leary’s red face will erupt during the game, but we’re coming back home 1-0.

Penn State 27 Central Florida 17

9/6/2014 vs. Akron: Our 1st home game vs. a Bowden and his merry staff of failed college coaches. Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports said Penn State could be upset in this game. Even though we have to come back from Ireland and play less than 7 days later at noon, we will not make any excuses for beating up on the Zips.

Penn State 38 Akron 19

9/13/2014 at Rutgers: #DominatetheGardenState. Say the name James Franklin to a Rutgers fan in the State of New Jersey and you will be met with frustration and jealousy. This is the biggest game in Rutgers history. Sure, they had that game a few years back vs. Louisville on ESPN, but this is bigger and more important to them. Since January, Rutgers fans have sat and watched high school stars commit to Penn State. On that Saturday night in September, they will also get to see their future in the Big Ten with a severe beatdown.

Penn State 43 Rutgers 16

9/20/2014 vs. Massachusetts: I believe the Minutemen will live up to their name and hang around in this game for around 60 seconds. After that, it will be a bloodbath.

Penn State 55 UMass 6

9/27/2014 vs. Northwestern: Northwestern lost its best weapon to a transfer. That’s just the excuse that Teflon Pat needed to have another mediocre season and still be considered as one of the games great coaches. This will be a lot like some of the recent Northwestern games, but no comeback will be needed

Penn State 38 Northwestern 17

10/11/2014 at Michigan: Night game at the Big House. Michigan wanted to have fireworks after the game but their board denied it. I agree with that decision for several reasons, but mostly, who would want to celebrate a loss? This is a big game for Michigan and if Hoke coaches anything like he did last year, this could be the last time we see him. The hot seat will be cranked up after this one.

Penn State 28 Michigan 25

10/25/2014 vs. Ohio State: OSU will be without star QB Braxton Miller, but will still be with arrogant, spot challenging coach, Urban Meyer. We will get a full week from Ohio State about how this is not a rivalry and how this is the budding coaching rivalry for the Big Ten. 63-14 will also be brought up, but enough about 1994. White House, 107K and a flare for the dramatics will send the PSU faithful into the night with glee.

Penn State 24 Ohio State 23

10/25/2014 vs. Maryland: I just read something that if this game were played today, Maryland would be the favorite. If that is the case, I present you the opportunity of free money. Maryland fans will sit and suffer as their former coach in waiting gives them a show of what could have been.

Penn State 38 Maryland 16

11/08/2014 at Indiana: Indiana won last year for the first time vs. Penn State. Indiana won last year for the last time vs. Penn State. Hope they enjoyed it while it lasted.

Penn State 45 Indiana 31

11/15/2014 vs. Temple: #dominatethestate applies here. This is my first taste of that random non-conference, mid-season game vs. Temple that will feel more like the Blue/White game in the fall. It is also Military Appreciation Day and I am sure as heck not going to let them down.

Penn State 56 Temple 7

11/22/2014 at Illinois: What a stretch of games. Like I said earlier, I have agreed to continue the hatred vs. Tim Beckman and I will honor that tradition by hammering the final nail in his coffin. I am also predicting that the crowd for this game will really capture the Tim Beckman era with about 20,000+ no shows. He can watch as the last of the guys he tried to poach from us shove it down his throat.

Penn State 80 Illinois 3

11/29/2014 vs. Michigan State: The preseason pick as Big Ten Champs come rolling into Beaver Stadium in late November for a resurrection of the Land Grant Trophy game. I took this job to hoist that trophy. Also, this is senior day, so the fans will get a chance to thank the seniors who had ample opportunities to leave, but decided to stick it out and finish off a perfect season. I also predict that we will be getting ready for the Big Ten Championship game at this point too.

Penn State 18 Michigan State 15

Imagine what a 12-0 season will do for recruiting. I am also predicting the bowl ban to be lifted. WE ARE!

Evil James Franklin is not affiliated with The Pennsylvania State University or head coach James Franklin.

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