2. Spend, Spend and Spend some more
James Franklin talks regularly that in the Big Ten it is not just about competing on Saturday’s in the fall, but competing 365 days a year in they do. He even referenced a few weeks back that every day in this league is a street fight.
The head coach is referencing the battle that happens off the field in recruiting, and one that is a challenge when you live in the same foot print as Ohio State and Michigan.
Franklin has been adamant about Penn State investing and committing to the football program the way schools do in the south, the way Ohio State does because he understands better than anyone that recruiting in its simplest terms is an arms race.
In his weekly Tuesday press conference he was asked about the motivation to take another step in developing the Penn State Football program and his answer spoke volumes of how he feels about the schools commitment in the past.
"I’m very appreciative of the strides that we’ve made, but there was a long period of time where we did nothing, and it put us behind. And we’ve been playing catch up,” Franklin said."
That quote is telling about how Franklin feels and although they have now broken ground on the the new and updated Lasch Football building, he wants more. He wants the football building to mimic that of Georgia, or Clemson with player lounges, video game rooms, updated locker rooms, updated weight rooms, etc.
He will use this new contract to push stadium renovations, as renderings of updates to Beaver Stadium have been floated about and discussed but nothing is being done. The time is now for all of this, as Penn State Football has clearly hitched its wagon to head coach James Franklin and him being “the guy: who can fully return this program to its National Championship glory.
When Dabo Sweeney was given the job at Clemson, he went to the powers that be and said they if they wanted to win like an SEC school, they needed to spend like an SEC school. They did, and Dabo followed that up with two national championships, appearances in two more, and overall just turned Clemson, not a traditional blue blood in the sport, into a college football powerhouse.
They consistently rank in the top five and top ten with their annual recruiting classes, they have stood toe to toe with Alabama and Georgia on the recruiting trail which has allowed them to stand toe to toe with them on the field.
If Penn State wants to win like Ohio State, they need to spend like Ohio State.