1. Our big picture view of what Franklin’s extension means
If you build a list of the best coaches in college football, you wont get very far before you inevitably have to write down James Franklin’s name.
You could argue exactly where he falls, but the reality is that he comes in anywhere from seven to thirteen on that list, behind only names like Nick Saban, Daboo Sweeney and Kirby Smart to name a few.
The grass is not always greener on the other side, and if you wanted to move on from Franklin you were almost assuredly not bringing one of those names ahead of him to Happy Valley.
That is not settling, that is just the reality.
Penn State Football also needed to take into account the national landscape here and the coaching carousel that churns outside of State College.
LSU, USC, Florida, Washington and Virginia tech are all open before Thanksgiving. Miami could very well come open after the season, and who knows if Ole Miss, Baylor or even Oklahoma don’t come open depending on what coaches those aforementioned schools with openings are able to pluck to be theirs.
This is not a market you wanted to be left hanging in, as LSU, USC and Florida are all “better” jobs than Penn State Football. The rumors are swirling that Mel Tucker has a 10 year, $95 million dollar extension on the table at Michigan State. Yes, that Mel Tucker with a 16-14 head coaching record in college football and exactly zero accomplishments to his name, sans being 2-0 against rival Michigan in his two years with Sparty.
Franklin is 67-32 as the head coach of Penn State Football, has won a Big Ten Title, defeated Ohio State, and appeared in three New Year’s Six bowl games and won two of them. His friend Jim Harbaugh at Michigan who everyone is currently lauding, has accomplished exactly none of that. He has reached NY6 games, but has no wins, he doesn’t have a bowl victory period. Has not beaten Ohio State, hasn’t won the Big Ten, or even the Big Ten East.
This is all to be said without maybe the most important of them all, is that James Franklin is a fabulous figure head for this program. Personally I have never had the pleasure of meeting James Franklin, but from all accounts and on the surface he is a great man, a family man, and has done nothing to bring shame to this great university.
Celebrate Penn State Football fans, James Franklin is your guy, and is not going anywhere.