James Franklin Rumors
This is the time of the year when coaching speculation among the college ranks runs rampant. This is no different in the Big10. Programs looking to come back to the top will seek to poach coaches with prospects of more money or more prestige. We reported a couple weeks ago that it was high time Penn State re-up Head Coach James Franklin.
However, recent information has come to light calling into question if PSU has waited to long.
In an article just released today it was reported that there was mutual interest between James Franklin and Florida State. To be fair there is nothing concrete going on here as the piece also mention other coaches such as Minnesota’s PJ Fleck and Iowa State’s Matt Campbell among others.
Is Franklin Headed To FSU?
From my perspective I see Franklin’s flirtation with FSU and USC as a bargaining ploy. Franklin is on a quest for a lucrative extension in Happy Valley. I have a couple theories as to why I believe this to be the case. Chief among these suspicions would be the fact Penn State stands to bring back an extremely talented group next year. Secondly, Franklin is from the Mid-Atlantic region. Growing up and playing his own college ball in PA, it makes sense he wouldn’t want to leave. Finally, Franklin has built up some cache with the administration and community at State. He is currently under contract until 2022 but with a meagre 1 million dollar buyout now is the time for Franklin to state his case for a raise.
As it stands, James Franklin is the 11th highest paid coach in all of college football. His average annual salary currently sits at 5.65 million dollars per season. That figure places him as the 3rd highest paid coach in the Big10 East division behind Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh (7.5 million) and shockingly Purdue’s Jeff Brohm (6.6 million). Franklin has a legitimate gripe to be bumped ahead of both of these coaches, neither of whom has won a conference title.
A Look Ahead
It seems clear that James Franklin is weighing his future options. I believe he is using his current position to play hardball with PSU to get a lucrative extension on the heels of his 3rd 10 win season in the last 4 years. I’m giving them the win against Rutgers with all due respect. The real question is whether AD Sandy Barbour is willing to play with fire and not meet the coaches demands. As the information today highlights, Franklin will have options if he chooses to trigger his buyout. Keep an eye on how this one develops.
Luckiest man alive. Father, Husband, Son, Brother, and college football enthusiast. Ph.D in 20th Century U.S. History. Love researching and writing about things that interest me. Looking forward to sharing my musings on college football with all the readers of this amazing website. Follow me on Twitter: @ReflipeWThenuz