Another Successful Season
Penn State closed out a perfect home schedule in 2019 with a 27-6 victory over division rival Rutgers. The team was able to overcome a slow start with backup QB Will Levis to earn a comfortable victory in Happy Valley. The victory also sealed yet another double digit win season for Head Coach James Franklin. The Nittany Lions are likely looking at a New Year’s Six Bowl game to close out their season. Recent rumors have linked them with the Cotton Bowl or perhaps the Rose Bowl depending on how the Big 10 Championship game goes.
Immediately following the game against the Scarlet Knights, reporters turned their attention to the future of Coach James Franklin. As we have reported here at Saturday-tailgate.com rumors have been swirling about Franklin in relation to the open Florida State job. In response to questions from reporters Franklin was evasive about any contact with Florida State but forceful in his commitment to Penn State. You can see his entire presser below.
Of particular note is the fact that Franklin stated, “Like I told you, I love Penn State, I love our players, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. It’s a little bit the nature of college football, but I love what we’re doing here. I don’t see that changing any time soon. Hopefully all this conversation will be over very shortly.” These words sound to me like a coach who is angling for a fresh extension on the heels of another successful season guiding Penn State back to glory on the gridiron.
In his presser Franklin mentioned getting back out on the recruiting trail almost immediately. This has been one of the best aspects of Franklin’s time in Happy Valley. He has successfully kept the cupboard stocked with players to continually feed the program. His inclusion of this in the conference also suggests to me a coach who wants to build on the foundation he has laid over the course of his time in State College.
I mentioned in my previous post that James Franklin is the 3rd highest paid coach in the Big 10, a situation he likely hopes to change on the heels of yet another successful campaign. As Penn State awaits its Bowl destination, AD Sandy Barbour has some recruiting to do of her own. It would truly be tragic if the program allows this fine coach to walk away from the team he has perched on the precipice.
Penn State returns virtually their entire squad next season including uber talented TE Pat Freiermuth. He announced after the Rutgers game he would return next season for his Junior campaign despite the opportunity to bolt the program early for the NFL. One thing is for certain, until Penn State gives Franklin the extension he deserves his name will continue to be connected with other jobs around the nation just as it was in 2017 with Texas A&M, 2018 with USC, and now with Florida State. Hopefully for all parties involved this situation plays out quickly.
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