So yeah, Penn State may just have knocked it out of the park. They went out and got a phenomenal recruiter with ties to PA and the northeast and an excellent game coach. Who will eventually leave them for the NFL. (Don’t think it’ll happen? He called it his Dream Job. Yeah, he’ll leave someday soon for his next dream job).
From what I read, Penn State wanted Miami Hurricanes head coach Al Golden. They may or may not have gone after (former) Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak. Both alums. Then they turned to a non-alum, James Franklin, once-upon-a-time the head-coach-in-waiting at Maryland (wow, don’t they fell dumb right now) and author of back-to-back 9-win seasons at Vanderbilt. Seriously, Vanderbilt. The only ones doing a better job than Franklin did at Vanderbilt at similar academic institutions are David Shaw at Stanford and David Cutcliffe at Duke.
The drawback to the Franklin hiring is the specter of the sexual assault cases pending against a number of his former players. Most accounts say that he didn’t know and then booted those players pretty quickly from the Vanderbilt football team. It’s doubtful to me that this will have much of an effect on Franklin’s tenure at Penn State unless he’s somehow called to testify in their criminal cases.
Still, let the kool-aid drinking begin for Penn Staters. Enjoy it while you have him. Just don’t think he’ll stay for 20 years. Or even 10 years. No one does.
Related Article: Bill O’Brien Ushers Penn State into the Club of Ordinary Programs