July 1st, 2017 at 10:03 AM ^

I don't think I'm the only one who isn't going to buy the James Franklin hype unless he repeats last year's success this year. Penn State hasn't been recruiting at an elite level (although their 2018 class looks very good) and James Franklin isn't the kind of football Mastermind who can coach a team of 20-30 ranked recruiting classes into consistent national contenders. It is my belief that last year was an aberration and this year they revert to the mean.


July 1st, 2017 at 10:39 AM ^

Penn State's Recruiting Class National Rankings per 247 Composite...

2018 - 4th So far

2017 - 15th 

2016 - 20th

2015 - 14th

2014 - 24th


I didn't count 2013, because he wasn't hired in time to get that full recruiting cycle.

He is a decent recruiter though, considering that the SEC tends to dominate the top-15 or so.


July 1st, 2017 at 11:53 AM ^

Isn't there some stat like every BCS / CFP champion consistently recruits in the top 10? And they have division foes in Michigan and OSU who are consistently top 5ish. It will be tough sledding for PSU with just 'good' recruiting and James Franklin running the show to be nationally relevant consistently, though Moorhead appears to be helping

G. Gulo of the Dale

July 1st, 2017 at 4:03 PM ^

See the incoming class as an example.

"Consistently top five-ish" is admittedly a bit ambiguous, and probably a bit optimistic, but--when the program is stable, and excluding small classes--it's not far off.  

In the last six years, beginning after Hoke's first transition class, UM has had a #6 class (2012), #4 class (2013), #7 (2016), and #5 (2017).  


July 1st, 2017 at 6:09 PM ^

That sounds like what we see when people in exercise science cherry pick studies to prove their point while ignoring the overall body of research.  


Yes, they have gotten in the top 5 once (this year is not done yet) and yes they have gotten close to the top 5 a few more times.  However, the statement that they are consistently in the top 5 is incorrect.  


I think what they maybe meant to say is they have gotten near the top 5 a number of times and just embellished a bit because it does not sound as emphatical.




July 1st, 2017 at 10:17 AM ^

Yeah, but joke brought in Nuss to replace Goregous Al, while Franklin brought a true innovative offensive mind in Moorehead. Also, Franklin was down scholarships (not last year, but he didn't have the same number of seniors and juniors that Michigan... had).

Also, PSU seemed to get better every game. The team we beat up is not the same one that took down OSU and almost beat USC. I think the demise of MSU will also bode well for Franklin.


July 1st, 2017 at 10:25 AM ^

We bitch about having to play MSU and OSU on the road in the same year now, but we are going to be happy that we get Penn State at home (and not MSU at home) the years when we have to play Ohio State on the road.

MSU will be a non-factor.


Frank Chuck

July 1st, 2017 at 11:15 AM ^

...against Iowa and Ohio State. I'm tired of watching us (1) lose in Kinnick and (2) lose against Ohio State.

Where did this "arm punt" thing start?

2016 PSU scored a helluva lot more points against Iowa (41), Indiana (45), Sparty (45), and Wisconsin (38) than we did. Also scoring nearly 50 points on a resurgent USC team in the Rose Bowl ain't half bad either.

All that said, I want to see us open a can of whup ass on PSU in Happy Valley on October 21st.


July 1st, 2017 at 4:47 PM ^

It wasn't necessarily pure luck, but it's still just as un-repeatable.  

There is no Godwin safety blanket to high-point the arm punts that McSoely puts up this year.

A tall Corner is going to have a field day against him in a game this season.




July 1st, 2017 at 6:28 PM ^

Regardless of how many points they put up on other opponents or how much they improved over the season, we still kicked their a*s because they couldn't move the ball against our defense, end of story.  


The fact remains they couldn't move the ball against us because we had a better defense than all those other teams.  Now, that has nothing to do with the argument of who deserved to be in the championship game, but it does have to do with who was a better team head-to-head.


July 1st, 2017 at 7:00 PM ^

Don't worry you will. If any team on our schedule has a suspect o-line we will be living in their backfield all game. Our d-line should scare everyone we play and will dominate. They will be lucky to score into the twenties on us. Once again can our offense score consistently. Penn state is overrated and will lose at least three games.


July 1st, 2017 at 9:46 AM ^

Considering they were getting impatient with him before the OSU game last year, I'm not sure you want to give a guy a 5 year extension after half a very good season. 


July 1st, 2017 at 10:15 AM ^

Beating Ohio State, winning the division and the conference championship game, along with a near victory in Rose Bowl is not a very good half season. It's a very good season. Period. If you offefed me that deal for this season, I'd take it in a heartbeat. Anyone who says otherwise is lying.


July 1st, 2017 at 11:58 AM ^

They had good defenses and shitty offenses in his tenure there.  He changed that by bringing in a good OC.

The offensive system took some time to implement - plus a new QB.  Remember when people were preaching here "we don't have the parts for the system!  Just give Rich Rod a few years to put in his system and his guys!!"  Well PSU OC did it in half a year with "other people's guys". 

Franklin is basically slim Brady Hoke but a lot more cheesy.  A motivator type who is not a master X and Os type.  We said Brady would bring in great coordinators to offset that.  Brady did it on one side of the ball and then had a shit OL and lack of elite talent on the other side - just like Franklin situation about 12 months ago.  Frankly addressed it with an innovative OC and struck gold with Barkley.  Brady never found that elite back and stuck with his OC.  So Franklin made the jump that Brady never did.  Neither is the Ghandi of X and Os.

Now it will be interesting to me what happens when PSU's OC gets a HC job, and how Frankin responds and who he replaces him with.  But that's a question for another off season. 

I was on the bandwagon that his job was in danger if things didn't turn around last year, and another 7-6 or 8-5 season and he was probably top 3 in hot seat at this time.  Or fired.  But they turned it around.



July 1st, 2017 at 12:47 PM ^

I think we agreed, but you rambled on for a while so I'm not sure we actually agreed. I was saying to go from possibly being fired to a 5 year extension in one year is a huge gamble. I'm not saying Franklin won't have another good year and I'm not saying it won't be a shit season for them, but not knowing is the whole reason the extension would be stupid. Was last year the outlier or were his first two years at PSU?


July 1st, 2017 at 4:19 PM ^

To your point, PSU's season basically turned on a fluke play(s) that beat OSU at home.  PSU is essentially pinning their hopes that Franklin can coach his teams to do the same thing versus UM & OSU every season.  Given Franklin's poor record vs. top 20 teams, I think that's a bit of a reach.  Giving a 5-year extension to a guy who hasn't proven he can even semi-consistently beat the top teams seems like a foolish move.

But hey, last fall we were hoping Franklin would stay at PSU forever.  I'm still very comfortable with that. 


July 1st, 2017 at 10:17 AM ^

I'll leave it to PSU (as opposed to Curtis Enis' son) to give the details as to whether it's through 2021 or 2024 (I've seen both speculated).

But nearly every coach at a Top 50 program has a contract for the next 5 seasons.  If he doesn't, recruits can view that as a negative.  (the original contract was through 2019)

Even if it's through 2024 and PSU craters on the football field in the late 2010s: the school just fires him and pays the buy out.  It's a program which has $.


July 1st, 2017 at 7:12 PM ^

Because they barely,barely, barely beat Minnesota at home and if they did'nt pull that one out they would have been screaming for his head. If you want to see why the extension is bad.....lets just see how things play out for psu this year. I would be very surprised if things turn out like Penn State fans think they will.

yossarians tree

July 1st, 2017 at 9:43 AM ^

I was at a social event with a Penn State grad recently and he gave me a little jab about Michigan, not really mean spirited but a little shot nonetheless. I'm sitting there thinking really, you're sitting there shooting b-b's when I got a nuclear bomb in my hands? With this guy, as apparently with a lot of them, the arrogance is blinding. I decided in this case a Michigan man takes the high road and left it alone. Fuck Ped State.


July 1st, 2017 at 10:18 AM ^

PSU was on a downward spiral until they picked up Moorhead as OC...

I was actually shocked how well they did following the Michigan beatdown, that said, they had and awful lot of things break their way it seemed to me...

Barkley is the  real deal, but not yet convinced McSorley did anything more than 'chuck and luck'...reminded me a lot of DRob during the games when he'd thrown back shoulder or the WR wins a 50/50 ball...

I'll be interested to see if he can do stuff within the structure of the system as opposed to sandlot...

Franklin is a solid recruiter, but i am not convinced he's that great a game coach... we'll see after this year, as I think there's a good chance that Moorhead get tabbed as a HC somewhere


July 1st, 2017 at 10:27 AM ^

Was obviously better following the change, but I think some of that success has to do with the lack of film on his offense at PSU. It wouldn't surprise me to see defenses get better relative to their offense and PSU struggle to score some points this year against good defenses


July 1st, 2017 at 1:36 PM ^

there wasn't a ton of film on Moorhead's scheme...

that said, in year two, the players will be more familiar with the scheme too, the offense might be 100% installed.

a good analogy is hockey shooting %... it sure seemed like a ton of things broke psu's way... i can't imagine that repeating itself this year

i think teams will limit the number of PSU explosive plays which will bring that team back to the earth


July 1st, 2017 at 3:53 PM ^

he coached Fordham and they made the playoff 3 of the 4 years. There are plenty of film if they bother to watch his offense at Fordham. Coaches knows it and spent time on it.

His offense is up-tempo spread offense with west coast principle. They do a lot of IZ based runs. Nothing's new about his offense and it has been around for a while. To say that there's lack of film is silly at best.


July 1st, 2017 at 10:08 AM ^

Fine with me. That single Big Ten title is going to cost them several years a mediocrity under Franklin IMO. We are lucky that Hoke went downhill so fast because that Sugar Bowl season could have really set us back even more.

Michigan Arrogance

July 1st, 2017 at 11:06 AM ^

think Rick Comley at MSU (hockey). Fluke NC followed by cratering of the program.

won't be that bad and with MSU football falling off, it should be easy to remain 3rd/4th in the division and make a bowl game every year. But I wouldn't be surprised if Maryland becomes a thorn in the side of much of the East, especially PSU