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Report: James Franklin ‘clear frontrunner’ for Penn State job

James Franklin Getty Images

Here we go again.

Just last week, reports surfaced that Al Golden was on the verge of being offered the head-coaching job at Penn State, which he was expected to accept.  Instead, Golden opted to remain at Miami.

A few days later,‘s Bruce Feldman has tweeted that, per a source, Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin “has emerged as the clear frontrunner for the vacancy at” Penn State.  In a tweet posted shortly before that, stated that “sources tell us that PSU plans to offer their head coaching position to James Franklin.”

The latter website added they “[h]ave every reason to believe the offer from PSU will be one that Franklin will accept.”

Franklin has been the “it” guy on this year’s spinning of the coaching carousel, with the third-year Vandy coach’s name connected to, among others, openings at USC and Texas.  He’s also been mentioned as a potential candidate for a head-coaching job in the NFL.

Former Nittany Lion football player Mike Munchak, fired as the Tennessee Titans head coach earlier this month, reportedly interviewed for the job with his alma mater.

Penn State is expected to announce the permanent replacement for Bill O’Brien at some point before the end of the week.

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18 Responses to “Report: James Franklin ‘clear frontrunner’ for Penn State job”
  1. megary says: Jan 7, 2014 12:52 PM

    Would be a good fit for a good school. Not sure the position has even been offered tho.

  2. raiderufan says: Jan 7, 2014 1:11 PM

    I get Franklin’s interest and I get Penn St’s interest but I can’t shake the feeling that this would just be another O’brien for the school.

    Penn St is not Franklin’s last stop unless he struggles and I think St needs long term stability at least to get thru the rest of the sanctions. I think they should be pushing hard for Munchak.

  3. dryzzt23 says: Jan 7, 2014 1:26 PM

    I think PSU is doing this to get Munch to commit to them. Munch is talking with NFL teams and that might be turning off PSU.

  4. vanmorrissey says: Jan 7, 2014 1:31 PM

    God I hope so. Sorry, Munchak would be a step in the wrong direction since I just don’t see much of a success arch in his coaching career compared to Franklin’s. None at all.

  5. jg8771 says: Jan 7, 2014 1:32 PM

    “Stability” is a horrible thing to have on your wish list for a coach. The only way you get stability in this day and age is to hire a mediocre coach. You’ve got to hire the best guy you can and hope he enjoys it and wants to stick around.

    I don’t think you want Todd Graham, but if Franklin is willing to commit to four or five years then he’s the guy. I like Munch, but the idea that he’s a good hire because no one will try to poach him is the exact reason he’s not a good hire.

  6. latrobe21 says: Jan 7, 2014 1:38 PM

    Thank God!

  7. @Cereal_22 says: Jan 7, 2014 1:41 PM

    If true this would be a grand slam of a hire for PSU & could awaken a sleeping giant of a program.

  8. kosarkid says: Jan 7, 2014 1:46 PM

    No one at PSU cares if you’re good. They just want you to stick around. Wonder how much the buyout clause will be on this one. Anyone else find it funny how PSU gave O’Brien a raise last year and lowered his buyout hoping he would stay after he interviewed for NFL jobs last year and are now mad he left?

  9. kastout11 says: Jan 7, 2014 1:47 PM

    The problem with Franklin is he probably will not stay for more than a few years. If he enjoys usccess at PSU, which I am confident he will, then he will be more in demand than he is now. Look at how Obrien’s stock shot up after having success at PSU, Franklin’s stock will do the same if he has success. The one saving grace is he is a PA native, so he might want to stay, but loyalty does not matter, it is all about who offers you more money. The days of Paterno and Bowden staying at a school for 30-40 years are long gone.

  10. sportsfan240 says: Jan 7, 2014 2:03 PM

    I’m not worried at all about franklin pulling an obrien and leaving after a couple of years. Franklin is currently one of the hottest coaches out there and is already getting NFL interviews. When obrien came to penn state nobody had ever heard of him. Obrien used PSU to pad his resume. Franklin doesn’t need the PSU job to pad his resume.

  11. @Cereal_22 says: Jan 7, 2014 2:08 PM

    3-4 years of Franklin is better than 7-8 years of mediocrity with Munchak or Golden & the old guard.

  12. @Cereal_22 says: Jan 7, 2014 2:58 PM

    Pennsyltucky will have to deal with a non Penn Stater being hired.

  13. lbijake says: Jan 7, 2014 3:22 PM

    Sounds like a win/win for both parties. Important thing is to get it decided to maintain recruiting class and my buddy Hackenberg.

  14. oldschoolnflman says: Jan 7, 2014 7:27 PM

    He didn’t accomplish enough quarterbacking Missouri to deserve the job in my opinion :)

  15. flyeredup says: Jan 7, 2014 8:47 PM

    Isn’t he under investigation for covering up a rape? Dont think that bodes well with all the stuff going on in Creepy Valley.

  16. mcmuskie79 says: Jan 7, 2014 9:11 PM

    Why would he want that job. His gig @ Vandy is better at this point. The Nittany Lion job is still gonna be toxic for 3-4 more years. By the time it’s decent again, other opportunities will open up for Franklin. Stay at Vandy.

  17. boomgrounder says: Jan 8, 2014 12:47 AM

    Franklin would be crazy to leave a fine University like Vanderbilt for Penn State and it’s scandals.

  18. gborange says: Jan 8, 2014 6:57 AM

    I don’t see how they could hire him at PSU because I the current rape scandal at Vandy. Franklin did nothing wrong but It would shock me to see them make that move. Media would have a field day!

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