There Is Not A More Overrated Coach In Sports Than James Franklin

You might’ve missed it, but the Michigan football program, a program that is so evil and vicious that they stole the Big Ten in back-to-back years (I’m basing this off of what I’ve read on social media), just curb-stomped the absolute shit out of Penn State. It’s a great win. A team that hasn’t lost a conference game in over two calendar years can finally put to rest this bullshit “they didn’t play anybody” narrative. There have already been a bunch of blogs posted about this game. I don’t want to be redundant, but I do want to talk about the team that Michigan just beat. James Franklin blows.

James Franklin and the Penn State football program wouldn’t bother me if I didn’t have to hear every year about how they will find a way to keep up with Michigan and Ohio State. Do you know how many times since James Franklin arrived on campus Penn State has beaten Michigan and Ohio State in the same season? Go ahead and guess. It rhymes with hero. This guy is one blocked field goal away from being one of the biggest losers in college sports. Every year, I have to hear about how they finally have an elite quarterback and elite coordinators who will be able to get Penn State over the top. It’s Fugazi every year.

The truth about Penn State is that they are the only middle-class team in the Big Ten right now. Michigan and Ohio State are great—and everyone after Penn State kind of stinks. Because Penn State is the one respectable team outside of those two world-beaters, we create these narratives that this is the year they get over the top. It’s not. They won the Big 10 in a wonky 2016 season. They deserve credit for that. They didn’t make the playoff. They played in the Rose Bowl. The Rose Bowl is a big game. Big games are kryptonite for James Franklin, and he did the worst thing possible: he convinced the world that Sam Darnold was a good quarterback. Good job letting McSorley go deep late in the fourth quarter.

Look, I’m not going to act like James Franklin hasn’t stabilized the Penn State program. He has. But he’s Kirk Ferentz. He’s a guy who had a few unexpectedly good seasons, and people hold them up as some great coach. He’s not. You should be winning nine or ten games a year at Penn State. And what’s annoying is we’ll probably have to go through the same charade again. With conference expansion being a thing, I would be stunned if he ever wins another Big Ten championship. I don’t think he'll get particularly close.