James Franklin has done a nice job at Penn State.
The Lions are 22-5 over the past two seasons with a Fiesta Bowl win, a Big 10 title, and a Rose Bowl appearance on the resume. Seemingly long gone are the days of 7-6 and losses to Temple and Pitt.
They’re ranked 9th in the first 2018 coaches poll, but apparently some coaches don’t think too much of Franklin, who was voted one of the country’s most overrated at his position.
CBS Sports did an anonymous preseason poll, asking one-fifth of the 129 active FBS coaches to name their most overrated and underrated peers.
Franklin tied for first on the overrated list:
- Willie Taggart (Florida State) – 20 percent
- James Franklin (Penn State) – 20 percent
- Kirk Ferentz (Iowa) – 13 percent
- Lane Kiffin (Florida Atlantic) – 13 percent
So one-fifth of 129 coaches is 25.8. Twenty percent of that is 5.16. That means five coaches named Franklin, which isn’t a huge sample size. Maybe those five guys coach in the Big 10.
In the article, there are a couple of anonymous quotes from the coaches that named Franklin:
“James Franklin. His coaching peers know he is full of it.”
“When [Franklin] got the Penn State job, I thought, ‘Man, he’s a good marketer.’ He did a nice job with that. It’ll be interesting without Saquon [Barkley]. He’s underrated. He turns a lot of no[-gain] plays into 60-yard touchdowns.”
It’s true; he’s a good marketer. A good recruiter. He’s good at speaking to the media and being the outgoing and loud motivator, sometimes to the point where I’m rolling my eyes and thinking, “okay dude, we get it.” I’m not sure he’s the best X’s and O’s coach on the planet, but he does a lot of things very well and it’s hard to argue with consecutive 11-2 seasons. How much of that is due to having a generational talent like Barkley on the roster? Who knows. I guess we’ll find out soon, though the Lions do return Trace McSorley and most of the offensive line I believe.
These were the most underrated coaches:
- David Shaw (Stanford) – 12 percent
- Chris Petersen (Washington) – 12 percent
- Dan Mullen (Florida) – 8 percent
- Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern) – 8 percent
No issues here. Shaw has put in five 10-win seasons during seven years at Stanford. He won two Rose Bowls. East coast bias? Maybe.
Petersen put up one of the best coaching performances I’ve ever seen when Boise knocked off Oklahoma with a Statue of Liberty back in the day. Drexel Hill native Dan Mullen did a nice job of keeping MSU competitive in a cut-throat SEC West. Fitzgerald has Northwestern punching above their weight.