Posts for Penn State Category

James Franklin Could See Penn State “Possibly Doing a Neutral Site Game” With Pitt

Kevin Kinkead - September 10, 2019

Penn State and Pittsburgh played a football game almost every single year from 1900 to 1992.

What happened?

Well Pitt went to the Big East, Penn State went to the Big 10, and then the next 20 years saw conference realignment that resulted in other historic rivalries going right into the toilet. Now we’ve got Syracuse in the “Atlantic Coast” Conference and Missouri in the “Southeastern” conference, among other such geographical head scratchers.

PSU and Pitt renewed their rivalry with a four-game series that began in 2016 and ends on Saturday, when the two sides meet in Happy Valley. Beyond that, there’s nothing, as the Nittany Lions move on to play the likes of Auburn, Virginia Tech, and Villanova, while the Yinzers add Notre Dame and Tennessee in the non-conference slate.

Today head ball coach James Franklin was asked about the future of the series, and had this to say:

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Temple Football Performs Well in ESPN College Football Projection

Kevin Kinkead - August 28, 2019

The college football season began with Manny Diaz losing to Florida on national television.

It was a great way to kick things off.

I’ve been reading a lot about college ball this week, and ESPN has some interesting stories involving a still somewhat new projection model they’ve been using called SP+, which was created by Bill Connelly at Football Outsiders in 2008. He says SP+, in simple terms, is a “tempo- and opponent-adjusted measure of college football efficiency,” which is boiled down to these three main factors:

Recent history: I use a weighted five-year history as a way of gauging program health. For most programs, what they have done of late is what they will most likely do moving forward.

Returning production: Instead of using returning starters, I created a formula for returning production based on which units seem to have the most effect on a team’s improvement or regression. As it turns out, continuity at quarterback, receiver and the secondary is far more impactful on SP+ rating the next year than continuity in other units. Accordingly, turnover in those areas takes on heavier weight.

Recent recruiting: Returning production measures what a program lost, and a two-year recruiting average fills in the gaps on what kind of talent and athleticism it has acquired to replace the lost producers.

Ok. I’m sold. I’m interested in SP+.

Connelly and ESPN used this metric to list each Division 1 program from one to 130, and Temple actually ranks pretty admirably, after the jump:

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Ex-Penn State Doctor Alleges James Franklin Made Him Clear Injured Players

Kevin Kinkead - August 26, 2019

Huh.

Well this is something.

Breaking news out of Happy Valley today, where a former Penn State team doctor filed a lawsuit against the university and head ball coach James Franklin, claiming the Langhorne native pressured him to clear injured players.

Matt Miller at Penn Live with details:

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Penn State Ranked 14th in Preseason Coaches Poll

Kevin Kinkead - August 1, 2019

Oh yes.

College football is just around the corner, and today the season’s first poll just dropped, even though none of these teams have played a game yet and it’s virtually impossible to project the top 25 outside of Alabama and Clemson.

The Nittany Lions start in the top 15, which you can see right here:

Temple got two votes as well, so hell yeah.

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Penn State Lands Joey Porter’s Son

Kevin Kinkead - September 11, 2018

Fresh off their 51-6 smackdown of the perennially underachieving Pittsburgh Panthers, Penn State is adding another blue chip recruit to the program.

Today Joey Porter Jr., the son of longtime Steeler Joey Porter, committed to the Nittany Lions, writing the following note on Twitter:

Porter Jr. is a 6’2″, 187 pound cornerback/safety prospect out of North Allegheny High. He also plays receiver but was recruited as a defensive backfield stud. He’s a four star recruit and chose the Lions over LSU, Nebraska, Miami, and… Pitt, which rounded out his top five schools.

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Villanova and Penn State Schedule a Football Series

Kevin Kinkead - August 31, 2018

Not anytime soon, but in a few years.

Villanova agreed to a two-game series with Penn State for 2021 and 2025, with both contests taking place in Happy Valley.

From the press release:

“We are excited about the opportunity to get Penn State on the schedule. Playing two games in one of the best atmospheres in college football will be a great experience for our team,” said (head football coach Mark) Ferrante. “I think the Nova Nation will be excited to make the trip to Happy Valley. This game makes a lot sense for us on a number of levels.”

The Wildcats and Nittany Lions have met eight previous times on the gridiron with the last match-up coming with a 20-14 Villanova victory in 1951. Penn State currently leads the series by a 3-4-1 count.”

As for this season, Nova opens up tomorrow against Temple at Lincoln Financial Field. Penn State hosts Appalachian State at Beaver Stadium.

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Penn State Football 2018 Preview: There’s Life After Saquon Barkley

Kevin Kinkead - August 30, 2018

Penn State was six points from being perfect in 2017.

All the Lions really needed was to make a few more plays at Ohio State and Michigan State, then we’re looking at 12-0 instead of 10-2, with a berth in the college football playoff.

That was pretty much it last season – a pair of single-digit Big 10 nail biters that saw the Lions fall out of the top five and instead settle for 11 wins and a Fiesta Bowl victory over a very good Washington team. That’s not a bad consolation prize, but Penn State fans and neutrals alike know just how agonizingly close this team came to running the table.

It’s a mixed bag of storylines coming into the 2018 season, which will be James Franklin’s fifth since taking over for Bill O’Brien in 2014. Franklin seemed to be on the hot seat after opening his Penn State tenure with a pair of boring 7-6 seasons before rumbling to 11 wins, a conference title, and a Rose Bowl appearance in year number three.

Along the way, he recruited extremely well and put the right assistants in place. He got Saquon Barkley to flip on his Rutgers commitment, brought in offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead from Fordham, and promoted Brent Pry to defensive coordinator after bringing him along from his previous gig at Vanderbilt. Those three moves probably guided Penn State’s success more than anything, fleshed out with a glut of impressive talent on both sides of the ball.

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Overrated?

Kevin Kinkead - August 20, 2018

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:

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