According to reports, James Franklin is being targeted by LSU and USC for their head coach vacancies, but the Penn State coach underwhelmed vs. Illinois.
There are a lot of eyes on James Franklin this season, and not just the ones rooting for Penn State.
According to Bruce Feldman, both USC and LSU have Franklin among their top candidates to take over their head coaching job.
Shortly after that report, Franklin’s Penn State laid an egg against lowly Illinois at home. The No. 7 team in the nation was upset by a 2-5 team in nine overtimes. They looked far from a Top 10 team while doing so.
The 20-18 loss won’t take Franklin out of the running, but it should give the decision-makers in Los Angeles and Baton Rouge pause.
James Franklin is an underwhelming first choice for LSU and USC
This isn’t about one performance or a single result. Saturday’s outing against Illinois was the latest ho-hum performance for the Nittany Lions under Franklin.
It was exactly the kind of day that shows exactly why LSU and USC may not want to consider Franklin their top choice.
Undoubtedly, what Franklin did at Vanderbilt was impressive. However, LSU and USC aren’t Vanderbilt. You don’t get points for simply not being a doormat. Those programs are looking for someone to take them to national championship heights.
In Happy Valley, Franklin has done well. He’s had three 11-win seasons. He’s clearly a capable head coach. At no point has he proven he’s a title winner either.
Franklin’s Penn State is always good for at least two losses. They picked up No. 2 right on schedule against Illinois.
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