James Franklin put rivalries aside in his final Coaches’ Poll ballot when he ranked 11-2 and Big Ten champion Ohio State No. 4 ahead of 11-1 Alabama, which didn’t make the SEC championship game.
The Buckeyes suffered the same fate as Franklin’s Nittany Lions a year ago, being snubbed from the College Football Playoff by a team with one loss and without a conference championship. Although, last year, it was Ohio State getting the benefit of the doubt and playoff berth. Franklin had the Nittany Lions at No. 3 and Buckeyes at No. 4 in his final ballot following the Big Ten championship game last December.
He did, however, also show a bit of favoritism this season, slotting his team at No. 6 behind Alabama and ahead of Wisconsin and USC, which both checked in higher than Penn State in the playoff rankings.
Despite the growing animosity between Ohio State and Penn State, with emotional games in each of the last two seasons and ongoing battles in the rankings and on the recruiting trail, there seems to be a good amount of respect between Franklin and Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer. Over the summer, Meyer offered a similar sentiment as Franklin did Sunday when he affirmed that Penn State deserved to make the playoff last year.
Speaking of coaches not allowing rivalries to detract from rational arguments, Pitt coach and resident petty simpleton Pat Narduzzi was one of only six coaches to rank the Nittany Lions at No. 12 on his ballot. You know what they say, if you can’t go to college, coach at Pitt.
Coaches poll ballots for Week 15
Franklin voted PSU 6th behind OSU & BAMA, but ahead of Wisconsin & USC
That loser from PITT had PSU 12th
— ST814 (@stateonefour) December 4, 2017