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One Year Later, James Franklin Still Supports Two-Loss Big Ten Champions

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.

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About the Author

Anthony Colucci

Anthony Colucci was once Onward State’s managing editor and preferred walk-on honors student who majored in psychology and public relations. Despite being from the make-believe land of Central Jersey, he was never a Rutgers fan. If you ever want to know how good Saquon Barkley's ball security is, ask Anthony what happened when he tried to force a fumble at the Mifflin Streak. If you want to hear the story or are bored and want to share prequel memes, follow @_anthonycolucci on Twitter or email him at All other requests and complaints should be directed to Onward State media contact emeritus Steve Connelly.

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