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James Franklin Ranked Top Five NCAA Head Coach By The Athletic

Argue among yourselves.

Penn State football’s James Franklin landed in the top five of national college football writer Bruce Feldman’s NCAA head coach rankings. Published by The Athletic on Thursday, the rankings place Franklin as the second-best coach in the Big Ten, trailing only Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh.

“[Franklin’s] had four top-10 finishes in the past seven seasons, winning 11 games four times,” Feldman wrote. “He’s proven to be one of the country’s top recruiters and program builders.”

Notably, Franklin was ranked above national names like Ohio State’s Ryan Day and USC’s Lincoln Riley.

Feldman acknowledged the elite resumes boasted by Day and Riley before explaining why Franklin earns a slight edge in his mind. Whereas Day and Riley took over programs boosted by outgoing legendary coaches Urban Meyer and Bob Stoops, Franklin was forced to kickstart an abysmal Vanderbilt team and resuscitate the sanctioned Nittany Lions.

“I seem to get more pushback on Franklin than any coach in these rankings,” Feldman wrote.

Boy, was he correct.

Although Franklin garnered a handful of even-keeled responses from some readers, the majority of responses under the post were…less than supportive.

“You blow the whole list with James Franklin that high! Guy’s done nothing at PSU to deserve a whiff of the top 25,” one commenter wrote to a chorus of over 150 likes.

“As a huge Penn State fan, you have Franklin way too high… You’ve got him ranked higher than at least a few coaches that all of Happy Valley would willingly swap for Franklin in a heartbeat,” another comment read.

Where do you think Franklin ranks among his college football peers?

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About the Author

Sam Fremin

Sam is a senior from Ashburn, Virginia, majoring in journalism and political science & minoring in German and creative writing. He is a Dallas Cowboys fan who relishes the misery of Eagles fans. All hate messages can be sent to [email protected] or @SamFremin on Twitter.

He may or may not read every single comment he gets.

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