A CBS Sports poll of 25-ish active FBS head coaches found Penn State’s James Franklin to be the most overrated coach in college football, with two of their quotes as follows:
James Franklin. His coaching peers know he is full of it.
When [Franklin] got the Penn State job, I thought, ‘Man, he’s a good marketer.’ He did a nice job with that. It’ll be interesting without Saquon [Barkley]. He’s underrated.
It was possible to argue 2014 or 2015 Franklin was overrated. He’d had two straight ranked finishes at Vanderbilt, something that’d never really come close to happening before, but even that didn’t impress some people, and PSU wasn’t off the ground yet. Still, looking at the complete context of his Vandy record, there was no doubt he’d succeeded.
At Penn State, he’s since won a division that includes Urban Meyer, Mark Dantonio, and Jim Harbaugh; won the country’s most top-loaded conference; and won a Fiesta Bowl, all while emerging from NCAA sanctions. Recruiting shows no signs of slowing down, and the Nittany Lions very well could win another loaded Big Ten East despite losing Barkley and OC Joe Moorhead.
So this is where we acknowledge that those coaches who called Franklin “overrated” weren’t really answering the question as it was worded. They just don’t like Franklin. His energy borders on (and/or is) abrasive, he’s loud, and he doesn’t back down, so that’s bound to happen.
Much more awkward is the fact that the top two coaches on CBS’ “overrated” list are two of the very few black head coaches in FBS — with one coach complaining about Willie Taggart’s win-loss record, as if Taggart hasn’t taken over three straight losing teams and produced winning records at each — while Stanford’s David Shaw appears on both lists. Not sure how you significantly overrate a coach who’s led half of the best seasons at a school that employed Bill Walsh and Harbaugh, but alright.
Anyway, the point of all this was to note that coaches are just like most people: they often have very bad sports opinions, too. I mean, one guy just argued Franklin is overrated because the No. 2 draft pick was underrated. That’s definitely the kind of take you’d overhear while in line for the big slide at the water park.
More college football
- Bill C’s conference power rankings series concluded with the SEC, with the full 130-team ranking coming Tuesday.
- This by State of the U is one of the coolest recruiting explainers you’ve ever read.
- Nick Saban claims he can’t just “shit” out more players whenever one gets injured. Nice try, coach.
- PREVIOUS: Thank you, Notre Dame, for these terrible uniforms. I’m now really excited for this game.