Skip to main content

James Franklin admits it is fair to judge him for track record in big games

IMG_0985by:Griffin McVeigh10/24/23


Ohio State Take Care of Business Over Penn State

Penn State entered another big game, specifically against Ohio State, with the hopes of finally breaking through. James Franklin has not been able to during his time in Happy Valley and the same remained true on Saturday. A disappointing performance all around, leaving the Nittany Lions wondering if it will ever happen.

Questions have been asked about Franklin’s ability to coach in big games. And potentially out of the ordinary, Franklin believes the questions are fair. The record is not great for Franklin, there is just no other way to put it.

“I think it’s more than fair to judge me and my staff for all of it,” Franklin said. “That’s what it’s about. The good, the bad, the consistency, the lack of success in that game. All of it. That’s totally fair to be judged by all of those things.”

Franklin is now 1-9 against Ohio State since taking over at Penn State. The issues go past the Buckeyes, though. Penn State is now 1-15 against top-10 opponents during the regular season. Whether it’s OSU, Michigan, Iowa, or Michigan State — Franklin has not gotten the job done.

Penn State has been in the College Football Playoff conversation as well but things typically fell off when Michigan or Ohio State came up on the schedule. A hump Franklin has never been able to get over, frustrating fans.

But there has been more to Franklin’s tenure than those big games. He believes the overall resume needs to be looked at as well.

“I also think it’s important to judge the entire body of work, all of it. Which, I don’t need to get into today right now. But it’s totally fair to be judged based on all of those things, the whole body of work. Good and bad.”

Looking at the overall picture, Penn State is 84-37 under Franklin and 52-31 against Big Ten opponents. Half of the program’s Rose Bowl appearances have come under his guidance, earning a win against Utah this past January. It’s not a bad resume for Franklin, especially considering where the program was just a few years prior to his arrival.

But with how proud Penn State is historically, there is always going to be a hunger to compete for a national championship. Perhaps the 12-team playoff will help their case where more big games will pop up for Franklin.

At one point or another, he will have to break through.