Everyone seems to have an opinion of James Franklin that can be categorised into one of two categories: either he is overrated or underestimated. Franklin’s position on the list will be examined whenever a training ranking appears, but it typically contains the same critical analysis. Franklin is a strong employer who has improved Penn State’s hiring practises frequently since taking over the programme. However, with only one Big Ten national championship appearance, a dismal record against Ohio State, and more losses than wins against Michigan, it is easy to make the opposite case.
We have actually seen where Franklin stands among his contemporaries by some, like CBS Sports, as the annual updates to training rankings continue to be released leading up to the 2023 season. In order to rank the Power Five head coaches heading into the 2023 season, our friend Patrick Conn of College Sports Wire used his opinion. Conn also claims that Penn State has a coach who is among the top 10 in the nation.
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A quick glance at the top 10 rankings will reveal a fairly consistent pattern for the coaches rated above Franklin: all but one of them have led a team to the College Football Playoff. Kyle Whittingham of Utah, who Franklin defeated in a head-to-head Rose Bowl matchup last January, is the only other coach in the top 10 according to Conn who has not been considered for the College Football Playoff. The only two coaches in the top 10 without a playoff appearance are Franklin and Whittingham.
While Brian Kelly hasn’t led LSU to the playoffs (yet), he has led Notre Dame to a playoff appearance and previously led Notre Dame to the BCS championship game. Kelly is one of the coaches placed ahead of Franklin.
Conn wanted to mention the following about James Franklin in his coach ranking.
Penn State and James Franklin made a New Years Six bowl statement with a 10-win regular season after going.500 (11-11) in the previous two seasons. Last season, the Nittany Lions were mentioned as potential champions again, and they now relied on elite quarterback Drew Allar. Any coach who can guide Vanderbilt to 24 victories in three seasons should unquestionably be taken into consideration when ranking coaches.
Franklin is the third-highest ranked Big Ten coach on the list, trailing only Ryan Day of Ohio State and Jim Harbaugh of Michigan. Luke Fickell, who coaches for the Big Ten, rounds out the top 10, coming in just below Franklin. After helping Cincinnati reach the playoffs two seasons prior, Fickell is still in his first season as Wisconsin’s head coach.
Check out College Sports Wire’s full rating to see which coaches are regarded as the best in the Power 5 conferences.