2014-2021 (8 seasons) of Franklin -- good, bad, and lots of in-between.

djm_psu_alum

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Admittedly, I've not been as high on Franklin as others but probably not as low as others. I thought after 7.5 years it's worth reviewing how's performed as coach in the categories of recruiting, player development, hiring of coaches, and on-field performance.

  • 2014 - Came in a did well to sure up a recruiting class though they did end up ranked #24 by Rivals. They started off with a bang in that win over UCF in Dublin but the effects of a depleted roster did take effect though the homecoming 29-6 loss to a 5-7 NW team, 16-14 loss to a 6-7 ILL team, and 20-19 loss to Maryland were lowlights. The ILL and Maryland losses were two games where they had the opportunity to run out the clock if they had gotten one more first down--a common theme during Franklin's tenure. Perhaps, the biggest highlight of the season was a double OT loss to OSU where the officiating was so bad Three picks in the 2015 NFL Draft though not sure he can take full credit for that since they only played once season under him. My grade: B-

  • 2015 - #15 recruiting class so an improvement. Loss to what turned out to good Temple team (but it's still Temple) was not a good way to start the season. They lost another game (NW) where the time mgmt was not good and a first down would have won them the game (#3 so far during Franklin's tenure). Didn't beat a B10 with a winning record. Season closed with Hackenberg sharing his thoughts on Franklin and Franklin firing Donovan. I certainly had some doubts after this season as his in-game mgmt was worrisome but the depleted roster was always a shadow hanging over that opinion. Five were drafted into the NFL. My grade: C+ (it felt like a step back after some optimism from 2014).

  • 2016 - #21 recruiting class so a step back but they did have 5 less scholarships to give. Great hire with Moorehead which fit perfectly with McSorely and Barkley. Franklin had most of his guys playing. The common theme for this year was slow starts. They trailed in 7 games at half time (were tied in 2 others). Luckily, the slow start really only hurt them the Pitt game (who also beat Clemson that year). The OSU game gets all the hype though it a blocked FG is a bit of a fluky play so yes, they won but there was some luck there. Yet again, failure to get a first down cost them--this time vs USC in the Rose Bowl (#4 in Franklin's tenure). Only 1 NFL Draft pick but that was likely due to a very young team. My grade: A

  • 2017 - #12 recruiting class to start the year--definite improvement. The Iowa game is noted for what Barkley did and the last second TD pass but it also feels like a game vs a good team that PSU should win and doesn't (MSU in 2017 and 2018, Minn in 2019, and Iowa in 2021). I think this season is marked by collapse at Ohio State where they had a chance to run out the clock with a few first downs (#5) and the the MSU loss which was such a mess (4th and 3 incomplete pass at MSU's 31 with game tied and 4 mins left). Solid bowl win. 6 guys drafted in the NFL. Lost Moorehead, Gattis, and Huff to other schools. My grade: B+ (this should have been a playoff year -- collapse at OSU and a mess of a game at MSU).

  • 2018 - #5 recruiting class - great! The App State OT win felt like the 2020 Indiana game only going the other way. Another OSU game where they closed horribly--couldnt close it out with the ball and under 6 mins left then have OSU march 96 yards to take the lead and close with a stupid 4th and 5 run play (#6 of Franklin's tenure). The Michigan State loss was just as frustrating. Another chance to win the game with a single first down (#7). Another 6 guys drafted into the NFL. My grade: B (This could have been such a better year)

  • 2019 - #11 recruiting class - a step back but still very good. Another what-might-have-been season. It's summed up in that Minnesota game where they just looked out of sorts right from the start. Finally a win where they had to get a first down to run out the clock (vs Mich). They had a chance to win it and actually flip the script -- Minn couldn't get the first down to end the game but INT ended it. I thought we should have been a better NY6 bowl but it was still a NY6 bowl. Rahne moves on to become a HC. 5 guys drafted into NFL. My grade: A- (it was better than I expected)

  • 2020 - #15 recruiting class - slightly downward trend from previous two years. Overall, just a mess of a year. Did the Indiana loss set the tone? Maybe but that seems to be a trend in Franklin's time here--bad loss followed up by an even worse loss (or in this case losses). Only highlight I can find is a win at Michigan since Franklin had yet to beat there. OC is gone after one year. My grade: C

  • 2021 - #26 recruiting class - only 17 scholarships but 3rd year in a row of declining classes. The season isn't over yet but Iowa was another collapse loss and ILL was an unprepared loss. They could rebound but in prior years (2017, 2018, and 2019), they had the benefit of easier schedules following bad losses. New OC but has anything really changed? If they somehow go 10-2, its an A, 9-3 - B, 8-4 B-/C+, 7-5 or worse - D.

Recruiting: Maybe 2022 turns it around but I thought it would have been better.

Player development: If you go solely by who is NFL ready, the numbers drafted into the NFL is not much different than years prior.

Coach selection/hiring: Moorehead was obviously a plus. MY may end up as well though I think the hype around him was way too early. The O-Line always feels like avg or below. Defense has been good and stable staffing there.

On-field performance: What are the great wins of Franklin's tenure? 2016-OSU, 2016 -WISC BTN Champ, and 2017-Wash? That's what I came up with. Three NY6 bowls in four years and one could argue they should have had a 4th in 2018 but that kinda of sums of Franklin at PSU: what might have been.

Overall: It's probably better than I expected when he was introduced in 2014 but the concern is that the more time he spends, the more issues arise -- more so-so coaching hires than good/great ones, bad game mgmt, inability to get the team to bounce back, at least one (maybe two) losses due to poor game prep, bad play-calling, or combination of both.
 
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CDLionFL

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Good write-up. I don't have any disagreements with what you brought up. In the 'Is Franklin Elite?' thread, I mentioned the stat that PSU is 20-10 as a Top-10 team under Franklin. On one side, you can say, 'great, he's gotten us into the Top 10 on a consistent basis'. On the other side, you can say 'but he can only win 2/3 of those games'. Of the 10 losses, only a 2-TD loss to OSU was the only mismatch. In the other 9 games, PSU had a 4th quarter lead in 8 of them and in the 9th, they had it in the red zone against Minnesota before getting a questionable OPI and then the Clifford INT.

My biggest problem with Franklin is his in-game coaching and getting the team ready. There were scoreboard math errors in losses to Michigan in 15 and Kentucky in the Citrus Bowl where he settled for FG's while in the red zone when down a TD which resulted in still needing a TD *if* they got the ball back (which they barely did against Kentucky). Throw in the lack of an adjustment to an obviously-hurt Clifford on Saturday and the pathetic prep of any backup QB and that has pretty much killed this season. So what do we have here? We have a guy who recruits well, is a great PR arm for the university, makes sure that the kids go to class and adhere by a standard in their academic lives, has players who aren't in the police blotter, and generates a lot of positivity for the program. However, when it comes to the actual product on the field for 3-4 hours on a Saturday, the product is above average but lacks that extra step to make them excellent. Coaches who perennially end up in the CFP don't make the consistent mistakes that Franklin and his staff makes on the field.
 

BrucePa

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What stands out to me as a common theme is losing the game after having a 4th quarter lead multiple times, where mediocre QBs look like Heisman Trophy winners and absolutely shred a defense that wasn't able to get any pressure on the QB. Barrett, Lewerke, and about a half dozen others. That "tempo" offense couldn't burn any clock in the 4th quarter and those 3-and-outs gave the other team the ball, and they cut through the Penn State defense for come-from-behind wins multiple times. Hell, it even happened in the Rose Bowl with Darnold.
 
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Option Bob

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Admittedly, I've not been as high on Franklin as others but probably not as low as others. I thought after 7.5 years it's worth reviewing how's performed as coach in the categories of recruiting, player development, hiring of coaches, and on-field performance.

  • 2016 - #21 recruiting class so a step back but they did have 5 less scholarships to give. Great hire with Moorehead which fit perfectly with McSorely and Barkley. Franklin had most of his guys playing. The common theme for this year was slow starts. They trailed in 7 games at half time (were tied in 2 others). Luckily, the slow start really only hurt them the Pitt game (who also beat Clemson that year). The OSU game gets all the hype though it a blocked FG is a bit of a fluky play so yes, they won but there was some luck there. Yet again, failure to get a first down cost them--this time vs USC in the Rose Bowl (#4 in Franklin's tenure). Only 1 NFL Draft pick but that was likely due to a very young team. My grade: A

Nice write-up; however, your comments that are in bold above cast considerable doubt on your overall ability to evaluate the coaching.

How is a blocked FG attempt a "fluky play" unless you worship at the altar of Kirk Herbstreit? Teams actually do practice such plays and Marcus Allen did a great job of blocking the kick and Grant Haley did a likewise great job of scooping it up and scoring the touchdown.

Odd that you do not mention 2 genuinely "fluky" plays that benefitted the Buckeyes: (1) the unforced fumbled punt that gave OSU great field position to score and (2) the unforced snap over the Penn State punter's head that resulted in a gifted 2 point safety.

Furthermore, Ohio State also had its own "fluky play" blocked FG attempt ... yet neither you nor Herbstreit ever seems to mention that when discussing how "lucky" Penn State was.

I do agree with you about the many failures to pick up a needed first down.
 

djm_psu_alum

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Good write-up. I don't have any disagreements with what you brought up. In the 'Is Franklin Elite?' thread, I mentioned the stat that PSU is 20-10 as a Top-10 team under Franklin. On one side, you can say, 'great, he's gotten us into the Top 10 on a consistent basis'. On the other side, you can say 'but he can only win 2/3 of those games'. Of the 10 losses, only a 2-TD loss to OSU was the only mismatch. In the other 9 games, PSU had a 4th quarter lead in 8 of them and in the 9th, they had it in the red zone against Minnesota before getting a questionable OPI and then the Clifford INT.

My biggest problem with Franklin is his in-game coaching and getting the team ready. There were scoreboard math errors in losses to Michigan in 15 and Kentucky in the Citrus Bowl where he settled for FG's while in the red zone when down a TD which resulted in still needing a TD *if* they got the ball back (which they barely did against Kentucky). Throw in the lack of an adjustment to an obviously-hurt Clifford on Saturday and the pathetic prep of any backup QB and that has pretty much killed this season. So what do we have here? We have a guy who recruits well, is a great PR arm for the university, makes sure that the kids go to class and adhere by a standard in their academic lives, has players who aren't in the police blotter, and generates a lot of positivity for the program. However, when it comes to the actual product on the field for 3-4 hours on a Saturday, the product is above average but lacks that extra step to make them excellent. Coaches who perennially end up in the CFP don't make the consistent mistakes that Franklin and his staff makes on the field.
Your line "Coaches who perennially end up in the CFP don't make the consistent mistakes that Franklin and his staff makes on the field" pretty much sums it up. One could argue that they should have made the CFP in 2017 and 2019 and been in another NY6 in 2018. I give him a pass for the CFP in 2016.

I absolutely hate comparing timeframes or Franklin/BOB to Paterno because I'm a firm believer that history does not repeat itself but I'll break that here. In Joe's final 8 years (not counting 2011 for several reasons), if there was a CFP and NY6, he would have made the CFP twice (2005 and 2008) and a NY6 in 2009. In the previous 8 period to that, he would have only made one NY6 and no CFP appearances. So one could say, Franklin has some negatives but he's produced better or on par with PSU past.
 

djm_psu_alum

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Nice write-up; however, your comments that are in bold above cast considerable doubt on your overall ability to evaluate the coaching.

How is a blocked FG attempt a "fluky play" unless you worship at the altar of Kirk Herbstreit? Teams actually do practice such plays and Marcus Allen did a great job of blocking the kick and Grant Haley did a likewise great job of scooping it up and scoring the touchdown.

Odd that you do not mention 2 genuinely "fluky" plays that benefitted the Buckeyes: (1) the unforced fumbled punt that gave OSU great field position to score and (2) the unforced snap over the Penn State punter's head that resulted in a gifted 2 point safety.

Furthermore, Ohio State also had its own "fluky play" blocked FG attempt ... yet neither you nor Herbstreit ever seems to mention that when discussing how "lucky" Penn State was.

I do agree with you about the many failures to pick up a needed first down.
It's a message board...coach evaluator isn't on my CV or resume.

A FG attempt is fluky -- it happens less than 1% of the time. I have no context on your reference to Herbstreit. I guess he said the same thing. Yes, teams practice it. Teams practice a lot of things. Seems like you have more issues with Herbstreit than me.
 
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AWS1022

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It's a message board...coach evaluator isn't on my CV or resume.

A FG attempt is fluky -- it happens less than 1% of the time. I have no context on your reference to Herbstreit. I guess he said the same thing. Yes, teams practice it. Teams practice a lot of things. Seems like you have more issues with Herbstreit than me.
I think he means good special teams play can win games just like good offense and good defense and there’s nothing “fluky” about it.
 
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djm_psu_alum

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I think he means good special teams play can win games just like good offense and good defense and there’s nothing “fluky” about it.
Sure, I get that but my use of "fluky" was in reference that a blocked FG rarely happens--especially to flip a game like that. I would use the same term when Iowa blocked PSU punt in 2009.
 

ram2020

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Could almost all of this really be boiled down to: Under Coach Franklin, when we really need to pick up a couple first downs or as Franklin likes to say "finish the games on our terms" we have proven time and time again to be unable? Again, I like Franklin, I want him to stay the coach, but at what point does Franklin dedicate every possible resource to developing an offensive line and identity that can move the chains enough to run out a game? The problem is, it is antithetical to his much greater offensive desire: Explosive plays. Oftentimes, in these games, our defense is simply on the field too much and breaks down in the 4th quarter. Our offense cannot continue to attack because of time considerations in the hopes of keeping the clock moving, but we simply are not developed or focused to ground out tough yards in tough circumstances. AGAIN, very few teams seem to be able to do both, but ELITE offenses can score points on explosive plays AND convert 3rd and 2 when they HAVE to have it. That is what has separated programming altering wins from heartbreaking close loses.
 

BBrown

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Admittedly, I've not been as high on Franklin as others but probably not as low as others. I thought after 7.5 years it's worth reviewing how's performed as coach in the categories of recruiting, player development, hiring of coaches, and on-field performance.

  • 2014 - Came in a did well to sure up a recruiting class though they did end up ranked #24 by Rivals. They started off with a bang in that win over UCF in Dublin but the effects of a depleted roster did take effect though the homecoming 29-6 loss to a 5-7 NW team, 16-14 loss to a 6-7 ILL team, and 20-19 loss to Maryland were lowlights. The ILL and Maryland losses were two games where they had the opportunity to run out the clock if they had gotten one more first down--a common theme during Franklin's tenure. Perhaps, the biggest highlight of the season was a double OT loss to OSU where the officiating was so bad Three picks in the 2015 NFL Draft though not sure he can take full credit for that since they only played once season under him. My grade: B-

  • 2015 - #15 recruiting class so an improvement. Loss to what turned out to good Temple team (but it's still Temple) was not a good way to start the season. They lost another game (NW) where the time mgmt was not good and a first down would have won them the game (#3 so far during Franklin's tenure). Didn't beat a B10 with a winning record. Season closed with Hackenberg sharing his thoughts on Franklin and Franklin firing Donovan. I certainly had some doubts after this season as his in-game mgmt was worrisome but the depleted roster was always a shadow hanging over that opinion. Five were drafted into the NFL. My grade: C+ (it felt like a step back after some optimism from 2014).

  • 2016 - #21 recruiting class so a step back but they did have 5 less scholarships to give. Great hire with Moorehead which fit perfectly with McSorely and Barkley. Franklin had most of his guys playing. The common theme for this year was slow starts. They trailed in 7 games at half time (were tied in 2 others). Luckily, the slow start really only hurt them the Pitt game (who also beat Clemson that year). The OSU game gets all the hype though it a blocked FG is a bit of a fluky play so yes, they won but there was some luck there. Yet again, failure to get a first down cost them--this time vs USC in the Rose Bowl (#4 in Franklin's tenure). Only 1 NFL Draft pick but that was likely due to a very young team. My grade: A

  • 2017 - #12 recruiting class to start the year--definite improvement. The Iowa game is noted for what Barkley did and the last second TD pass but it also feels like a game vs a good team that PSU should win and doesn't (MSU in 2017 and 2018, Minn in 2019, and Iowa in 2021). I think this season is marked by collapse at Ohio State where they had a chance to run out the clock with a few first downs (#5) and the the MSU loss which was such a mess (4th and 3 incomplete pass at MSU's 31 with game tied and 4 mins left). Solid bowl win. 6 guys drafted in the NFL. Lost Moorehead, Gattis, and Huff to other schools. My grade: B+ (this should have been a playoff year -- collapse at OSU and a mess of a game at MSU).

  • 2018 - #5 recruiting class - great! The App State OT win felt like the 2020 Indiana game only going the other way. Another OSU game where they closed horribly--couldnt close it out with the ball and under 6 mins left then have OSU march 96 yards to take the lead and close with a stupid 4th and 5 run play (#6 of Franklin's tenure). The Michigan State loss was just as frustrating. Another chance to win the game with a single first down (#7). Another 6 guys drafted into the NFL. My grade: B (This could have been such a better year)

  • 2019 - #11 recruiting class - a step back but still very good. Another what-might-have-been season. It's summed up in that Minnesota game where they just looked out of sorts right from the start. Finally a win where they had to get a first down to run out the clock (vs Mich). They had a chance to win it and actually flip the script -- Minn couldn't get the first down to end the game but INT ended it. I thought we should have been a better NY6 bowl but it was still a NY6 bowl. Rahne moves on to become a HC. 5 guys drafted into NFL. My grade: A- (it was better than I expected)

  • 2020 - #15 recruiting class - slightly downward trend from previous two years. Overall, just a mess of a year. Did the Indiana loss set the tone? Maybe but that seems to be a trend in Franklin's time here--bad loss followed up by an even worse loss (or in this case losses). Only highlight I can find is a win at Michigan since Franklin had yet to beat there. OC is gone after one year. My grade: C

  • 2021 - #26 recruiting class - only 17 scholarships but 3rd year in a row of declining classes. The season isn't over yet but Iowa was another collapse loss and ILL was an unprepared loss. They could rebound but in prior years (2017, 2018, and 2019), they had the benefit of easier schedules following bad losses. New OC but has anything really changed? If they somehow go 10-2, its an A, 9-3 - B, 8-4 B-/C+, 7-5 or worse - D.

Recruiting: Maybe 2022 returns it around but I thought it would have been better.

Player development: If you go solely by who is NFL ready, the numbers drafted into the NFL is not much different than years prior.

Coach selection/hiring: Moorehead was obviously a plus. MY may end up as well though I think the hype around him was way too early. The O-Line always feels like avg or below. Defense has been good and stable staffing there.

On-field performance: What are the great wins of Franklin's tenure? 2016-OSU, 2016 -WISC BTN Champ, and 2017-Wash? That's what I came up with. Three NY6 bowls in four years and one could argue they should have had a 4th in 2018 but that kinda of sums of Franklin at PSU: what might have been.

Overall: It's probably better than I expected when he was introduced in 2014 but the concern is that the more time he spends, the more issues arise -- more so-so coaching hires than good/great ones, bad game mgmt, inability to get the team to bounce back, at least one (maybe two) losses due to poor game prep, bad play-calling, or combination of both.
That was very fair and well done. I would also say holding on to the "timely" int. would have turned about 6-7 of any of those losses into wins as well.
 
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djm_psu_alum

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That was very fair and well done. I would also say holding on to the "timely" int. would have turned about 6-7 of any of those losses into wins as well.
Not sure I'd go with 6-7 but I actually forgot to note that there was a dropped INTS in one of the OSU games (2017 I think) and a dropped int in one of the MSU games as well. They were at the end of the games and would have ended game-winning drives.

There might have been a few in the 2014-15 seasons but none that stand out to me. I also want to say there was one in the Iowa game this season and definitely one in the ILL game (Brisker - OT).

What's amazing (and frustrating) is that these weren't just timely but hands on the ball, just-plain-dropped INTs.
 

danvillenit

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Not sure I'd go with 6-7 but I actually forgot to note that there was a dropped INTS in one of the OSU games (2017 I think) and a dropped int in one of the MSU games as well. They were at the end of the games and would have ended game-winning drives.

There might have been a few in the 2014-15 seasons but none that stand out to me. I also want to say there was one in the Iowa game this season and definitely one in the ILL game (Brisker - OT).

What's amazing (and frustrating) is that these weren't just timely but hands on the ball, just-plain-dropped INTs.
The dropped interception vs MSU In 2017 came a couple plays before the game winning pass.
 

ram2020

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Yeah, the dropped interception thing is maddening, but it is a hard metric to assign to Franklin specifically when evaluating his performance. Maybe just me, but I guess I would I'd rather have picked up a few first downs and had the right offensive identity to end the game instead of hoping for something as un-controllable and fickle as an interception. We also caught one that saved our goat against App State. Sort of a flip of the coin and it's hard to really say how sealing a game or not reflects on Franklin as it pertains to interceptions.
 

Texas Lion

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I don't question on the field at all. I would take the on field results every single year the guy has been here and even, now that it is Wednesday, swallow Saturdays loss. He wins games, his guys go to the nfl, they graduate, and they seem to stay out of trouble.

My issue is the yearly flirting with ideas of leaving. If your wife flirts and sends texts to other men on a constant basis, eventually she will leave you. It is just a matter of time. One time? Bad but you can work through it to regain the trust. Twice and the relationship hangs by a thread. Yearly?? She is out the door as soon as she finally has the balls to leave you.

I am with the poster yesterday that said he needs to be offered a lifetime deal, for better or worse. Make the contract something he can't turn down and make the buyout a number that other schools would be leery or paying. If he says I do you know you have a keeper.....if he turns it down let him go and find you a women that will be loyal and actually wants to be around you.
 

djm_psu_alum

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I don't question on the field at all. I would take the on field results every single year the guy has been here and even, now that it is Wednesday, swallow Saturdays loss. He wins games, his guys go to the nfl, they graduate, and they seem to stay out of trouble.

My issue is the yearly flirting with ideas of leaving. If your wife flirts and sends texts to other men on a constant basis, eventually she will leave you. It is just a matter of time. One time? Bad but you can work through it to regain the trust. Twice and the relationship hangs by a thread. Yearly?? She is out the door as soon as she finally has the balls to leave you.

I am with the poster yesterday that said he needs to be offered a lifetime deal, for better or worse. Make the contract something he can't turn down and make the buyout a number that other schools would be leery or paying. If he says I do you know you have a keeper.....if he turns it down let him go and find you a women that will be loyal and actually wants to be around you.
I think the "flirting" is his bargaining for a bigger investment into the program, coaching staff, and facilities. BOB may wanted that in 2012-13 but no way he was getting it during the timeframe. Maybe Joe got here and there but I highly doubt he saw himself competing with the SEC schools or OSU in that type of arms race. Franklin wants to be in the CFP and win a national championship so I assume in his view, to do that means having that as a priority for the university in the form of investing in facilities/coaches/etc. My guess is he does view it as an arms race and that means investing and his flirting is the way to get it done (IMHO).
 

Texas Lion

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I think the "flirting" is his bargaining for a bigger investment into the program, coaching staff, and facilities. BOB may wanted that in 2012-13 but no way he was getting it during the timeframe. Maybe Joe got here and there but I highly doubt he saw himself competing with the SEC schools or OSU in that type of arms race. Franklin wants to be in the CFP and win a national championship so I assume in his view, to do that means having that as a priority for the university in the form of investing in facilities/coaches/etc. My guess is he does view it as an arms race and that means investing and his flirting is the way to get it done (IMHO).
I agree with everything you are saying but damn, it isn't like they treat the program like Lock Haven. The guy has gotten a ton, and deservedly so, during his time here.
 

djm_psu_alum

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I agree with everything you are saying but damn, it isn't like they treat the program like Lock Haven. The guy has gotten a ton, and deservedly so, during his time here.
Ya but that might be an indication of how far behind the program was compared to the 'blue-bloods' of the sport.
 

danvillenit

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Ya but that might be an indication of how far behind the program was compared to the 'blue-bloods' of the sport.
I think the big money spending in CFB started to escalate the same time Paterno was hitting cruise control. Then the scandal hit. Once Franklin got the program on track in 2016 we were lagging in facilities and staffing. Since then PSU has started to address shortcomings but no one is standing still so you are trying to catch up to programs still investing every year
 
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manilion

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All the comments trying make a glass have full argument are laughable. 20 and 10 while being a top ten team just shows they did not deserve to be top ten. Which proves my point in a previous post. Franklin has beat one top 15 team since OSU. That was an overrated Washington team. No top ten wins other than the fluke block field goal. 🤪🤪

FrankLin=overrated PERIOD.
 
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The Spin Meister

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An altered state
I think the big money spending in CFB started to escalate the same time Paterno was hitting cruise control. Then the scandal hit. Once Franklin got the program on track in 2016 we were lagging in facilities and staffing. Since then PSU has started to address shortcomings but no one is standing still so you are trying to catch up to programs still investing every year
Well one thing they need to do is get more/better assistant QB coaches so that we have a back up ready when No 1 is hurt.
 

BBrown

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Not sure I'd go with 6-7 but I actually forgot to note that there was a dropped INTS in one of the OSU games (2017 I think) and a dropped int in one of the MSU games as well. They were at the end of the games and would have ended game-winning drives.

There might have been a few in the 2014-15 seasons but none that stand out to me. I also want to say there was one in the Iowa game this season and definitely one in the ILL game (Brisker - OT).

What's amazing (and frustrating) is that these weren't just timely but hands on the ball, just-plain-dropped INTs.
the others i was thinking of were from that 2104-15 season. NW for 1 and MSU was another. was there one at Indy last year before the OT's and yes Iowa and Illinois
thats where I was coming up with the 6-7
 
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Cowbell Man

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Admittedly, I've not been as high on Franklin as others but probably not as low as others. I thought after 7.5 years it's worth reviewing how's performed as coach in the categories of recruiting, player development, hiring of coaches, and on-field performance.

  • 2014 - Came in a did well to sure up a recruiting class though they did end up ranked #24 by Rivals. They started off with a bang in that win over UCF in Dublin but the effects of a depleted roster did take effect though the homecoming 29-6 loss to a 5-7 NW team, 16-14 loss to a 6-7 ILL team, and 20-19 loss to Maryland were lowlights. The ILL and Maryland losses were two games where they had the opportunity to run out the clock if they had gotten one more first down--a common theme during Franklin's tenure. Perhaps, the biggest highlight of the season was a double OT loss to OSU where the officiating was so bad Three picks in the 2015 NFL Draft though not sure he can take full credit for that since they only played once season under him. My grade: B-

  • 2015 - #15 recruiting class so an improvement. Loss to what turned out to good Temple team (but it's still Temple) was not a good way to start the season. They lost another game (NW) where the time mgmt was not good and a first down would have won them the game (#3 so far during Franklin's tenure). Didn't beat a B10 with a winning record. Season closed with Hackenberg sharing his thoughts on Franklin and Franklin firing Donovan. I certainly had some doubts after this season as his in-game mgmt was worrisome but the depleted roster was always a shadow hanging over that opinion. Five were drafted into the NFL. My grade: C+ (it felt like a step back after some optimism from 2014).

  • 2016 - #21 recruiting class so a step back but they did have 5 less scholarships to give. Great hire with Moorehead which fit perfectly with McSorely and Barkley. Franklin had most of his guys playing. The common theme for this year was slow starts. They trailed in 7 games at half time (were tied in 2 others). Luckily, the slow start really only hurt them the Pitt game (who also beat Clemson that year). The OSU game gets all the hype though it a blocked FG is a bit of a fluky play so yes, they won but there was some luck there. Yet again, failure to get a first down cost them--this time vs USC in the Rose Bowl (#4 in Franklin's tenure). Only 1 NFL Draft pick but that was likely due to a very young team. My grade: A

  • 2017 - #12 recruiting class to start the year--definite improvement. The Iowa game is noted for what Barkley did and the last second TD pass but it also feels like a game vs a good team that PSU should win and doesn't (MSU in 2017 and 2018, Minn in 2019, and Iowa in 2021). I think this season is marked by collapse at Ohio State where they had a chance to run out the clock with a few first downs (#5) and the the MSU loss which was such a mess (4th and 3 incomplete pass at MSU's 31 with game tied and 4 mins left). Solid bowl win. 6 guys drafted in the NFL. Lost Moorehead, Gattis, and Huff to other schools. My grade: B+ (this should have been a playoff year -- collapse at OSU and a mess of a game at MSU).

  • 2018 - #5 recruiting class - great! The App State OT win felt like the 2020 Indiana game only going the other way. Another OSU game where they closed horribly--couldnt close it out with the ball and under 6 mins left then have OSU march 96 yards to take the lead and close with a stupid 4th and 5 run play (#6 of Franklin's tenure). The Michigan State loss was just as frustrating. Another chance to win the game with a single first down (#7). Another 6 guys drafted into the NFL. My grade: B (This could have been such a better year)

  • 2019 - #11 recruiting class - a step back but still very good. Another what-might-have-been season. It's summed up in that Minnesota game where they just looked out of sorts right from the start. Finally a win where they had to get a first down to run out the clock (vs Mich). They had a chance to win it and actually flip the script -- Minn couldn't get the first down to end the game but INT ended it. I thought we should have been a better NY6 bowl but it was still a NY6 bowl. Rahne moves on to become a HC. 5 guys drafted into NFL. My grade: A- (it was better than I expected)

  • 2020 - #15 recruiting class - slightly downward trend from previous two years. Overall, just a mess of a year. Did the Indiana loss set the tone? Maybe but that seems to be a trend in Franklin's time here--bad loss followed up by an even worse loss (or in this case losses). Only highlight I can find is a win at Michigan since Franklin had yet to beat there. OC is gone after one year. My grade: C

  • 2021 - #26 recruiting class - only 17 scholarships but 3rd year in a row of declining classes. The season isn't over yet but Iowa was another collapse loss and ILL was an unprepared loss. They could rebound but in prior years (2017, 2018, and 2019), they had the benefit of easier schedules following bad losses. New OC but has anything really changed? If they somehow go 10-2, its an A, 9-3 - B, 8-4 B-/C+, 7-5 or worse - D.

Recruiting: Maybe 2022 turns it around but I thought it would have been better.

Player development: If you go solely by who is NFL ready, the numbers drafted into the NFL is not much different than years prior.

Coach selection/hiring: Moorehead was obviously a plus. MY may end up as well though I think the hype around him was way too early. The O-Line always feels like avg or below. Defense has been good and stable staffing there.

On-field performance: What are the great wins of Franklin's tenure? 2016-OSU, 2016 -WISC BTN Champ, and 2017-Wash? That's what I came up with. Three NY6 bowls in four years and one could argue they should have had a 4th in 2018 but that kinda of sums of Franklin at PSU: what might have been.

Overall: It's probably better than I expected when he was introduced in 2014 but the concern is that the more time he spends, the more issues arise -- more so-so coaching hires than good/great ones, bad game mgmt, inability to get the team to bounce back, at least one (maybe two) losses due to poor game prep, bad play-calling, or combination of both.
You forgot 4-7 record when he has a bye week or weeks to “prepare”.
 

bvillebaron

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Feb 4, 2004
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What stands out to me as a common theme is losing the game after having a 4th quarter lead multiple times, where mediocre QBs look like Heisman Trophy winners and absolutely shred a defense that wasn't able to get any pressure on the QB. Barrett, Lewerke, and about a half dozen others. That "tempo" offense couldn't burn any clock in the 4th quarter and those 3-and-outs gave the other team the ball, and they cut through the Penn State defense for come-from-behind wins multiple times. Hell, it even happened in the Rose Bowl with Darnold.
Good analysis. Maddening to me how often Pry’s defense plays well for most of the game but coughs it up in the 4th quarter. Recall sitting in the stands in 2018 and telling my buddy wow exactly 8 minutes to go and all the defense needs to do is prevent OSU from scoring 2 TDS. A 47 yard TD to a TE on a simple crossing pattern thrown 5 yards beyond the line of scrimmage this year against Michigan. An all Big Ten CB who is now playing for the Lions and has 5 picks this year drops a game clinching pick against MSU a few years ago.
 

The Spin Meister

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Nov 27, 2012
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An altered state
All the comments trying make a glass have full argument are laughable. 20 and 10 while being a top ten team just shows they did not deserve to be top ten. Which proves my point in a previous post. Franklin has beat one top 15 team since OSU. That was an overrated Washington team. No top ten wins other than the fluke block field goal. 🤪🤪

FrankLin=overrated PERIOD.
Well, about half of those losses to Top Ten teams were to Top Five teams...or higher. Buckeyes are consistently Top Five when we play them and usually Top Three.
 

Ian

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Jul 8, 2001
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He can’t get a break (missed INTs) and can’t close in Q4 (sub par OL play). Can he solve these two issues? The opportunity has been there but they haven’t been able to close the deal.

Another frustration is general prep and performance after bye weeks and playing down to the opponent.