To troll or not to troll? That is the Q: "Some of u are remembering a JoePaterno who never existed"

ChiTownLion

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May 29, 2001
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The Penn State football beat consists of many good, hard-working reporters, however there seems to be an emerging group of lazy, click-bait reporters who rely on the comments section to chum the waters with cheap, clickbait headlines.

Exhibit A: Adam Bittner in this Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story, which I refuse to link, but here is the tweet:
Analysis: James Franklin-Joe Paterno comparisons require a reality check

James Franklin is not Joe Paterno’s immediate successor as Penn State coach. Bill O’Brien held the job between the two. That fact hasn’t saved him from unfavorable comparisons to major college football’s winningest coach.

The Twitter account @RealPennLive has become an essential follow because of how succinctly it captures the id of the Penn State fan base. By posting just a few real comments from PennLive.com, a popular source for news among fans in the central part of the state, it conveys knee-jerk reactions that permeate the entire group, often to the amusement — and sometimes exasperation — of those who know better.

Franklin’s perceived failure to live up to the Paterno standard is a theme that comes up often, as it did in the wake of the loss to Ohio State last month.
That loss, of course, only dropped the Nittany Lions to 9-2. They defeated Rutgers the following week to finish the regular season 10-2 and earn a spot in the Cotton Bowl, a New Year’s Six game a notch above the Outback in terms of prestige.

Our purpose here isn’t to tell you that someone got their facts wrong on the internet, though. It’s to scrutinize the larger perception — shared by many — of the program’s decline under Franklin.

In fact, there are few four-year spans in which Paterno was clearly more dominant than Franklin has been from 2016-19, during which time he’s averaged 10 wins, won a conference championship and made three New Year’s Six postseason appearances.

Paterno first rose to prominence with unbeaten records in 1968 and ‘69. He went 7-3 and 11-1 the following two years for an impressive combined record of 40-4. He was almost as good in the next four years, posting a combined record of 41-7.

From that point forward, he never averaged 10 wins or more in any subsequent four-year span.

Of course, there are more examples if you mix and match the time frames. Start at 1977 instead of ‘76, when Penn State went 7-5, and you get a 40-8 run through 1980. Start at 1991 and you get a 40-9 stretch through the perfect season of 1994. The periods of 2005-2008 and 2006-2009 both averaged exactly 10 wins, too.

You have to cherry pick history to come up with those, though. Across a 46-year tenure, they are more the exception than the norm. And none of them really stand out from Franklin’s 41-11 mark since 2016, during a time he’s benefited from a 13-game schedule, including the bowl, but also suffered from having to play nine of those games in the conference and as many as five of those on the road. Paterno never did.

In fact, Paterno didn’t have to play in a conference at all until the latter portion of his tenure, when Penn State joined the Big Ten. Once he did, his results were exactly what our @RealPennLive posters are trying to crush Franklin for.

From 1993 until 2010, Paterno’s last full season as head coach before getting fired amid the Jerry Sandusky scandal mid-2011, he averaged 3.8 losses per season. Throw in the mediocre seasons from his last national title in 1986 until conference membership and that figure is the same over the last quarter century of his career.

He also did not qualify for New Year’s Six bowls in three out of four seasons any time after 1982.

Put another way, you’d have to be no younger than your early to mid 40s to remember a Penn State program that was as consistently good as Franklin’s has been of late.

That’s not an indictment of Paterno by any means. (At least as far as his on-field record is concerned.) He won three Big Ten championships in his later years, and those teams were among his best. There were plenty of results to be proud of.

That said, if Franklin is going to be graded on a Paterno scale, then the scale needs to be based in reality. A reality where Paterno was one of the most dominant coaches in the sport over a period of 15 or so years before fading into merely being a really good one.

The world in which Penn State was winning 11 and 12 games every single season for decades has simply never existed. Three-loss seasons are not a new norm. They’re an old one that Franklin is making progress toward changing for the better.

That is why the smart money at Penn State has given him a new contract to fend off suitors that reportedly included historical powers Florida State and USC. University leadership agrees with the market about his value.

Maybe some day, the fans will, too.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

My opinion: Adam is trying to fabricate a fight between Paterno loyalists against Franklin supporters. What he does not realize (because he is so detached from reality by relying on PennLive comments to justify his position), is that us fellow JoeBots are among the biggest supporters of James Franklin. So don't fall for the bait and consider telling Adam that he doesn't have to put on the red light.
 

AldenT

Well-Known Member
Jan 27, 2016
1,680
2,110
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The Penn State football beat consists of many good, hard-working reporters, however there seems to be an emerging group of lazy, click-bait reporters who rely on the comments section to chum the waters with cheap, clickbait headlines.

Exhibit A: Adam Bittner in this Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story, which I refuse to link, but here is the tweet:

Analysis: James Franklin-Joe Paterno comparisons require a reality check

James Franklin is not Joe Paterno’s immediate successor as Penn State coach. Bill O’Brien held the job between the two. That fact hasn’t saved him from unfavorable comparisons to major college football’s winningest coach.

The Twitter account @RealPennLive has become an essential follow because of how succinctly it captures the id of the Penn State fan base. By posting just a few real comments from PennLive.com, a popular source for news among fans in the central part of the state, it conveys knee-jerk reactions that permeate the entire group, often to the amusement — and sometimes exasperation — of those who know better.

Franklin’s perceived failure to live up to the Paterno standard is a theme that comes up often, as it did in the wake of the loss to Ohio State last month.


That loss, of course, only dropped the Nittany Lions to 9-2. They defeated Rutgers the following week to finish the regular season 10-2 and earn a spot in the Cotton Bowl, a New Year’s Six game a notch above the Outback in terms of prestige.

Our purpose here isn’t to tell you that someone got their facts wrong on the internet, though. It’s to scrutinize the larger perception — shared by many — of the program’s decline under Franklin.

In fact, there are few four-year spans in which Paterno was clearly more dominant than Franklin has been from 2016-19, during which time he’s averaged 10 wins, won a conference championship and made three New Year’s Six postseason appearances.

Paterno first rose to prominence with unbeaten records in 1968 and ‘69. He went 7-3 and 11-1 the following two years for an impressive combined record of 40-4. He was almost as good in the next four years, posting a combined record of 41-7.

From that point forward, he never averaged 10 wins or more in any subsequent four-year span.

Of course, there are more examples if you mix and match the time frames. Start at 1977 instead of ‘76, when Penn State went 7-5, and you get a 40-8 run through 1980. Start at 1991 and you get a 40-9 stretch through the perfect season of 1994. The periods of 2005-2008 and 2006-2009 both averaged exactly 10 wins, too.

You have to cherry pick history to come up with those, though. Across a 46-year tenure, they are more the exception than the norm. And none of them really stand out from Franklin’s 41-11 mark since 2016, during a time he’s benefited from a 13-game schedule, including the bowl, but also suffered from having to play nine of those games in the conference and as many as five of those on the road. Paterno never did.

In fact, Paterno didn’t have to play in a conference at all until the latter portion of his tenure, when Penn State joined the Big Ten. Once he did, his results were exactly what our @RealPennLive posters are trying to crush Franklin for.

From 1993 until 2010, Paterno’s last full season as head coach before getting fired amid the Jerry Sandusky scandal mid-2011, he averaged 3.8 losses per season. Throw in the mediocre seasons from his last national title in 1986 until conference membership and that figure is the same over the last quarter century of his career.

He also did not qualify for New Year’s Six bowls in three out of four seasons any time after 1982.

Put another way, you’d have to be no younger than your early to mid 40s to remember a Penn State program that was as consistently good as Franklin’s has been of late.

That’s not an indictment of Paterno by any means. (At least as far as his on-field record is concerned.) He won three Big Ten championships in his later years, and those teams were among his best. There were plenty of results to be proud of.

That said, if Franklin is going to be graded on a Paterno scale, then the scale needs to be based in reality. A reality where Paterno was one of the most dominant coaches in the sport over a period of 15 or so years before fading into merely being a really good one.

The world in which Penn State was winning 11 and 12 games every single season for decades has simply never existed. Three-loss seasons are not a new norm. They’re an old one that Franklin is making progress toward changing for the better.

That is why the smart money at Penn State has given him a new contract to fend off suitors that reportedly included historical powers Florida State and USC. University leadership agrees with the market about his value.

Maybe some day, the fans will, too.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

My opinion: Adam is trying to fabricate a fight between Paterno loyalists against Franklin supporters. What he does not realize (because he is so detached from reality by relying on PennLive comments to justify his position), is that us fellow JoeBots are among the biggest supporters of James Franklin. So don't fall for the bait and consider telling Adam that he doesn't have to put on the red light.

90 percent of us would have never known that article existed without you pointing it out. Thanks for linking it and then telling everyone not to “take the bait”, then completely taking the bait yourself. Reminds me of your “hey guys totally ignore this Dan Bernstein guy I’m linking to, whom you otherwise wouldn’t know” period.

If you think he’s a troll stop engaging.
 

NittanyIllinois

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Aug 17, 2019
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I mean, do what you want.

But what is the upside in engaging with this clown? He's merely trying to generate clicks and outrage, because this is the extent of his desperation to be relevant in the minds of somebody other than his mother.

Just the content of his posts betray sheer stupidity. "Penn State Outback Lions". Snap! Seeing as though we haven't been to the Outback Bowl in years -- and have now gone to better bowls in 4 straight seasons -- it's a comment designed to do one thing: provoke people to take the bait.

Don't do it.
 

Shadow99

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Dec 2, 2017
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Of course, there are more examples if you mix and match the time frames. Start at 1977 instead of ‘76, when Penn State went 7-5, and you get a 40-8 run through 1980. Start at 1991 and you get a 40-9 stretch through the perfect season of 1994. The periods of 2005-2008 and 2006-2009 both averaged exactly 10 wins, too.
So two separate periods, 2005 to 2008 and 2006 to 2009 LOL...
The things people do for statistics! ;)
 

NittanyIllinois

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Aug 17, 2019
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This guy could have translated the Magna Carta into Mandarin Chinese for all I care. The validity -- or not -- of his current point pales in comparison to his overall stupidity and amateurism. And there is absolutely zero value in giving buffoons like this a second's worth of attention.

No-namers like this rely on being provocative and over-the-top to generate buzz. There's absolutely nothing gained in playing his game.

People like this were born for obscurity.
 

Cpeplion

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Feb 8, 2014
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If people are being honest here...how many people get together on gamedays either at the game or in the living room or even in our everyday lives and compare Paterno to Franklin? Of all the people I’ve met, all the alumni that I randomly meet here in Virginia, all of the people I’ve sat beside at games or in the bus to games or parked beside at games...never..not one time has the conversation drifted to comparing Paterno to Franklin.
 

nits74

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May 14, 2010
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I think he’s trying to point out how unfair a portion of our fan base has been to Franklin. I think you are way off base here.
If so, he's referring to an extremely small portion of the fan base. He wasn't trying to point out anything, rather he's looking to stir up something that really "doesn't exist". Notice how he takes a shot at Joe parenthetically. That's his main purpose here.
 

odshowtime

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Aug 17, 2017
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If so, he's referring to an extremely small portion of the fan base. He wasn't trying to point out anything, rather he's looking to stir up something that really "doesn't exist". Notice how he takes a shot at Joe parenthetically. That's his main purpose here.

The main purpose is to exploit the Penn State Nittany Lions and their fans for clicks and money. It's a cottage industry since 2011 and it's not going anywhere.
 

MJG-90

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Jan 23, 2018
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If so, he's referring to an extremely small portion of the fan base. He wasn't trying to point out anything, rather he's looking to stir up something that really "doesn't exist". Notice how he takes a shot at Joe parenthetically. That's his main purpose here.

He’s a Penn Stater, so if he has an agenda I doubt it’s intentionally anything sinister.
 

millerjs32

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Sep 11, 2006
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90 percent of us would have never known that article existed without you pointing it out. Thanks for linking it and then telling everyone not to “take the bait”, then completely taking the bait yourself. Reminds me of your “hey guys totally ignore this Dan Bernstein guy I’m linking to, whom you otherwise wouldn’t know” period.

If you think he’s a troll stop engaging.
True

And how about this dig "That’s not an indictment of Paterno by any means. (At least as far as his on-field record is concerned.)"
WTF
 

MJG-90

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Jan 23, 2018
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So because he went to penn state he cant be sinister about it? You ever hear Kim jones? Or did you ever go to high school with kids that hated the football team?

I’ve read enough of his stuff to have an opinion. Sorry it isn’t aligned with yours. Have at it.
 

AWS1022

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Nov 12, 2011
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If people are being honest here...how many people get together on gamedays either at the game or in the living room or even in our everyday lives and compare Paterno to Franklin? Of all the people I’ve met, all the alumni that I randomly meet here in Virginia, all of the people I’ve sat beside at games or in the bus to games or parked beside at games...never..not one time has the conversation drifted to comparing Paterno to Franklin.
I don’t think it’s about that...it’s about people who don’t think Franklin has gotten the program back to the level Paterno had us when in fact the level wasn’t quite as high as those people think it was.
 

Monlion

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Jul 9, 2001
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However, I do see a lot of this on this board...selective memory of a program that didn’t really exist is pretty frequent here.
Exactly, some posters on this board act like we are 6 years removed from 1986 instead of the tail end of the second worst sanctions in the history of college football. Funny thing though is that Joe went 48 and 23 in the six years after 1986 and coach Franklin is 55-23 in his 6 years. Don't get me wrong, I love Joe, I have his picture along with my parents and family on the wall of my den, but some people have unrealistic expectations. I believe Coach Franklin is the perfect person to carry on Joe's legacy.
 

Cpeplion

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Feb 8, 2014
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I don’t think it’s about that...it’s about people who don’t think Franklin has gotten the program back to the level Paterno had us when in fact the level wasn’t quite as high as those people think it was.
It would depend on the era imho..80-99 level...no...but he gotten it higher that any at any point between 2000-2011.
 

83wuzme

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Apr 27, 2005
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Nothing surprised me more than the post 2004 turnaround. Then again, coaches approaching 80 with declining programs usually don’t even get the chance to turn things around. It seemed to me that Joe sort of let go the reins starting in 2005. As a result, we had no more losing seasons under Joe and won the BIG in 2005 and 2008. Having long term, very good assistant coaches made the difference.
I wanted Joe to retire after the Rose Bowl in 1995. It seemed the ideal time. He had even considered retiring way back in 1983 after the Championship and running for office. I think Joe was always trying to please his Dad, even after his Dad was gone, and that his Dad wanted him to be more than a football coach.
I think Franklin has done a very solid job, especially considering what he had to start with.
 

kijanacat

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Nov 21, 2015
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There are Ohio State fans who feel Woody Hayes was the greatest and these recent coaches are fakes. Same for Bear Bryant and Darrell Royal. So it is with Joe Paterno but I certainly don't detect any thing extraordinary about that emotion. Pretty normal. Don't know why this guy needs to make this point. However, Joe elevated the program from oblivion to the status of National Power. He also won two championships and should have had four more (1968, 1968, 1973 and 1994). Is it any wonder he is well loved and respected by the Penn State crowd. Franklin will have his day and our fans will recognize his achievements but a statistical comparison is total nonsense. The game has changed and the money is now at the point of insanity.
 

ram2020

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Jul 29, 2013
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I’ve read enough of his stuff to have an opinion. Sorry it isn’t aligned with yours. Have at it.

Well that's different, if you have read his work and dont think he is anti Paterno then cool, I'm just saying because he has his degree from penn state doesnt mean he cant hate Paterno or the football team. Had at it.
 
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WyomingLion

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I love Franklin and I believe that he is the right guy for Penn State. However, do you want a higher average number of wins per year or would you prefer every few years an undefeated season? People manipulate numbers for their own agenda. I think most on this board would sell their soul for being undefeated. I think Franklin Can get us there even in a completely out of balance college football world tilted toward the beauty contest winners. I also think going undefeated every few years is preferable to equal “average wins” regardless of what some dimwit “journalist “ would have you believe. Zips up fire suit. Carry on.
 
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Nittany Ziggy

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Exactly, some posters on this board act like we are 6 years removed from 1986 instead of the tail end of the second worst sanctions in the history of college football. Funny thing though is that Joe went 48 and 23 in the six years after 1986 and coach Franklin is 55-23 in his 6 years. Don't get me wrong, I love Joe, I have his picture along with my parents and family on the wall of my den, but some people have unrealistic expectations. I believe Coach Franklin is the perfect person to carry on Joe's legacy.
HMMMM...
48-23 = 71 Games played
55-23 = 78 Games played
Wanna compare winning percentages? LOL,
BBWWWWAAAAAHHHAAAHAHAHAHAHAN
Got Math?
 

DonP74

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Joe was 66-67 years old when we finally got into the BIG. He wasn't what he had been in his first 20 seasons in terms of wins.

Coach Franklin may not be coaching at age 66 because by 55 years of age he'll be riding off with a boat load of money.
 
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michnittlion

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Sep 3, 2003
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There is nothing wrong with that article. Not a single damn thing.

Seriously, I sometimes think that the OP ACTIVELY LOOKS to be insulted.
 

mgkpsu

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Nov 30, 2005
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HMMMM...
48-23 = 71 Games played
55-23 = 78 Games played
Wanna compare winning percentages? LOL,
BBWWWWAAAAAHHHAAAHAHAHAHAHAN
Got Math?
And why do some people ignore the fact that a large portion of Paterno's career only saw the team play 10-12 games per year, versus 13?
 
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RU31trap

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Here’s the thing guys, it is very difficult to compete against two national championships and five undefeated seasons (two being back to back). Joe Paterno was able to afford 3 loss seasons during his down years because he won at the very highest level (National Championships) and achieved excellence five times. Please don’t misconstrue what I’m saying here, Coach Franklin is very capable of going undefeated and winning a National Championship, but not with the kids he’s recruiting. It will take an SEC recruiting approach to get there and in my humble opinion that’s the real argument. Will Franklin bring in enough of these kids to beat Ohio State and get a crack at Clemson, LSU or Oklahoma? If yes, you’ll go undefeated and win a National Championship and then the comparison will be put to rest. JMHO
 
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ChiTownLion

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If people are being honest here...how many people get together on gamedays either at the game or in the living room or even in our everyday lives and compare Paterno to Franklin? Of all the people I’ve met, all the alumni that I randomly meet here in Virginia, all of the people I’ve sat beside at games or in the bus to games or parked beside at games...never..not one time has the conversation drifted to comparing Paterno to Franklin.
Just catching up on the responses right now but glad that somebody totally got the message.
 

marshall23

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May 23, 2013
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I'm a 60 year fan of PSU Football and a dyed in the wool, charter member of the JVP Fan Club. A proud JoeBot.
My adult sons cut their teeth on PSU/JVP football. We used to make a trek to spring football and visit every year.
We have never sat and watched a game and said, Joe would have done this or that and it would/was better.......never.
I coached HS football and like most of my era, we ran the I and lived by 3 yards, a cloud of dust and punt for field position. I visit a game at my old school now and people ask me how I enjoy the spread and 40 passes a game....I smile and say, I enjoy it, its just a different game.
I think for me its like the great heavy weight champions....they were the best of and for their era.
After 60 years reality forces you to let go of many, many things.
There will never be another Joe Paterno for me. I'm thankful for each season, each triumph and how he brought PSU and Eastern Football to the national stage.
James Franklin, has had to overcome a great deal more than Joe did in his early career here. The demands are so much more complex. The scrutiny is beyond intense.
CJF had me from the day he was introduced and uttered "The Great Joe Paterno...." and put the icing on the cake at the PinStripe Bowl when he corrected the critics about PSU "Culture." James has respected the rock solid foundation Joe built the program on and is well on his way to putting the finishing touches on the Franklin Mint.
Joe is gone, like so many things I cherished in my 70 years during this existence. James Franklin is my coach and PSU is still my team of choice. Its a different game, and I enjoy it.
 

marshall23

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May 23, 2013
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So because he went to penn state he cant be sinister about it? You ever hear Kim jones? Or did you ever go to high school with kids that hated the football team?
I not only was on the football team.....but eventually became a teacher/coach. Do I need to tell anyone here why I never went in the faculty room?
 
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AWS1022

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Here’s the thing guys, it is very difficult to compete against two national championships and five undefeated seasons (two being back to back). Joe Paterno was able to afford 3 loss seasons during his down years because he won at the very highest level (National Championships) and achieved excellence five times. Please don’t misconstrue what I’m saying here, Coach Franklin is very capable of going undefeated and winning a National Championship, but not with the kids he’s recruiting. It will take an SEC recruiting approach to get there and in my humble opinion that’s the real argument. Will Franklin bring in enough of these kids to beat Ohio State and get a crack at Clemson, LSU or Oklahoma? If yes, you’ll go undefeated and win a National Championship and then the comparison will be put to rest. JMHO
It’s a different time...you can’t evenly compare Paterno and Franklin. Scholarship limitations, televising almost every game, all the bowl games....these things have all changed recruiting. Also, PSU playing in a conference as opposed to being independent makes it different as well. Paterno was a great coach no doubt, but would he have accomplished the NC’s and the undefeated seasons in today’s game along with taking over a sanctioned riddled team? Maybe, but we’ll never know.