The current mood in the Valley in central PA is definitely not Happy. The Nittany Lions and James Franklin bring an 0-4 record to Happy Valley to host the 2-2 Hawkeyes from Iowa. Under normal circumstances and years, the Hawkeyes would be limping home but this year is far from normal and Penn State desperately needs a win to get the 0 -fer monkey off their backs.
The fans are beginning to get anxious and there are whispers that Franklin should be fired. Let’s just take a look at that from a football perspective. Currently The Nittany Lions are 56-27 under Coach Franklin’s tutelage. Not the greatest but by far not the worst. That is an average of just under 8 wins a season. In their last 4 games, 3 are definitely winnable, Iowa, Rutgers, and Michigan State. With a bit of luck their 4th can be won at Michigan. If they don’t turn this around soon, even the cardboard fans may boycott.
Now let’s look at this from the financial/ school’s viewpoint. Franklin has a marvelous agent. He has a 6 year $38.2 million dollar contract that is fully guaranteed. If the University were to fire Franklin, he would get his current contract multiplied by the years left on the deal. This year 5. He basically has a firm encampment to coach in Happy Valley for at least 4 years. That would bring the University past the Mendoza line and could save face. Looking at this in a combined viewpoint. Neither Franklin nor the school wants it to get that far. Franklin would have a hard time finding a new job and PSU would have their first prolonged losing stretch in a while. My thoughts, Franklin starts the turnaround this Saturday and gets close to .500 this crazy year. But even if he loses out, he will still have a good recruiting class, it is Penn State. The ship will be righted either in next 4 games or next year, either way Franklin has a job and the cardboard people are happy. If not, the Valley would look like this:
So let’s remember WE ARE!!!!