USC’s job opening has become the talk of the college football world ever since the university fired Clay Helton on Monday. There have been plenty of candidates linked to the job, but there’s one in particular that continues to be brought up.
According to Dan Patrick, Penn State head coach James Franklin and USC football have “mutual interest” regarding the program’s head coaching vacancy.
“By all accounts he’s done a nice job there, you know it’s the next challenge,” Patrick said. “A lot of these coaches think ‘I’m done with this, next challenge.’ Maybe that’s the case, I don’t know. But there’s going to be a lot of names you’re going to hear.”
Franklin has been a popular coaching candidate for several years. His success at Vanderbilt earned him an opportunity at Penn State, where he’s been since the 2014 season.
If the Trojans are looking to hit a home run with their next hire, there aren’t many options out there better than Franklin.
This is the year. James Franklin has improved so much under this new Nittany Lion offense. He’s focused. He’s having fun. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s a dark horse for the USC coaching job… https://t.co/Uy7JALu9Q5
— SportsTalkSEC (@SportsTalk_SEC) September 15, 2021
Franklin isn’t universally considered an elite coach, but there’s definitely a sizable portion of college football fans who believe he can elevate a program.
Unpopular opinion apparently:
James Franklin is one of the best head coaches in college football https://t.co/ftHwjWxnKE
— StandingRoomSpartans (@StandingRoomMSU) September 15, 2021
As you’d expect, Penn State fans aren’t buying this report from Patrick.
“Everyone say it with me: James Franklin is not leaving Penn State for USC,” one fan said.
Everyone say it with me James Franklin is not leaving Penn State for USC. https://t.co/tu5Eb11xsA
— Dear Old State (@_DearOldState) September 13, 2021
“James Franklin is from PA. His dream job is to be the HC at Penn State,” another fan said. “He’s built PSU into a consistent top 10 program in the Big Ten. Has the current no. 1 recruiting class in ‘22. Is the 7th highest paid coach in CFB. Why would he leave all of this for USC?”
James Franklin is from PA. His dream job is to be the HC at Penn State. He’s built PSU into a consistent top 10 program in the B1G. Has the current no. 1 recruiting class in ‘22. Is the 7th highest paid coach in CFB.
Why would he leave all of this for USC? Foolish reporting. https://t.co/gpEu0uUXOv
— Bryce Zielinski (@zbryce21) September 15, 2021
Franklin hasn’t responded to these rumors because he’s currently focused on Penn State’s upcoming matchup against Auburn.
Make no mistake, though, Franklin’s name will continue to be linked to USC’s job vacancy for the foreseeable future.