Vanderbilt Commodores Hope James Franklin Does Not Leave for Penn State Nittany Lions

By Tim Letcher
Jeremy Brevard, USA TODAY SPORTS

Another week brings yet another rumor about James Franklin, head coach of the Vanderbilt Commodores. After finishing the season by beating the Houston Cougars in the BBVA Compass Bowl on Saturday, Franklin’s team finished with nine wins for the second straight season. And that’s quite an accomplishment at a place that has annually resided near the bottom of the Southeastern Conference standings.

With such success, bigger schools, with more money and better jobs, are bound to come calling. Franklin’s name surfaced in connection with the USC Trojans‘ job, as well as the head coaching position with the Texas Longhorns. Franklin was not hired in either of those places, but that does not mean that the rumors will stop.

In fact, the latest rumor may actually give Vanderbilt fans something to worry about. The Penn State Nittany Lions are looking for a head coach, and Franklin could be a nice fit in Happy Valley. It seemed that Penn State had hired Al Golden away from the Miami Hurricanes over the weekend, but that no longer appears to be the case.

Why would the Penn State job be more attractive for Franklin? Franklin is a native of Langhorne, Pa., which is about 200 miles from State College. Franklin got his bachelor’s degree from East Stroudsburg (Pa.) University in 1995, another factor proving that he has roots in the Keystone State.

It would also be an opportunity to rebuild one of college football’s brand names. To follow in the path of Joe Paterno, one of the true legends of the game. And to be the head coach of the most powerful university in his home state.

Vandy fans are worried about this potential suitor, and they should be.

Tim Letcher is a contributing writer for and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.


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