Penn State Will Forget Bill O'Brien After Hire of James Franklin

By Connor Muldowney
James Franklin
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

With the departure of Bill O’Brien, the Penn State Nittany Lions were left searching for answers to the coaching problem. It wasn’t too long ago that Penn State was in the best coaching position possible with a legend, Joe Paterno, leading the way — as he had been for decades. However, a scandal cost him his job and the coaching search began and ended with O’Brien. Now, after he fled for the NFL, the Nittany Lions have reportedly hired James Franklin.

Many people are weary of the hire just because they struck gold with O’Brien and head coaching in Penn State is a tough job to have with as high of standards as the job calls for.

Why was the hire of Vanderbilt Commodores‘ James Franklin the best possible scenario for the Nittany Lions? How about the fact that he will make people in Happy Valley forget all about O’Brien. Sure, O’Brien was a great coach and could have been the next legend at the school, but Franklin in an up-and-coming coach that fits the system just as well.

Although he may not be the quarterback guru that O’Brien was, Franklin knows how to win and that will never be shunned in Happy Valley.

In three seasons as a head coach of Vanderbilt, a historically poor football program, the Pennsylvania-native — yes, he’s from Pennsylvania — took the Commodores to three bowl games. Why is this a big deal? Vanderbilt only made it to four bowl games in its history before he took over — oh yeah, and he doubled the school’s bowl victories while he was there.

Move over Bill O’Brien, James Franklin is going to make people forget you even faster than expected.

Connor Muldowney is a columnist for Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at

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