Cavalcade of Whimsy: Transfer QBs, James Franklin & The Most Interesting Conference

Cavalcade of Whimsy: Transfer QBs, James Franklin & The Most Interesting Conference

Cavalcade of Whimsy

Cavalcade of Whimsy: Transfer QBs, James Franklin & The Most Interesting Conference


Transfer quarterbacks, James Franklin, the most interesting college football conference in the world, and the big things to take away from Week 5 … in the Cavalcade of Whimsy.


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Sorry if this column sucks, it’s not my fault …

It has gotten comfortable being great. It will no longer be comfortable being great. It’s not an elite column yet.

And no, no matter what Ohio State might tweet out, it won’t be silent.

But if they were good at all of those things, they wouldn’t have gone to Penn State …

No matter who you are or what your position in this world is, you should get a free pass to be irrationally grouchy and say whatever you want for 30 minutes right after 1) your car just got towed – I feel you, Britt McHenry – 2) you get home and, apparently, the words “for the love of GOD, whatever you do, absolutely NO cilantro” didn’t apply to the kid with the overgauged lobes handling your takeout order (especially after you tipped him for doing nothing more than answering the phone and handing you a bag), and 3) your team just lost a really, really, really big game after you royally screwed up.

I like James Franklin, and I can’t for the life of me figure out why he keeps being thrown into the “overrated” pile.

Remember, when he took over the gig, Penn State was being steamrolled by the NCAA. The program was teetering on the cusp of a near-death experience, starting with a bowl ban.

Franklin came in and didn’t care, wouldn’t allow for any excuses, recruited his tail off, and came up with two straight 11-3 seasons and a Big Ten title after two good-enough 7-6 campaigns.

You want to argue this? You think it’s easy to rebuild through sanctions? Three letters: U, S, C.

And yes, I hold the unwavering belief that if a college player screws up on the field, doesn’t play well, or makes a mistake of any sort, it’s the fault of the multi-millionaire adult head coach and his well-compensated staff.

However, in the heat of the moment right after a gut punch loss…

I sort of get it.

Maybe it’s because I’m in a holy war against the kids with my “it’s an A or it isn’t” philosophy on school and life – which is 100% total crap, but it seems like something Cliff Huxtable would say (Too soon! … Too soon!) – but Franklin’s rant isn’t necessarily wrong.

Of course the head man should be held accountable for the loss to Ohio State, and of course they should be ripped up for the unconscionable RP-NO! play call that took the game out of the hands of Trace McSorley – the best player on the field on Saturday night – but if this is how Franklin needed to send a message to his team, program, and future recruiting classes … okay.

It is about getting to class consistently. It is about getting to meetings on time. It is about having your phone turned off in the meetings. It’s not settling for getting a B in the class when you coulda got an A. It is about taking notes in every meeting … EVERY MEETING.

Was that the time to ramble about all of this right after the game? Yeah. Because there really is a razor-thin margin between being great and elite.

Great is getting to a New Year’s Six bowl game in each of the last two seasons. Elite is the College Football Playoff, and Penn State hasn’t been there yet.

Elite is Alabama. Elite is Clemson. Elite is Georgia. Elite is Oklahoma. And elite is that team that just came into your house and beat you by one point after also beating you by one last year.

No, James Franklin. You’re not a psychopath.

You’re a college football head coach, and you’re an elite one.

NEXT: Kelly Bryant and the transfer issue

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