With Penn State Nittany Lions head coach Bill O’Brien interviewing with the Houston Texans and the two parties are working on a deal and ESPN saying the second-year head coach in Happy Valley is considering the favorite it appears it’s a matter of when and not if he leaves Penn State for the NFL.
Should the two parties come to an agreement and O’Brien heads to the richer pastures of the NFL the coaching carousel will once again be spinning with potential candidates and wishlists and Ty Duffy from the Big Lead, wonders if Vanderbilt Commodore’s head coach James Franklin could replace him at Penn State.
I have championed for Franklin to get looks when the USC Trojans job was vacant and for the Texas Longhorns should they move past their initial wave of candidates. Naturally, should Penn State open, I’d champion him for that job as well.
Duffy points out that Vanderbilt may have maxed out the past three seasons that have resulted in three bowl appearances and 23 wins with a chance to make it 24 vs. Houston in the BBVA Compass Bowl in January and “his stock won’t get any higher.”
Franklin has ties to Pennsylvania where he was born in Langhorne, Pa and played quarterback at East Stroudsburg. He has major college coaching experience in the area after two coaching stints with the Maryland Terrapins that spanned eight years, so he has a recruiting footprint in the northeast.
While this is all premature, because for the time being Bill O’Brien is still the head coach at Penn State, but if and when that time comes Franklin could be the guy to carry out the rebuilding job O’Brien started.