James Franklin fires the fall guy for Michigan and Ohio State losses

James Franklin's Penn State Nittany Lions have moved on from offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich after they failed to do much of anything from an offensive perspective vs. Michigan.
James Franklin, Penn State Nittany Lions
James Franklin, Penn State Nittany Lions / G Fiume/GettyImages

Something had to give after Penn State's latest loss to Michigan on Saturday afternoon.

While head coach James Franklin is getting the bulk of the blame, he has moved on from Mike Yurcich as his offensive coordinator in the wake of the Nittany Lions defeat. Franklin may have had success previously at Vanderbilt and early in his Penn State tenure, but he has had a miserable time of late vs. his rivals.

Although the Big Ten is going away with divisions next year once Oregon, UCLA, USC and Washington join the league coming over from the Pac-12, Penn State will still probably need to beat Michigan and Ohio State with any regularity to make the expanded College Football Playoff. While moving on from Yurcich could help the offense reset a bit, Franklin is still a major problem for them.

Penn State seems to have hit its ceiling under Franklin. His teams can win upwards of 10 games a regular season, but when they have to go up against Michigan, Ohio State or anybody else who is having a great year in division, the Nittany Lions don't stand a chance. The shame in it all is that they have great players on both sides of the ball, as well as a really talented defense led by Manny Diaz.

Although I get Yurcich being the fall guy, I don't get why Franklin makes as much money as he does.

James Franklin fires Penn State offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich

Now that Jimbo Fisher is out of a job at Texas A&M, nobody gets paid more to do less with greater talent than Franklin in State College. Although Franklin is technically having Penn State hovering around being the Top 15 program they are all time, it can't be this shamelessly lopsided in annual rivalry games vs. the likes of Michigan and Ohio State. Texas A&M is not on Penn State's level historically.

I am not saying Penn State is going to put Franklin on the hot seat, but Nittany Lions fans have to feel like they are being sold a bill of goods. In the age of the four-team College Football Playoff, you can easily argue that Penn State has been the best program over the last decade that has not gotten to a national semifinal. Lesser teams have had pop years and gotten in, yet Penn State still underwhelms.

If Yurcich was that important to the operation, we would not have forgotten that he was working for Franklin up until Sunday afternoon. With Penn State, we get great tradition and recruiting constantly, as well as a tremendously sound defense led by Diaz. He may not get promoted from within, but you can see the impact Diaz has had on this team on a regular basis, while Franklin collects the checks.

Penn State may win the rest of its games this year, but once again, it lost the two it could not afford.

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