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Report: James Franklin expected to become Penn State head coach

James-Franklin-assistants-hot-wivesJames Franklin is reportedly expected to become the next head coach at Penn State, as first reported by Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports.

Franklin has been the head coach at Vanderbilt since 2011, where he has led the Commodores to back-to-back top-25 finishes over the past two seasons. Vanderbilt has also won bowl games in each of its last two seasons and gone 18-8 in the SEC during that span. Prior to Franklin’s arrival, the team won just 13 SEC games in 10 years.

Last month, Franklin was one of a number of names that was rumored to be in connection with the USC job. That position went to former Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian. When Bill O’Brien left Penn State for the Houston Texans last week, Franklin immediately became a candidate for the Penn State job. Franklin’s departure will not please Vanderbilt alum Brandt Snedeker, who recently made the coach a unique offer:

It was only a matter of time before Franklin left Vanderbilt for a more high-profile job. He has certainly earned the right.

James Franklin, Chris Petersen reportedly top candidates for USC coaching job

James FranklinJames Franklin and Chris Petersen are two of the top candidates for the USC Trojans coaching vacancy, and the job could be filled as early as this week, according to a report.

ESPN’s Joe Schad reported the story and also says USC would like to try convincing current interim head coach Ed Orgeron to stay on as in some capacity. ESPN LA’s Arash Markazi says USC is prepared to make Orgeron the highest-paid assistant and an associate head coach.

Franklin is believed to be the top candidate and it’s easy to see why. He has led Vanderbilt to back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1974-75. Vandy went 6-7 in his first season, 9-4 last year, and 8-4 this season. He is a high-energy, spirited coach much like Pete Carroll. And it’s pretty obvious that he can work wonders with a program.

Petersen has been the head coach at Boise State for eight seasons and has led the Broncos to a 92-12 record. He has rebuffed multiple offers in the past, but the USC job could be intriguing. He might also feel more open to leaving after a down season at Boise State (they’re 8-4).

CBS Sports’ Bruce Feldman says he heard from sources that USC could make runs at the Harbaugh brothers. But Feldman believes USC is most intrigued by Petersen and Washington coach Steve Sarkisian, who was a Trojans assistant.

The Trojans were also believed to be interested in Kevin Sumlin, but he agreed to a big extension with Texas A&M.

Franklin certainly seems like the most viable candidate to me. Not only does he seem qualified for the position, but he’s at a school where moving to USC would be a clear upgrade. In other words, he might be more likely to accept the offer than some of the other candidates.

James Franklin tells fan he will call his boss so he can attend Vanderbilt opener

James-Franklin-assistants-hot-wivesVanderbilt football coach James Franklin has a tremendous sense of humor. He is one of the funnier coaches in sports to follow on Twitter, but he clearly wasn’t joking when he offered to call a fan’s boss on Tuesday.

The Vanderbilt alum, who goes by the Twitter handle @jrdavis75, sent a tweet complaining about how he is a season ticket holder and his boss would not let him have the night off for Vandy’s home opener against Ole Miss. Franklin caught wind of the dilemma and offered to help.

This is the same James Franklin who pretended to make out with one of his own players and said he would only hire assistant coaches who met this controversial criteria, so we have no doubt he would actually do something quirky like this. The question is will the boss be star struck by Franklin’s phone call or pissed that his employee tried to manipulate him. Hopefully the former is true.

H/T Clay Travis

James Franklin apologizes for calling Nick Saban ‘Nicky Satan’ (Video)

James FranklinVanderbilt football coach James Franklin phoned Nick Saban to apologize for calling the Alabama coach “Nicky Satan” while speaking at a Georgia high school banquet on Monday.

Video of Franklin speaking at the Macon (Ga.) Central High School fall sports banquet went viral on Wednesday, leading the Vandy coach to smooth things out with the Crimson Tide coach.

“There’s this guy at Alabama, I think his name is ‘Nicky Satan,’” Franklin said during his speech. “I think you guys have probably heard of him before. I’m going to outwork him. I’m going to outwork him. And that’s kind of our plan every single day.”

Though Franklin’s words may have backfired, they did serve a purpose. Franklin got Central linebacker Nigel Bowden to commit to the Commodores, so he was definitely playing to the audience. Bowden even referenced Franklin’s passion when he spoke.

“This man right here has so much passion,” said Bowden. “And I believe this is a man I can look up to for four years. He is what he says he is. He walks the walk and talks the talk. I’ve never met anybody with so much energy and so much passion with what they do.”

After the video went viral, Franklin called Saban to apologize for what he called a “joke.”

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James Franklin pretends to make out with one of his players (Video)

james-franklin-kissJames Franklin was so thrilled after Vanderbilt safety Eric Samuels made an interception in the Music City Bowl on Monday, he pretended to make out with his player on the team’s sidelines.

According to Dr. Saturday, N.C. State returned a kickoff for a touchdown to cut Vanderbilt’s lead to 21-14, and Vandy punted before Samuels made the pick and returned it to the 18. The interception set up Vandy’s fourth touchdown of the half. The Commodores went on to win the game 38-24 for their first nine-win season since 1915.

The only kiss we’ve seen on a college football field that was bigger than that one came from Mark Richt last November.

Vanderbilt coach James Franklin will only hire assistant coaches with hot wives

If there are any football coaches out there who were planning to apply for a position at Vanderbilt, be sure to bring along a photo of your wife to your interview with Vandy head coach James Franklin. Unless, of course, your wife isn’t a looker. If that is the case and you really want the job, you had better show up with a photo of a good-looking woman. Otherwise, you need not apply.

As CoachingSearch.com shared with us (via Dr. Saturday), Franklin recently revealed one of his most important criteria for hiring assistant coaches, and it has nothing to do with football IQ.

“I’ve been saying it for a long time, I will not hire an assistant until I see his wife,” Franklin said during an interview with Clay Travis of 104.5 The Zone. “If she looks the part and she’s a D-I recruit, then you got a chance to get hired. That’s part of the deal. There’s a very strong correlation between having the confidence, going up and talking to a woman, and being quick on your feet and having some personality and confidence and being articulate and confident, than it is walking into a high school and recruiting a kid and selling him.”

Franklin says the movie “Moneyball” spoke directly to him when scouts were talking about how the lack of an attractive girlfriend can indicate a player has confidence issues. Maybe Franklin is onto something. Lane Kiffin seems to have no problem landing top recruits, and have you taken a look at his wife? For what it’s worth, Franklin backtracked on Thursday afternoon.

“My foot doesn’t taste good, I hope I did not offend (anyone),” he wrote on his Twitter account. “I love (and) respect ALL. Have a great day, enjoy the (family) and don’t forget to #AnchorDown.”

No worries, James — Steve Spurrier’s coaching criteria may still have yours beat.

James Franklin on Tennessee’s Celebration: They’re Acting Like They Won the Super Bowl

Vanderbilt coach James Franklin heard about Tennessee’s locker room celebration Saturday, and he’s not happy about it. The Vols beat state rival Vandy 27-21 in overtime, and coach Derek Dooley celebrated by saying the one thing Tennessee always does is kick the **** out of Vandy. Franklin said on Monday that he had heard about the video, but that he hadn’t seen it. He also said it reflected poorly on Tennessee rather than Vanderbilt.

“We’ll talk about it next year – a lot,” Franklin said. “We’ll talk about it as much as you guys want to talk about it next year. We’ll watch it as many times as we’ve got to watch it next year. That’s a wound that I’m going to leave open that’s not going to heal. We’ll leave it open for a year and we’ll discuss it next year.

“I look at it as respect. Some people act like they won the Super Bowl and they beat a team that the two previous years had won four games total. Obviously, we are closing the gap and threatening some people and making some people uncomfortable. We’ll see. We’ll leave it at that. We’ll move on. But we’ll have a lot of discussion about this next year when the time is right.”

It’s a great response from Franklin who obviously is upset with the video. Dooley’s speech wasn’t intended to reach the public, but it did. Now he has to realize that Vandy will have extra motivation for their game next season.

Here is a video of Franklin’s response via Outkick the Coverage:

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