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Penn State HC Franklin says AD Kraft ‘Will Handle Strings’ of Bowl Lobbying

Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin November 12, 2022 David Hague/NSN

STATE COLLEGE, P.A.— Coach James Franklin, Athletic Director Pat Kraft No. 11 Penn State had a good day Saturday, and not just because it beat Michigan State, 35-16.

Of the 10 teams ranked ahead of Penn State, four of them; No. 9 Oregon, No. 8 Clemson, No. 5 LSU and No. 2 Ohio State, lost Saturday.

This means Penn State’s chances of playing in a  New Year’s Six bowl are significantly higher than they were before Saturday.

Penn State will find out who it plays against and when and where its bowl game will be soon enough. But for now, coach James Franklin is worried about meeting with his players, breaking down what went right and wrong against Michigan State and going after recruits.

First-year AD Kraft will focus on beating the drum to help get Penn State into the best possible bowl, Franklin told reporters after Saturday’s win.

“Pat will handle all these strings,” Franklin said in his postgame press conference.

Franklin went on to say that Kraft— who Penn State hired this past April to replace Sandy Barbour— “has tremendous experience” lobbying.

“The Big Ten will do everything they possibly can to help all the teams within the conference, getting the best situations we possibly can,” Franklin said. “There were some interesting games last week, some interesting games this week that impact us, put us in a more favorable position, but we’ll see how it plays out.”

For many, bowl games don’t mean what they used to. In this era of college football, players often opt out of the games to focus on the NFL Draft.

But for Franklin, getting to a major bowl still matters.

“You want to try to go to the biggest games you possibly can go to,” Franklin said. “Has it changed it?

Yeah, I think your point is a fair one. I think that’s why there’s so much talk about the expansion and the importance of the expansion.

“I think there’s been stuff that’s been put out. If they go to a 12-team (playoff) model like everybody says is going to happen, you know how many times we would have had a chance to be in there? But yeah, I get your point. I think it’s still important to go to the biggest and the best games you possibly can in the postseason, and whether that is the New Year’s Six bowl game or whatever, there’s still value in it.”
Penn State will find out its bowl fate next Sunday, Dec. 4.

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