After games and before his Tuesday press conference, Penn State coach James Franklin begins with an opening statement.
He doesn’t do that for his weekly post-Wednesday practice media scrum.
Nope. He just gets right into it.
But on this particular Wednesday, Franklin wanted to set the record straight on comments he made at the previous day’s presser.
Franklin was asked if the College Football Playoff expanding from four teams to 12 starting next season would alter anything about the way Penn State approaches its out-of-conference scheduling.
The short answer Franklin gave was “no.” But in the longer answer, Franklin mentioned that he feels there’s a Big Ten team “that’s buying out of a ton of game contracts that are already signed, to go in the complete opposite direction.”
He didn’t say which school he was referring to, but well, Michigan fans thought he was talking about their favorite team.
James Franklin's face when Michigan goes into Happy Valley and wins by 50 pic.twitter.com/IIbz4kaGb7
— Trevor Woods (@WoodsFootball) October 10, 2023
James Franklin is 3-6 vs Michigan at PSU. https://t.co/Yfar6uC1Jn
— NCAA 13 Enthusiast (@dayyUM_glasgow) October 10, 2023
Yeah, Michigan is going to destroy these guys 😂 https://t.co/9VLm21UrnH
— Richard (Not Down Bad Right Now) (@umichwolverine1) October 10, 2023
Franklin made it clear in his opening statement that he wasn’t upset with Penn State’s beat writers.
But he wasn’t happy with how others perceived what he said and was displeased with those who made conclusions based on that part of his answer, during which he also said:
“So no, I don’t think it’s changed,” Franklin said. “You can even make the argument that it’s magnified. That’s why people are changing their schedules.”
On Tuesday, Franklin also pointed out that the Big Ten is going to be improving after 2023. UCLA, USC, Oregon and Washington are all coming in from the PAC 12.
Having more challenging conference games will likely lead to less difficult non-conference game.
“You look at who people are going to have to play just in our conference,” Franklin said. “It’s going to be even more challenging than it’s ever been. So I don’t think the philosophy or the model has changed. You have to do whatever you possibly can to give chance number one to be undefeated at the end of the season.”
Franklin acknowledged that having more teams in the playoff will create “probably a little more wiggle room.”
“Right now, it’s kind of undefeated or at the most one loss (required to get into the playoff). And then on top of that, you know, if you’re scheduling to have at least as many losses as possible to give yourself a chance to be in the playoffs.
Overall, Franklin doesn’t think the scheduling mindset will change.
“And from the ADs and head coaches and people I’ve talked to,” he said, “if anything, I think it magnifies it even more.”
Fast-forwarding to Wednesday, Franklin said he wasn’t taking a shot at any school the day before, but rather the opposite.
“It can be frustrating and a little sad sometimes when you have non-media members but they have some social media presence and they put something out that is not accurate,” Franklin said, “and then some national media don’t read the transcript or they don’t watch the interview and then they put something out there. Anybody that watched the entire interview or anybody that read the whole transcript, I was complimenting the schools from a scheduling perspective.”
“It’s what we’ve been doing. Even in the question that was asked to me, that’s what was said. So I know every fanbase and different schools looking for a reason to get angry and get mad and get motivated over something, but, that, to me is disappointing when real media members grab a partial quote and use it out of context. That’s frustrating and disappointing.
Franklin said he doesn’t feel he can “control the person that just has their own little social media page or whatever and they’re doing it from their mom’s basement.”
“I can’t really control that person,” Franklin said. “But it’s disappointing when I think some respected national and other people put things out that are inaccurate and don’t do the homework of actually watching the interview or reading the transcript. So, that’s it.”
Franklin’s comments from Tuesday and Wednesday line up with something he said after the team’s win at Auburn in September 2022.
When asked if he wanted there to be games between Penn State and SEC schools in the future, James Franklin said “no.”
“There’s a reason that (Penn State-Auburn) is like one of the only games that’s been scheduled in the history of the Big Ten,” James Franklin said. “All the data, all the analytics show you have to do whatever you can to win your conference. To win your conference.”