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PSU HC James Franklin Opens with Fourth-Best Odds for Alabama Job

Photo by Matt Lynch, Nittany Sports Now: James Franklin

The college football world stood at a standstill Wednesday as one of the sport’s most decorated coaches called it a career at Alabama. 

Seven-time champion head coach Nick Saban has retired, leaving one of the winningest programs in history without a lead man for the first time since 2006.

Now, speculation turns to who could replace Saban after Alabama snuck into the College Football Playoff for the eighth time in 10 seasons.

Betting odds have been released by and placed a familiar face in the top five candidates. Penn State head coach James Franklin has the fourth-best odds (+650)  to become the next head coach at Alabama. Oregon head coach Dan Lanning (+300), Clemson’s Dabo Sweeney (+350), and Florida State coach Mike Norvell (+450) are the top three candidates on the betting line.

Franklin owns a career 88-39 (.693) record at PSU, including 4-5 in Bowl Games. The highs have come with wins in the Rose Bowl, Cotton Bowl, and Fiesta Bowl. Lows include the 4-5 pandemic-effected season and various losses to Ohio State and Michigan, which have derailed CFP hopes and expectations.

Penn State closed 2023 with a 10-3 record. The Big Ten welcomes USC, UCLA, Oregon, and Washington to the conference next season. The ACC added Texas and Oklahoma to also debut in the fall.

The college football world is experiencing multiple changes, with much still to be sorted out in the coaching ranks. A significant recruitment and buyout would need to take place before Franklin could move on if he wanted to accept the job at Alabama. Franklin is under contract through the 2031 season.

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