College football fans and analysts across the country are trying to be the first to figure out who the next USC head football coach will be. Dan Patrick believes he knows of one coach who could be a top contender.
On Wednesday’s edition of The Dan Patrick Show, Patrick said that there is “mutual interest” between USC and Penn State head coach James Franklin. But he then played some audio of Franklin denying any reports of his interest in the job.
Patrick and his colleagues then debated whether Franklin would be a good fit for USC and vice-versa. They concluded that Franklin could leave eventually to take on the “challenge” of USC.
Franklin has been a popular coaching candidate for nearly all of the biggest vacancies in college football for years. His success at Penn State in restoring the program frequently earns him some of the highest odds of getting new jobs.
— Dan Patrick Show (@dpshow) September 15, 2021
James Franklin got his first head coaching gig in 2011 with Vanderbilt. Franklin promptly turned a team that had gone 4-20 in the prior two seasons to three straight bowl seasons – including their first ranked finish since the 1940s.
His success at Vanderbilt made him the natural choice to replace Bill O’Brien at Penn State in 2014. And in 2016, he led the Nittany Lions to their first Big Ten title of the post-Paterno era.
USC is in a position very similar to where Penn State was when Franklin arrived. The Trojans have lost the luster of the glory they had in the mid-2000s and haven’t been a legit national title contender since.
Is James Franklin a good candidate for the USC job? Does he really have the “mutual interest” that Dan Patrick says he does?