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James Franklin Has Blunt Admission On College Football Playoff

Penn State head coach James Franklin on the sideline during a game.

STATE COLLEGE, PA - NOVEMBER 16: Head coach James Franklin of the Penn State Nittany Lions looks on during the second half of the game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Beaver Stadium on November 16, 2019 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

The first edition of the College Football Playoff rankings came out on Tuesday night, but not without controversy. Like usual, a handful of programs had problems with where they landed in the pecking order.

Even Penn State head coach James Franklin weighed in with his frustrations after the release.

Franklin, who's Nittany Lions were outside of the Top 25, spoke about the first set of rankings during a media session on Wednesday. He explained that he thought the current College Football Playoff system was unfair because of the unequal playing ground that every program competes on.

“No, it’s not fair. Life is not fair,” Franklin said Wednesday,

James Franklin on the state of college football and the @CFBPlayoff:

“No, it’s not fair. Life is not fair.”

— Onward State (@OnwardState) November 3, 2021

">per Onward State. “But you know, I’ve brought up some things in the past that I believe in. A lot of people (who) have been here for a while have heard this multiple times. But I think the first thing you have to do if you’re not going to have a true playoff system … is make sure everybody is playing under the same model. How can you have some conferences that play FCS opponents and other conferences that don’t? How can you have some conferences that are playing 9 conference games and others playing 8? “Try to get a bunch of people in the room and they’re trying to decide who are the best players. Some of it is data, but some of it is just your personal preference, right? You know, how can you do that when not everybody’s playing the same number of games or in a situation?”

Franklin then offered one solution to start the standardization of the College Football Playoff: have every school play the same number of conference games.

“Everybody needs to play 8 (conference) games, everybody needs to play 9 conference games, or everybody needs to play 10 (conference) games,” he continued. “Whatever it is, just make it consistent across the board. I think that’s one of the first things you have to do. And then the same thing; standardize. We’re either all playing 1-AA, FCS opponent or no one is. But it just needs to be consistent. I think that’s the first thing you need to do to allow people to sit in a room and decide who are the best football teams in college football. If not, there’s always going to be complaints.”

Franklin isn't alone in his frustrations and he isn't arguing that his Penn State team should be in the Top 25. However, he clearly recognizes the impossible task of ranking the best programs in the country when the scheduling is far from even.

Unfortunately for Franklin and others with gripes about the current system, the playoff is here to stay. After another weekend of action, the rankings will return next Tuesday.