Terps drop Military Bowl, still finish winning season
It feels like a spinning wheel on a game show at this point, something like “Where in the World Will James Franklin Coach?” and we’re not sure where it will land.
Media reports have linked Franklin to openings in college, including Texas (now filled) and Penn State, as well as the NFL with the Washington Redskins, Cleveland Browns, Tennessee Titans, and Houston Texans (now also filled).
What’s the latest?
First, take a look at the Penn State job. Miami Hurricanes head coach Al Golden announced he is “not a candidate for another position,” meaning that Franklin now becomes the frontrunner, or “prime target” as other reports over the past week have suggested.
And Penn State wants to move quickly. Athletic Director Dave Joyner released a statement on the matter Tuesday. Here is the most essential passage:
“The search for the new leader of the Penn State football program is progressing very well. We are on schedule and I anticipate having the new head coach in place in a matter of days.”
So will that be Franklin? Fired Titans head coach Mike Munchak is also reportedly in the mix to take over the Penn State job from Bill O’Brien, now with the Texans.
If Penn State officially comes after Franklin, will Vanderbilt counter?
The Tennessean is reporting that Franklin met with Vanderbilt AD David Williams on Tuesday, but Williams would not confirm whether or not a new or revised contract has been presented to Franklin in hopes that he will stay with the Commodores.
“I can’t shed any light on that,” Williams told the paper. “I can only tell you that I met with James last night. I’m not going to get into details of the discussion.”
The NFL is calling, too.
CSN’s Chick Hernandez confirmed that the Redskins plan to meet with Franklin to discuss their head coaching vacancy this week. That meeting appeared to be in jeopardy due to continuing developments about the status of said vacancy, but NFL Network is now reporting that the meeting will take place tomorrow, Thursday.
Hernandez has since confirmed that news, as well.
Franklin was tabbed as the coach-in-waiting to succeed former Terrapins coach Ralph Friedgen, who was unceremoniously fired after an appearance in the Military Bowl in 2010. Franklin bolted for Vanderbilt under a cloud of administrative uncertainty in College Park.
He has amassed an overall record of 24-15 in three seasons at Vanderbilt.