Franklin follows in Paterno’s steps

In the first three weeks of the college football season, Penn State coach James Franklin has been taken to task twice by the national sports media for things he has either said or done that they found to be classless.

Whether Nittany Nation finds anything wrong with his antics is up to them to decide.

Knowing how Penn State fans have been brainwashed into thinking they and their university are different, and how closely they hold on to their “Success with Honor” myth no matter what evidence is to the contrary is presented, I’m sure they will have no problem defending their coach’s actions.

In fact, the Board of Trustees is probably ecstatic because it seems Penn State has found a philosophical heir apparent to Joe Paterno in James Franklin.

Whereas Joe “I Didn’t Know” Paterno used to build up every week’s opponent into the number one team in the country, James “Every Game Is The Same” Franklin has gone a step further by declaring every game to be the Super Bowl and every opponent to be of the same stature.

While he may think this is true and expect ESPN College Gameday to show up for next season’s game against Appalachian State, I hope he offers some guidance to PSU fans so they know how to properly react following a victory.

If every game is the same, should they just head back to the pastures, get in their vehicles and drive home, or should they rush the field and then head downtown to riot as they did after the 2016 Ohio State game?

I’m sure the State College shop owners and police would appreciate a heads up.

This brings up another similarity: Paterno didn’t want to schedule games against Pitt, and Franklin has the same aversion. Whereas Paterno did it out of pettiness, Franklin thinks he doesn’t need to play Pitt to dominate the state or reach the college football playoff.

Of course, everyone knows Franklin’s reason is the same as Paterno’s — fear that PSU could possibly lose to Pitt in any given season.

In addition, Franklin has mentioned his desire to schedule easy non-conference games and Paterno also favored a weak schedule.

But perhaps the biggest likeness between the two men is that Franklin seems to have embraced the same arrogance that was a hallmark of the Paterno era.

How long will it be before he starts condescendingly telling the NCAA what is best for college football and how to do their job?

Perhaps in a final similarity, if James Franklin lasts another 20-30 years at Penn State, they can build a statue of him.

There must be about 900 pounds of bronze lying around somewhere that can be melted down and reused.

Jim Secriskey