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This Big Name College Football Coach is Reportedly Tied to the USC Opening

Dan Patrick: “My source is saying that there is mutual interest with James Franklin and USC.”

Dan Patrick said on Wednesday’s episode of The Dan Patrick Show that a source is telling him that there is ‘mutual interest’ between Penn State head coach James Franklin and USC.

Dozens of big names have been pushed to the forefront of the USC coaching search on the heels of the effectively disgraced Clay Helton, who was an easy target to be dumped following the Trojans’ embarrassing home loss to a pedestrian Stanford team who had just been blown out at home to Kansas State and was coming into the Coliseum as a 17-point underdog.

Franklin, one of the most respected coaches in college football, is best known for resurrecting the Vanderbilt football program in the early 2010s. Arguably the worst power 5 program in the country, Franklin shockingly posted back-to-back 9-win seasons topped off with bowl victories. Before Franklin, the school had won 9 games in a season only twice and had been to just two bowl games in its entire history, which started playing in 1890. Under Franklin, Vandy finished the 2012 season ranked #23 in the AP poll, marking the first time since World War II that the school was ranked at the end of the year.

Franklin is 62-28 in 7+ years at Penn State, with his Nittany Lions currently ranked no. 10.

Franklin was actually asked about the USC rumors before Dan Patrick had the scoop, as the swanky program had already been hemorrhaging gossip around sexy names the likes of Urban Meyer and Eric Bieniemy.

Franklin responded to reporters somewhat awkwardly with an incredibly vague proclamation:

“As you guys know I can’t stand any form of distraction so I’ll discuss this today with the leadership council so that we can make sure all of our energy is on our preparation for Auburn.”

Since Pete Carroll left the program in 2009, USC has finished the season ranked in the top 10 just twice, and has never appeared in the College Football Playoff.

Franklin will reportedly make around $6 million at Penn State this season, trailing names the likes of Kirby Smart ($6.9 million), Jimbo Fisher ($7.5 million), Dan Mullen ($7.6 million), Jim Harbaugh ($8 million), Dabo Swinney ($8.3 million), Ed Orgeron ($8.9 million), and Nick Saban ($9.3 million).

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