Widen college football playoffs, says Penn State coach James Franklin

Penn State coach James Franklin remembers two bowling practices a day, or even three a day. He marvels that Penn State used to spend two weeks at a bowl site. And when Maryland played in the 2002 Orange Bowl, Franklin remembers landing in Miami and going straight to practice.

Those days are coming to an end. As the college football playoffs progress, Franklin ponders the impact on bowls season. So he made a suggestion.

“In my mind, do [the playoff] as big as possible, ”Franklin said. “Once we get into the playoffs, in my opinion, we’re going to continue to focus on these other bowling games. For me, if we want to expand the playoffs, we should expand it as big as possible to allow more teams to play for the title, but also to be able to protect those bowl games by including them in this as much as possible. . “

Penn State is playing Arkansas in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1, and already two of the game’s top players have announced their intention to ignore it. Penn State linebacker Brandon Smith is absent, as is Treylon Burks, Arkansas’ leading receiver. More chances are coming.

Meanwhile, the Peach Bowl lost considerable power when two Heisman Trophy finalists, Kenny Pickett of Pitt and Kenneth Walker of Michigan State, decided to forgo the game.

“Every time I turn on my phone, there is someone who steps back from what we all consider – people who watch college football and have loved college football for a long time – important bowl games,” said Franklin.

As a result, Franklin said the playoff extension could protect some bowling games. But elsewhere, fans might view bowl games as a chance to see their squad’s best young players.

In this sense, pétanque could be considered the first game of the following season.

“It’s the end of the season and it’s always an opportunity for us to play the way we want to,” Franklin said. “And it’s always an opportunity for the players to show on a national stage what they are capable of doing, not only for Penn State but also for their future. And also some young players are getting opportunities, bigger opportunities. to give them a boost. get into the offseason. “

Penn State is doing its final practice at State College on Sunday before taking a break. The team will travel to Tampa on Christmas Eve. The official Outback Bowl welcoming ceremony will take place on December 26th.

“It’s funny,” Franklin said. “I was talking to [safeties coach] Anthony Poindexter the other day, and a bunch of other coaches, on bowl season. It was two a day. I remember being in Maryland with Ralph [Friedgen] and play in the Orange Bowl and we did two a day. The plane landed and went straight to the field. We didn’t even go to the hotel.

“So I was talking to [cornerbacks coach] Terry Smith, and they used to talk at Penn State, they’d be gone for two weeks. Go somewhere for a week and practice, then do a week on the bowl site specifically for that game, and it was the same. It was two a day for the first week, then the preparation of the bowl the second week. So if you look at how the bowls have changed over the past few years, that’s dramatic. “

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