Spring practice is underway for nearly all 128 college football teams, and the countdown to the 2014 season has officially started. There’s still a long way to go before August and the start of next year, but it’s never too early to start thinking about which players are ready for a big jump in production.
After a successful three-year stint as Vanderbilt’s head coach, James Franklin is returning home. Franklin was announced as Penn State’s new head coach on Saturday, replacing Bill O’Brien who departed Happy Valley for the NFL.
Prior to taking over at Vanderbilt, Franklin worked as an offensive coordinator at Maryland and Kansas State and worked for one year as an assistant with the Packers. Franklin also spent time at James Madison, Washington State and Idaho State.
When we sit down to iron out our Top 25 Poll each year at Athlon Sports, we are trying to project the final year-end standings not build a preseason power poll. It might be a small and subtle difference but an important one to acknowledge.
The Big Ten isn’t hurting for talent in its coaching ranks. The duo of Tom Izzo and Mark Dantonio ranks as the best in the conference, but Ohio State (Urban Meyer and Thad Matta) and Michigan (Jim Harbaugh and John Beilein) round out a strong top three. And the conference also features some up-and-coming duos, including Minnesota, Northwestern and Penn State.
College football’s 2016-17 coaching carousel featured 21 changes and several big-time hires. Texas (Tom Herman), Minnesota (P.J. Fleck), Oregon (Willie Taggart) and Purdue (Jeff Brohm) were just a few of the biggest winners from this year’s cycle.
Coming off a strong second half to the 2016 season that saw Penn State roar its way to a Big Ten championship and play in one of the most exciting Rose Bowls we have seen, the expectations for the Nittany Lions in 2017 is as high as it’
Sure, this may seem early, but some college football teams are already starting spring practice. Before you know it, we'll have our football Saturdays back and another journey to the College Football Playoff will have begun. For that reason, you need a primer for those early, non-conference games.