Last week, we asked whether you’d rather have an amazing offense but terrible defense, or a horribad offense but stellar defense.
This week, we’re asking a different question: in a given 4 year cycle, would you rather Penn State be mediocre for two years, Citrus Bowl for one, and New Year’s Six/College Football Playoff for one (the Joe Paterno model), OR would you rather Penn State be just a step below the CFP every single year, with the hopes that the team can break through every once in a while (the James Franklin model)?
That’s a fairly long question, so let me lay it out a bit more.
Joe Paterno always preached that he built his teams in 4 year cycles. The first 1-2 years were the mediocre years, in which the roster was bereft of veteran players, and the team motored along in the 7-5, 8-4 range (or whatever the equivalent was in the 70s).
The next year was the ramp up year, when the team would inch closer to double digit wins, with the younger players maturing, maybe heading to something like the Citrus Bowl.
Then the big year would arrive. The young players had fully matured, and they wrecked their way to one loss or perhaps even an undefeated season, and potentially a New Year’s Six or College Football Playoff berth (were such a thing around in Paterno’s hey day).
Contrast this with the James Franklin model, which shoots to have virtually no drop off from year to year.
Penn State finished one spot in last year’s poll away from going to three straight New Year’s Six games. A lucky bounce in 2017 against OSU (or even MSU) and the team likely makes the playoffs. Since 2014 the team has climbed, but has now seemingly plateaued in the top 10 range.
It should just take one year with a more accommodating schedule, or perhaps just the right combination of star players on either side of the ball, or just a lucky bounce to get to the playoffs. But the team has no real “guarantee” of that happening.
So, which would you rather? A consistent 4-year cycle of the team working its way to the top, with a guaranteed NY6/CFP game in the fourth year, or just a steady stream of Citrus/NY6 games, and just waiting on a lucky year to break into the playoffs?
Would you rather the Paterno Method or the Franklin Method?
This poll is closed
Paterno Method (1 guaranteed great year out of 4, the rest mediocre to good)
Franklin Method (always good, but no guarantee of great)