James Franklin would have loved to make the College Football Playoff.
But he’s keeping it classy, even in disappointment.
While interviewed on ESPN following the rankings announcement that left Penn State one spot away at No. 5, Franklin took the high road when asked about the news.
“Our guys would have obviously loved to have been in the playoff, but they’re also excited about the opportunity to play in a big bowl game,” Franklin said about his team playing in the Rose Bowl as the Big Ten champion.
“We’ve had a great year — I’m really proud of our guys. Yeah, they would have loved to have been in the playoffs, but we’re still very, very appreciative and honored for the opportunities that we have.”
After going 7-6 in his first two seasons at Penn State, Franklin led the Nittany Lions to an 11-2 record and a Big Ten title in 2016.
“It’s been fun to see our lettermen come back and support us, and this community get really excited,” Franklin said. “It’s been awesome. Our kids are just so proud of what they’ve accomplished. But we still got work to do. We want to finish this thing out the right way.”
When asked about Ohio State getting in ahead of Penn State despite the Nittany Lions’ head-to-head win and the team’s conference title, Franklin said the committee had a tough decision. He didn’t criticize the result.
“We sat in there as a team and listened to the points being made,” Franklin said. “You can make arguments for and against so many different teams. So obviously, us being Big Ten champions and winning a game head-to-head, we felt it gave us a lot of value, and the fact that we’re hot right now. You can make arguments a lot of different ways.”