A literal race to Indianapolis? It’s an idea James Franklin threw out Monday.
In an interview with Sirius XM radio, the Penn State coach joked that to determine a Big Ten tiebreaker, coaches could just race one another. The winner gets a spot in the Big Ten title game.
James Franklin says the Big Ten tiebreaker should be determined by coaches racing. “Harbaugh, NFL, probably got some legs on him."
— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) October 24, 2016
Following a 24-21 upset of Ohio State, Franklin’s Nittany Lions find themselves in the race for the Big Ten East title. At 3-1 in the conference, Penn State is tied for second with Ohio State, behind 4-0 Michigan. If the Nittany Lions and Buckeyes win out — meaning Ohio State would topple Michigan — all teams could finish 7-1 in the conference.
Landof10’s Ben Axelrod explained the current Big Ten tiebreaker rules Sunday, and in this scenario, it would come down to the fifth tiebreaker. ESPN reported that the Big Ten changed that tiebreaker rule this season to go to the team with the best overall record. This would eliminate Penn State and make Ohio State the Big Ten East champion, since the Nittany Lions have two losses and Michigan lost to just Ohio State in this scenario.
It’s all a bit confusing, so Franklin’s idea would be much, much simpler. And more entertaining.
Franklin, Jim Harbaugh and Urban Meyer are all former college football players. Franklin was a quarterback at East Stroudsburg, Harbaugh famously quarterbacked at Michigan, and Meyer was a defensive back at Cincinnati. Franklin would have a leg up in age, though. At 44, he is eight years younger than Harbaugh and Meyer, who are both 52.