Penn State coach James Franklin let his feelings about Friday night games be known Wednesday in a coaches teleconference run by the Big Ten.
He’s not a fan.
“Yeah, I’m not a fan of Friday night [college] games,” Franklin said. “Never have been. I think all the Big Ten coaches came out unanimously saying the same thing.
“I’m old-school from that standpoint. I think Thursday night, in small doses is for college football; I don’t think it’s for the NFL. When I grew up, the Thursday night game of the week [on ESPN] was a pretty cool thing for college football. And now the NFL has started to do [Thursdays].
“Friday night is for high school. Truly, Saturday is for college. And Sunday is for the NFL. I think that’s a great model that’s worked for a long time and it allowed each separate phase to enjoy on their own. All those complemented and supported each other.”
Why did the traditional model change? Franklin thinks greed played a part.
“People saw that there was an opportunity with that and it’s created a little greed where other people have tried to work their way into those markets,” Franklin said.
The NCAA wants to make money. So does the Big Ten. If the conference can host and televise games on a different night from every other college game being played that weekend, maybe that will separate the Big Ten from the rest.
Franklin certainly isn’t a fan, but he doesn’t speak for all Big Ten coaches. Penn State plays at Illinois this upcoming Sept. 21.
Lovie Smith, the Fighting Illini’s coach, looks at Friday night games from the opposite side of the spectrum.
“We’re ultimately all a product of high school football and know what high school football means,” Smith said. “Traditionally, Friday night is a night for high school football.
“But I think it’s a night for football, too, and there’s not enough football to go around for everyone. So, giving people another option on Friday night I think can be a good thing. I know we’re excited about opening Big Ten play against Penn State.”
Franklin and Smith are in disagreement here. Maybe their football teams can decide which stance is better.
Unfortunately for Franklin, that will be on a Friday.