Franklin, long an advocate for uniformity to the College Football Playoff selection process, believes that adding the Trojans and Bruins to the Big Ten Conference is a step towards leveling the playing field across the sport.
“This is another big step in the ever-changing college football landscape and we embrace the change,” Franklin said in a statement released by Penn State. “USC and UCLA are two institutions with a long-standing tradition of academic and athletic success. They will only strengthen our already very strong Big Ten Conference.”
Why USC, UCLA joining Big Ten is positive for Penn State Football
While USC and UCLA won’t be officially joining the Big Ten Conference until the 2024 season, their arrivals coincide with the end of the current College Football Playoff television rights contract, which could be a trigger date to a massive overhaul to the system.
Franklin’s Penn State Nittany Lions last won the Big Ten championship in 2016, but were shut out of the College Football Playoff, in favor of Ohio State, whom Penn State Football defeated that season. Since that omission, Franklin has been a staunch advocate of each conference following the same scheduling criteria and uniform metrics being used to determine the four participants in the postseason tournament.
It is entirely possible that the Big Ten isn’t done adding programs, with speculation that Notre Dame, Washington, and Oregon could follow suit and join the conference.
Following Texas and Oklahoma’s defection from the Big XII last summer, the Big Ten’s moves could lead to further contraction of the Power 5 Conferences, with the B1G, SEC, and a rumored merger of the Pac 12 and Big XII possibly on the horizon.
The landscape of College Football is certainly changing, and for Franklin and Penn State Football, these recent moves seem to be a welcomed change towards what could be a fairer system to determine a national champion.
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