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Penn State Football: For Franklin And Caravan, No News Is Good News

by on May 10, 2017 11:55 AM

In the short but noteworthy history of Penn State's near annual Coaches Caravan there has always been something to talk about.

New coaches, new assistants, new athletic directors.

Oh and sanctions, the NCAA, transfers, bowl games, injuries, rule changes and a whole lot more.

But as the caravan rolls into its final three stops of 2017 there won't have been any of those looming obstacles for Penn State and James Franklin to navigate through. The toughest questions have been about repeating the successes of 2016. And on a glorified PR tour across the state, it's hardly a difficult task to talk about how good the team was and how good it might be yet again.

"It's better, it's better. There's no doubt about it." James Franklin said with a smile in Harrisburg on Tuesday afternoon, reflecting on how things have gotten a little simpler.

The message this year, Penn State is aggressively attacking the college football facilities arms race. The challenge of course is generating enough capital to make those meaningful investment. And that's a catch-22, there is only so much juice you can squeeze out of the orange, and in turn only so much revenue Penn State can pull from its current infrastructure. It's a chicken and egg scenario as Penn State tries to generate funding for assets such as luxury boxes while needing luxury boxes to generate funding for those types of changes.

In either case the obstacles, while perhaps no easier to tackle, are far more traditional. Long gone are questions about sanctions and Joe Paterno, in are things like new stadium features and practice building upgrades. At the end of the day, that's good news for Penn State.

Perhaps predictably, Franklin doesn't look at the changing narrative as anything other than the next chapter rather than the epilogue. If his personal message has been anything this offseason, it is the need for the program to avoid complacency, something he drilled home yet again on Tuesday. 

"In my mind i'm one of these guys, and I'll drive the staff a little bit crazy with this, we'll get a commitment and as soon as we get the commitment we celebrate for 30 seconds and then I'm already moved on to the next objective," Franklin said.

"That's just kind of how I'm wired. I do know that we were able to achieve some things this year, but to me, I'm already thinking about the next thing we need to do and where we need to go and where our shortcomings are and things we still have to overcome. So I'm just not really wired that way and I never really have been."

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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