Big Ten notebook: PSU’s Franklin addresses USC rumors, OSU’s Day talks defense

Ahead of Week 3 of the college football season, The Daily Iowan examines the latest Big Ten football storylines.


Jerod Ringwald

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day speaks with reporters during day two of Big Ten Media Days at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Friday, July 23.

Austin Hanson, Sports Editor

Ohio State football has appeared in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll more than any other team in the country. Since the AP first released the poll Oct. 19, 1936, the Buckeyes have been ranked a whopping 937 separate times, according to

Michigan has the second-most appearances in AP Poll history with 874.

The Buckeyes did find their way into this week’s AP Poll, but they weren’t the top-ranked Big Ten Conference team. That honor belongs to No. 5 Iowa.

The Buckeyes are currently ranked ninth in the AP Poll, with Penn State trailing them at No. 10. No. 18 Wisconsin and No. 25 Michigan round out the list of AP Top 25-ranked Big Ten teams.

Ohio State has been ranked as high as No. 3 in the AP Poll this season, but a 35-28 loss to now-No. 4 Oregon in Columbus last week sent the Buckeyes tumbling down the rankings.

The loss to Oregon was the first Buckeye head coach Ryan Day had ever suffered during the regular season. Prior to Saturday, Ohio State hadn’t lost at home since 2017.

Through the first two weeks of the season, the Buckeyes’ defense has given up 33 points and 455 yards per game.

“Now, it’s not just a single game, it’s a pattern,” Day said of the Buckeyes’ defense at a press conference Tuesday. “[I] took a long, hard look [over] the last 48 hours at everything that’s going on, and [we’re] certainly going to make some adjustments here. You know, not only of how we’re attacking other offenses, but also, just structurally how we’re doing our day-to-day operations.”

Ohio State’s next game will come at home this Saturday against Tulsa.

Franklin addresses USC rumors

During his weekly meeting with reporters Tuesday, Penn State head football coach James Franklin wasted little time addressing rumors about his head coaching future.

“As you guys know, I can’t stand any form of distractions,” Franklin told 24/7 Sports “So, I’ll discuss this today with the leadership council so we can make sure all of our energy is on preparation with Auburn and that’s how we’ll handle it.”

Speculation regarding Franklin’s future with Penn State began swirling Monday night when USC fired its head coach, Clay Helton.

With the Trojans’ job open, some began to speculate that Franklin would be one of the top candidates for it. Yahoo Sports’  Pete Thamel released a list of ten potential suitors USC could target during its head coaching search. Franklin’s name was at the top of Thamel’s list.

Per Thamel, Franklin’s Penn State contract buyout would cost USC $4 million.

Iowa State, Minnesota, and Rutgers head coaches Matt Campbell, P.J. Fleck, and Greg Schiano all popped up on Thamel’s list. Iowa alum Bob Stoops also made Thamel’s power ranking.

The Trojans fired Helton after they started the 2021 season 1-1, downing San Jose State, 30-7, in Week 1 and falling to Stanford, 42-28, in Week 2.

Franklin and the Nittany Lions will take on No. 22 Auburn at Beaver Stadium in Pennsylvania Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

USC will face Washington State in Pullman Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

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