Penn State Football: What Are James Franklin's Benchmarks for Success in 2014?

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Penn State Football: What Are James Franklin's Benchmarks for Success in 2014?
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

As you may have heard, the Penn State Nittany Lions football team will be led by a new head coach when they next take the field. Bill O'Brien has moved on to the NFL, and James Franklin is now the man in charge.

Also filed in the "not new news" section, Penn State is still under the thumb of NCAA sanctions, which have and will continue to limit the team's depth chart for at least one more season.

Depth issues combined with losing the team's best players on offense (Allen Robinson) and defense (DaQuan Jones, Glenn Carson) will create hurdles for Franklin as he tries to implement new systems on both sides of the ball.

Defensive upperclassmen like Mike Hull and Adrian Amos will be working with their fourth defensive coordinator in as many years while the offensive side of the ball is littered with youth and potential, more so than proven ability.

The Nittany Lions are in a transition, but they're on the right side of the change and expectations are cautiously growing. 

With the inherent limitations and a tough schedule that includes Ohio State, Michigan State and a trip to Ann Arbor to face the Wolverines, Franklin is in for a tough campaign in his first season at Penn State.

A 12-win season is not likely, but all hope is not lost.

With a young core and strong recruiting efforts, the new coaching staff can use this season as a stepping stone toward something great, but they'll need to be successful in order to start that path in the right direction.

So, what exactly does Franklin need to accomplish to be deemed "successful" in 2014?

 

 

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