This article was first published June 17, 2014.
James Franklin is not winning many friends in the college football coaching fraternity.
That's becoming more apparent with each passing day.
It started when the brash Penn State football coach boasted about "dominating the state" of Pennsylvania in recruiting. Those remarks, made immediately after he was hired, couldn't have sat well with Pitt coach Paul Chryst.
When asked to comment on Franklin's statement, Chryst was curt.
"People can talk all they want, the actions are going to speak loudest," he said.
It should be noted that Penn State and Pitt will renew their long, bitter rivalry for at least four years starting in 2016.
Franklin then upped the ante by saying he considered surrounding states, such as Maryland and New Jersey, to be "in state." He took it one large step further when he said "they might as well shut them (Maryland and Rutgers) down because they don't have a chance."
Maryland coach Randy Edsall and Rutgers coach Kyle Flood definitely took notice.
During a visit to York on Monday, Edsall said he's not worrying "about what anybody else says."
"We're not gonna boast and brag. We're more about substance at Maryland," said Edsall, a 1976 Susquehannock High School graduate. "We're gonna find guys that fit the profile we're looking for. We're gonna worry about ourselves and not worry about anything else. Talk is cheap."
It could make for a very interesting pre-game discussion and post-game handshake on Nov. 1, when the Edsall's Terrapins visit Beaver Stadium for a Big Ten battle. This is the Terps' debut Big Ten campaign.
Flood, meanwhile, has not responded directly to Franklin's remarks, but it's interesting to note that he's started to refer to Penn State as "the team from Pennsylvania." That's similar to the way that Ohio State coach Urban Meyer refers to Michigan as "the team from up north." And everyone knows about the bitterness of the OSU-Michigan rivalry.
Flood has also encouraged Rutgers fans to "make sure you've got a good seat" for the Sept. 13 matchup between the Nittany Lions and Scarlet Knights at High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway, N.J. That will mark Rutgers' Big Ten football debut.
One of the Rutgers players, Chris Muller, even followed his coach's lead by saying he didn't want to talk about "the team that wears blue and white."
There's little doubt that Franklin's comments will spice up the PSU rivalries with Maryland and Rutgers. And to be perfectly honest, that's a good thing. Penn State desperately needs some honest-to-goodness regional rivalries in the Big Ten.
Rutgers and Maryland were longtime Penn State foes before the Lions joined the Big Ten, with PSU dominating both series. Because of that previous domination, there normally wouldn't be much national attention paid to the renewal of those series this season.
Franklin's comments, however, have certainly helped stir the pot, and will certainly add to the hype before the games. National media outlets such as ESPN are sure to take notice.
Franklin hasn't offended only coaches in the mid-Atlantic region, however. Coaches in the Southeastern Conference also were not happy when Franklin and his staff worked as guest coaches at camps in Florida (Stetson) and Georgia (Georgia State).
It's common knowledge that the best recruits in the nation come from SEC country. Franklin, who previously coached at Vanderbilt in Tennessee, knows that better than anyone. Schools aren't allowed to hold their own camps at any out-of-state location more than 50 miles from their campus, but coaches are allowed to work as guests at other camps.
Franklin used that loophole to try to gain a foothold in the fertile Southeastern recruiting grounds. The SEC coaches were not amused and the SEC commissioner is attempting to close the loophole.
So it's become increasingly clear that the ultra-confident Franklin isn't the most popular guy with his coaching brethren – and he probably doesn't care. Franklin isn't paid to make nice with opposing coaches. He's paid to win football games, and graduate players, probably in that order.
That is how he will be ultimately judged.
Still, his comments will certainly add some much-needed intrigue when the Lions take on Maryland and Rutgers this season, and Pitt in 2016.
Franklin may not be making new coaching friends, but he's certainly adding intensity to some old rivalries.
Steve Heiser is sports editor of The York Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.