By Michael Bennett

James Franklin’s most important coaching decision of the 2016 season actually came late in 2015, when he hired Joe Moorhead away from Fordham to be Penn State’s offensive coordinator.

With a rehabbed offense leading the way, Penn State notched an 11-2 finish complete with the program’s first outright Big Ten title since 1994.

The year will end in the Rose Bowl in a matchup against Southern California, with the winner perhaps vaulting into the top five heading into next season.

Win or lose in Pasadena, however, the regular season proved that Franklin has PSU poised for national contention.