James Franklin’s all-time bowl game record and results

Former Penn State head coach Joe Paterno continues to hold the record for the most coaching victories in a college football game with 24, and that record appears to be safe for a few more years. It goes without saying then that current Penn State head coach James Franklin has a long way to go to catch up to Paterno.

Entering the 2022-23 bowl season, Franklin has been on the winning side of a bowl game as often as he has been on the losing end. Franklin’s career bowl record of 5-5 is highlighted by a pair of New Years Six bowl game victories in the Fiesta Bowl and Cotton Bowl, and he has taken Penn State to two Rose Bowls since arriving from Vanderbilt. Franklin was 2-1 in bowl games at Vanderbilt, a remarkable feat on its own given Vanderbilt is just 4-4-1 all-time in bowl games.

Franklin coached in Penn State’s first bowl game since being relieved of NCAA sanctions in his first season on the job with a trip to the Pinstripe Bowl in 2014. But Franklin is 0-3 in bowl games against his former foes from the SEC with losses to Georgia, Kentucky, and Arkansas.

Here is a look back at each bowl game coached by Franklin heading into the 2023 Rose Bowl against Pac-12 champion Utah.

2011: Liberty Bowl vs. Cincinnati

November 5, 2011; Gainesville FL, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores head coach James Franklin (left) talks with the referees during the second half against the Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Florida Gators defeated the Vanderbilt Commodores 26-21. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati 31, Vanderbilt 24

Bowl record: 0-1

2012: Music City Bowl vs. North Carolina State

Vanderbilt coach James Franklin, left, congratulates running back Zac Stacy after he was named MVP of the Music City Bowl at LP Field Dec. 31, 2012. Vanderbilt defeated North Carolina 38-24 before 55,801 fans.
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Vanderbilt 38, North Carolina State 24

Bowl record: 1-1

2013: BBVA Compass Bowl vs. Houston

BIRMINGHAM, AL – JANUARY 04: Head coach of the Vanderbilt Commodores James Franklin (center) celebrates with his team following a victory over the Houston Cougars in the BBVA Compass Bowl at Legion Field on January 4, 2014 in Birmingham, Alabama. Vanderbilt won the game 41-24. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Vanderbilt 41, Houston 24

Bowl record: 2-1

2014: Pinstripe Bowl vs. Boston College

Dec 27, 2014; Bronx, NY, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin celebrates with players after overtime of the 2014 Pinstripe Bowl against the Boston College Eagles at Yankee Stadium. Penn State won 31-30 in overtime Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State 31, Boston College 30

Bowl record: 3-1

2015: TaxSlayer Bowl vs. Georgia

JACKSONVILLE, FL – JANUARY 02: Head coaches Bryan McClendon of the Georgia Bulldogs and James Franklin of the Penn State Nittany Lions shake hands after the TaxSlayer Bowl game at EverBank Field between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Penn State Nittany Lions on January 2, 2016 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

Georgia 24, Penn State 17

Bowl record: 3-2

2016: Rose Bowl vs. USC

Jan 2, 2017; Pasadena, CA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin talks with running back Saquon Barkley (26) before the game between the Penn State Nittany Lions and the USC Trojans at Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

USC 52, Penn State 49

Bowl record: 3-3

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2017: Fiesta Bowl vs. Washington

Dec 30, 2017; Glendale, AZ, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin walks onto the field with wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton (5), safety Marcus Allen (2) and linebacker Jason Cabinda (40) prior to the game against the Washington Huskies in the 2017 Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State 35, Washington 28

Bowl record: 4-3

2018: Citrus Bowl vs. Kentucky

Jan 1, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin yells from the sidelines during the second half in the 2019 Citrus Bowl against the Kentucky Wildcats at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky 27, Penn State 24

Bowl record: 4-4

2019: Cotton Bowl vs. Memphis

Dec 28, 2019; Arlington, Texas, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin celebrates with wide receiver Jahan Dotson (5) and quarterback Sean Clifford (14) after a touchdown during the second quarter against the Memphis Tigers at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State 53, Memphis 39

Bowl record: 5-4

2021: Outback Bowl vs. Arkansas

Jan 1, 2022; Tampa, FL, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin runs out of the tunnel before the game against the Arkansas Razorbacks during the 2022 Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

Arkansas 24, Penn State 10

Bowl record: 5-5

Story originally appeared on Nittany Lions Wire