By Tim Polzer
January 07, 2014

Getty Images) James Franklin has coached Vanderbilt to back-to-back top 25 seasons. (Getty Images)

Vanderbilt football coach James Franklin is the "clear frontrunner" for the head coach opening at Penn State, according to a tweet from CBS Sports' Bruce Feldman.

Franklin was included in a list of top candidates to replace Bill O'Brien who left the Nittany Lions to become head coach of the Houston Texans.'s Brett McMurphy last week reported Franklin, Miami's Al Golden and fired Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak were on Penn State's short list. Golden has since taken his name out of consideration.

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Penn State officials reportedly were scheduled to interview Franklin on Sunday. The Nittany Lions' athletic director told ESPN on Tuesday that the school expected to have a new coach "in a matter of days."

Franklin has coached the Commodores to a 23-15 record in three seasons at the school including back-to-back top 25 finishes.

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