James Franklin is on the list of hottest coaching candidates with is turnaround of the Vanderbilt Commodores football program. Since taking over the program in 2011, Franklin has caught the attention of the nation by taking a program that two-seasons earlier finished 2-10 and elevating it to a 9-4 (5-3 SEC) record in 2012. And you read it correctly, he coaches in the SEC – which is to college football what Apple is to computers.
Here’s how good Frankin was in 2012. He led Vandy to its third nine win season – EVER! Considering the program started playing football in 1890, I would say he turned some heads with this past season.
While he fought off the temptation to leave Nashville this year, if he continues this success, you know it will become more difficult for him not to listen to offers and take his act elsewhere. Considering some high-level programs are beginning to have vacancies, Franklin’s name and number has to be with most of those athletic directors.
While Franklin expressed his commitment to Vandy, we’ve heard this song many times from coaches, Usually when a coach’s name is floating around, there’s a reason. In the case of Franklin, he can deny the rumors all he wants but eventually there will be more truth than fiction.
Just like with Northwestern and Stanford, it is great to see programs with strong academic cores also have success on the football field. It would even be nicer to see a guy like Franklin stick around and finish what he started.