James Franklin Is Best, Most Realistic Option For Texas Longhorns

By Patrick Schmidt

Texas is busy chasing Nick Saban and have a wish list of some of the top coaches in the industry should he remain at Alabama, but the coach who is perfect for the Longhorns is Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin.

I championed Franklin to be the hire for USC earlier this month before the Trojans hired Steve Sarkisian, and the same reasons I believed he would be a tremendous hire for USC apply for the Texas gig as Mack Brown‘s successor.

Franklin is a win in the BBVA Compass Bowl over Houston from a second nine-win season in a row at Vanderbilt. Considering Texas has the same record as the Commodores this season and had the same mark a year ago, it’s clear to see that this guy can coach. Vanderbilt is 9-6 in their last 15 SEC games at the height of the best conference in the sport, which is simply astonishing when you consider that they had only won 13 conference games in the decade before Franklin arrived.

He has drastically changed the perception of Vanderbilt football overnight and continues to build upon the success he’s had in one of the hardest places to win in college football. He doesn’t have pristine facilities to attract recruits, but he’s turned two- and three-star recruits like Jordan Matthews and Zac Stacy into the SEC’s most productive receiver of all-time and one of the top rookies in the league respectively.

The amount of people in Vanderbilt Stadium on game days pale in comparison to the overwhelming majority of high school stadiums across the Longhorn State on Friday nights. Imagine what he would be capable of building if he had the luxurious facilities and unlimited resources that Texas possesses?

Texas is a top-two or three job in college football and they should shoot for the moon, but just in case they miss, they can still land one of the rising stars in the industry in Franklin, who would be a double-digit winner in his first year in Austin.

Franklin may not move the needle with the Board of Regents and may be a tough sell initially because he’s coming from a non-traditional football school like Vanderbilt. However, consider the fact that three of the last four outside hires by Texas came from North Carolina, Illinois and Wyoming.

None of those schools are exactly football powers and their best coach, Darrell Royal, was three years removed from coaching the Edmonton Eskimoes. All he did was win 77 percent of his games, three national titles and 11 conference titles.

Franklin has a particular flair about himself that would immediately win over the fans, and would embrace the job duties associated with the media and the Longhorn Network. He would build a fence around the state and bring the top recruits in from the fertile recruiting land of Texas, away from Texas A&M and others.

Franklin built Vanderbilt into a consistent winner in less than two years, and he would have Texas in the national title picture in that same span.

Patrick’s a college football writer for Rant Sports and radio host on Sportstownchicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt and Google and email him at SchmidtPatrick@gmail.com for media inquiries.

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