5 Reasons Why James Franklin Should Get Texas Longhorns’ Head Coaching Job
5 Reasons Why James Franklin Should Get Texas Longhorns' Head Coaching Job
When Mack Brown announced his resignation as head coach of the Texas Longhorns, immediately speculation exploded about who will take over a job at one of the most storied universities in the history of college football. Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban was the most highly touted, but with a contract extension at Alabama he did not even show interest in the job. Big name candidates continue to be thrown around as ideas for the position, but the coach best suited for the Texas job is actually located at a small school in Nashville, Tennessee with 40,000 less students. The perfect candidate for the head coaching position at Texas is current Vanderbilt Commodores head coach James Franklin.
Because Franklin coaches at Vanderbilt, a lot of people may not understand how quickly he turned Vanderbilt from a consistent bottom feeder in the SEC to a team that is constantly regarded as a potential upset on SEC schedules. His Commodores won nine games this season that included victories over the Georgia Bulldogs, Florida Gators and hated rivals, the Tennessee Volunteers. The Commodores will face the Houston Cougars on January 4 in the BBVA Compass Bowl, and afterwards Franklin could be persuaded to leave if Texas offers.
Texas would be gaining one of the best recruiters and coaches in the country. He had success recruiting when he was at Maryland and continues to do so at Vanderbilt. On top of that, he interned with the Minnesota Vikings, the Miami Dolphins and the Philadelphia Eagles when he was younger as well as having experience working as a wide receivers coach in the NFL with the Green Bay Packers after leaving Maryland in 2005. An NFL caliber coach with NCAA success would be a perfect fit at a big name school like Texas.
Since Franklin is a bit of a nobody to those who don’t follow the SEC closely, here are five other reasons that he should get the Texas coaching job.
5. Franklin Can Actually Be Persuaded to Come to Texas
A huge problem that Texas is going to have in their search for a head coach is that there aren’t going to be that many top coaches that want to go. If you look at the rumors of who Texas wants, it includes big names like Jon Gruden, Gus Malzahn and Steve Spurrier. All of these coaches have no reason to go to Texas.
Malzahn is about to win a National Championship with Auburn and get a lot of that talent back for next season. Gruden turned down the Tennessee job where he would have had free range to do what he wanted, leeway for failure and a fan base that practically worshiped him. Spurrier’s South Carolina Gamecocks keep coming closer and closer to winning the SEC East but keep being hampered by injuries. None of these people would have any reason to leave their current positions.
James Franklin, on the other hand, could compete in the SEC East for the next 10 years and never win because of the tradition, strength and recruits being taken by Florida, Missouri, Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina year in and year out. A team like Texas would give him the opportunity to make an immediate impact on a national scale.
4. Vanderbilt’s Success
Since Franklin has become head coach, the Vanderbilt Commodores have been to a bowl game back-to-back times for the first time in their history and have made it three times in a row this season. On top of that, Franklin’s Commodores have won four straight against SEC opposition for the first time in their history, have had their first nine-win season since 1915 and the first winning record since 1982. His accomplishments at Vandy go on and on.
3. Texas Needs Something New
Longhorns’ fans cannot be in denial anymore; they are in a huge slump and are not a top team in the Big 12. Bringing in a big name may look good on paper and appease the fan base, but they need much more than that. Texas needs a coach that players can connect with and believe in – you just have to watch one Vanderbilt game to see how much those players respect and believe in what their head coach is doing. It’s time for something new at Texas because, as the past few seasons have shown, big names and tradition are getting them nowhere.
2. Recruiting Ability
Over the past few seasons a main crutch in Texas’ ability to perform on a national scale and even have their past success in the Big 12 is their inability to recruit top talent even within their own state. Yes, there are always a few four and five star recruits from Texas that commit, but the Texas born players that really show out tend not to play for the Longhorns. One such example could be current Heisman winner, Jameis Winston. Winston is from Texas, and what a lot of people do not know is that he wanted to go to Texas. Texas showed no interest in him, and that’s what led to his enrollment at Florida State.
I’m not saying that Franklin is going to step into the Texas job and start signing every top recruit from the state, but if you look at his body of work with Vanderbilt, he’ll do a better job. Before Franklin was with the Commodores, Vanderbilt had only occasionally signed a four star recruit while Franklin was gaining speed as one of the best recruiters in the country as a head-coach-in-waiting for the Maryland Terrapins. Immediately after he arrived in Nashville, four star recruits started pouring in. If he can make that big of an impact at a small, academic school like Vanderbilt, imagine what he can do at Texas.
1. He’s a Good Coach
It seems a little cliche to say that the main reason Franklin should be hired at Texas is that he’s a good coach, but it’s true. He’s taken a bottom feeder in the SEC and turned them into a threat. He’s recruited great players without having anything besides his vision, Nashville’s beauty and academics as incentive. His players want to win and give 100 percent even in blowout losses. He’s changed the atmosphere around the Commodore football program into something extremely positive and hopeful for the future – he’ll do the same for Texas.