Friday, December 17, 2010
Vanderbilt fans should give James Franklin a chance
So James Franklin is our new coach. I will not be at lunch today with other VU alums plotting to fire David Williams. Some of you will be, and you certainly have that right.
We're Vandy fans. For many, many years, being Vandy fans has made us feel bad, and we don't like feeling bad. What would have made us feel instantly good? Why, getting the offensive coordinator for the best college football team in America. Or getting another big-name coach.
Wake up, people. We're not capable of getting a big-name coach who's going to make us feel instantly good. And that's not David Williams' fault. While he was interviewing coaches and asking them questions about what they plan for the future, they're asking him to explain Vandy's past. It's not an easy task, unless you choose to make fun of yourself and form a blog called Moral Victory!
So there was no way we were getting a big-name coach. Sure, big-name coaches were talking to us so they could more than double their current salaries as coordinators. Instead, we had to find somebody who's good but nobody knows he's good until he turns out to be good.
So is James Franklin good? We won't know until he turns out to be good.
I'm giving him a chance. If I could, I'd ask him these questions:
• Who's your offensive coordinator?
• Who's your defensive coordinator?
• Who are you keeping from Vandy's current staff?
• How in heaven's name do you plan to jump-start the offense?
• What are you looking for in a quarterback?
• Which Vandy players are you most impressed with?
• Which high school players that you were recruiting to Maryland do you hope to lure to Vandy?
• Which current Vandy verbal commitments are you trying hardest to keep?
• Which current Vandy verbal commitments don't fit your plans?
• Do you know how to get to every high school in the metro Atlanta area?
I see a guy who's worked with Aaron Rodgers, who's a highly respected recruiter, who's young and energetic, and who's thought of highly enough to have been the coach-in-waiting for a job considered to be at least a step above the Vandy job. No, I didn't want to hire a coach because he's black, but the fact that he's our first black coach sure doesn't hurt us with recruiting, especially in metro Atlanta.
Right now, some of you want to jump out of a building.
I'm hopeful. I'm looking forward to seeing what James Franklin does on the recruiting trail, in spring practice, in preseason, and when the season starts.