James Franklin’s Move to Penn State A Good Thing For Georgia Bulldogs
Conflicting reports bounced around on Tuesday regarding James Franklin.
Jeremy Fowler of CBS Sports reported that Vanderbilt’s Athletic Director David Williams believed Franklin would remain in Nashville. Williams told Fowler:
I expect James to be our football coach. I’m planning on it. We’re looking at facilities. We’re working on some stuff. I have all the thoughts that he’s going to be our football coach, I’ll do everything I can to make sure he is.
Sounds like pretty typical AD speak given that the Commodores appeared on the verge of losing the most successful and magnetic coach in the program’s history.
Meanwhile, various reports indicated Penn State had tabbed Franklin as the favorite and according to Fox Sports’ Clay Travis, Franklin would be tempted by such an offer.
The back-and-forth continued well into Wednesday and Thursday even as Franklin tucked his kids into bed.
As it turns out, Franklin that was one of the final times he tucked those kids into bed in Nashville. Franklin is heading to Penn State, so it appears.
What This Means For the Georgia Bulldogs
Franklin went just 1-2 against Georgia while leading the resurgent Vanderbilt squad and was collectively outscored by 46 points over the course of those three contests. But he was also the catalyst for the meteoric rise of a Vanderbilt program in the midst of a period of unparalleled SEC parity.
No Vanderbilt coach should boast a .333 winning percentage against the Georgia Bulldogs. At least that’s what conventional wisdom (or perhaps more aptly, historical precedent) dictates. Franklin did that.
More alarmingly, the Commodores won nine games in each of the last two season. In the process, Franklin’s new breed of Commodore anchored down and transcended the role of SEC grunt. In addition to Georgia, Vandy knocked off southern football staples Auburn, Tennessee (twice) and Florida over that time frame.
Missouri rose like oil on water in 2013. In 2012, the Tigers lost to Vanderbilt.
Ole Miss seems poised to return to prominence. In 2012, the Rebels lost to Vanderbilt.
This Vanderbilt team was heading in the right direction, and that direction was very much a threat to the Georgia Bulldogs. That trend wasn’t likely to be reversed.
In 2010, Vanderbilt pulled in the nation’s 54th best recruiting class according to 247Sports. A few months after being hired, Franklin pulled in the nation’s 56th best class in 2011. In 2012, Vandy cracked the top 50. Last year, the Commodores moved up to 26 (and into the Top 25 per other services). Yet again, Vandy is hovering near the Top 30 as National Signing Day approaches.
Vanderbilt should not do that.
Vanderbilt shouldn’t snatch talented recruits (all 3-star or better per 247Sports) at such an alarming rate:
- 2012: 5 Signees from Georgia
- 2013: 7 Signees from Georgia
- 2014: 4 Commits from Georgia, Top 3 Choice for two uncommitted recruits
Vanderbilt shouldn’t have done any of those things. But somehow, often in the most pesky way possible, James Franklin did. Now he’ll do that at Penn State.
Vanderbilt’s loss is truly Georgia’s gain.
That’s all I got/