Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin spoke with the SEC media on Wednesday afternoon. The 7-4 (5-3…
5 reasons Franklin should stay at Vandy
1) The job is not yet done
It is always risky to speculate on the potential loyalty of a coach when there are boosters all around the country just waiting to throw millions of dollars at a proven commodity. It does seem though that James Franklin really loves being the head coach of Vanderbilt, and that this is at least in part due to the fact that he gets to write his own legacy. There are many stats which illustrate how Franklin has turned Vandy around. One of my personal favorites is that if Vandy wins this weekend (against a very beatable Wake Forest) it will be the school's first six game win streak in 60 years.
Franklin has so much he can do at Vanderbilt and he knows it. If his personal philosophy is anything like his coaching philosophy then he is going nowhere until he has maximized his potential with the Commodores. He has only just scratched the surface and he knows it.
2) Look at the recruits
As good as Franklin has made Vandy on the field there is an argument that can be made that he has been even better off it. According to Scout.com the Commodores are bringing in the 19th best recruiting class in the nation this year; that would rank higher than schools like Tennessee and Arkansas. He loves to sell the school nationally on the academics and he seems determined to work as hard as necessary to land every last player he wants. Why would he walk away from the team that he has walking through the door next year?
3) He is happy in Nashville
When it comes to SEC living there are fewer towns finer than Nashville. Sure if you want a pure college atmosphere then some of the power schools have their campus towns, but to a Pennsylvania guy like Franklin, who went to college no more than an hour from New York City, there is a feeling that the cosmopolitan city of Nashville is the place to be. Not only does the city itself attract Franklin, but the way he has turned little Vanderbilt into a potential eight win team has basically given him the freedom of the city. What incentive is there for him to jump to a place where he holds no such standing?
4) What else is out there?
When you look around the country what jobs are really available that would have Franklin walking into a better situation than he has in Nashville? Unless there is a surprise firing (Lane Kiffin at USC perhaps) then the best job out there at the end of the season is likely to be Tennessee (never going to happen) or Arkansas. When you look at what Franklin has accomplished, and what he has coming to town in terms of recruits, is jumping to the same division as LSU and 'Bama really that attractive?
5) Two words: Job security
Sometimes the best thing a coach can do is choose not to jump at the first big job that is offered to them. There is an argument that after just two seasons Franklin has the Vanderbilt job for life if he wants it. With the way he is building the program and the energy he throws into everything he does there is no reason to think that the Commodores will suddenly stop performing and come back to earth. That is the kind of job security which will allow Franklin to be patient and only jump when his dream job comes up.
Jim Harbaugh at Stanford is a great example as he was able to turn a school that bears some similarities to Vandy into a winner and take his time in parlaying it not into a mid level Pac 12 job, but to a gig in the NFL. If Franklin stays and follows that career trajectory then the sky is the limit and Vandy get to reap the rewards of having a coach who is at the very top of his profession.
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