James Franklin has Vanderbilt thinking they can win any game they play. The Commodores are currently 5-5 with wins against Elon, UConn, Ole Miss, Army and Kentucky. They were competitive in losses to Georgia, Arkansas and Florida.
Vandy faces Tennessee on Saturday and given the way the Vols have been playing, the game can rightly be considered a tossup. They follow that with a season finale against Wake Forest, another 5-5 team that hasn’t shown much muscle in the ACC.
Vanderbilt hasn’t been to a bowl since the 2008 season, when they hosted—and beat—Boston College in the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl in Nashville. Don’t be surprised if the Commodores beat both Tennessee and Wake Forest and seriously compete with one of the conference heavyweights for a bowl slot upgrade.
The Chick-Fil-A Bowl typically takes an SEC East Team. How cool would that be? It would certainly help recruiting. According to Scout.com’s recruiting rankings, Vandy is currently ahead of Mississippi State and Georgia, with the No. 29 class in the country.
If Franklin keeps recruiting well he’ll keep winning and he’s likely to become a hot prospect in future coaching searches. But with the richest foundation in the SEC, Vandy may pony up the cash to keep him. They might as well—Vandy hasn’t always been an SEC doormat and with Missouri joining the SEC East next season, they might add yet another win to the slate for 2012.
Color I Bleed Crimson Red as a fan and admirer of James Franklin. He’s done quite a lot with not very much this year. His attitude and approach to winning in the SEC is refreshing and fun to watch.