Monday, September 24, 2012

0 Same Vanderbilt, just more excited about it

by Kenny Howell

Everyone is really excited about James Franklin. Vanderbilt fans love him, and people are expecting him to be snagged up by another college before he can build the powerhouse he dreams to have at Vandy. But what has he done?
The one thing he has done has got people excited about Vanderbilt football. There is no denying that. Vanderbilt fans who have long just spent their time talking about how many University of Tennessee players have been arrested in the past year, are now talking crap and thinking they can take down top programs.
And there is something about that confidence. It is obvious on the field that Franklin has convinced his players they can beat anyone, and they are willing to lay it on the line for him. In post game comments after the South Carolina game, Jordan Matthews said something to the effect that he had let Franklin down, and they have to start playing better for him. That is going to get you a better effort on the field, and I think that is obvious.
But Vanderbilt has yet to do anything with that attitude. They have played several teams close, but have still had the same result as previous coaches. Their loss to Georgia Saturday, 48-3, was the worst loss they had recorded since 2003. Just a few years before, Bobby Johnson took the Dores to a bowl, and they actually won it. But no one was investing and him and calling him the next great coach of college football, maybe because he was a little more reserved than Franklin.
But fans are already declaring Vanderbilt a player in the SEC East soon based on some close games. No huge wins, just close games. And Franklin’s energy is the reason, even if it hasn’t translated into big wins.
Franklin has people entranced, from players to fans, and even members of the media. It’s not hard to figure out why. He oozes personality and definitely has that leader personality. But is that ever going to create wins? Right now, it is translating to much of the same, but everyone is real excited about it.


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