I think James Franklin is a good coach. An arrogant punk, but a good ball coach. He is getting Vanderbilt’s players some confidence and swagger.
I get all that. The Senator and others have posted good reviews of the game. Anything else I can add would be redundant. But I will ask this question about Vandy:
Is this culture the one you really want?
Look, Vanderbilt is Vanderbilt. No matter if Nick Saban was coaching in Nashville, there is only so much you can do at Vandy. The lack of great facilities and stringent academic standards make it a tough place to compete in football. Anytime the Commadores can make a Bowl game, it is a successful season. I think Franklin will have some moderate success while at Vandy.
But the culture is what it is. You just got beat 48-3 by a team that really only played for 3 quarters.
When Bobby Johnson was at Vandy, he didn’t have a whole lot of success on the field. He had some good players, beat some of the established powers of the SEC (Auburn, Tennessee and UGA) and almost beat many other teams (came really close to beating Florida in 2006), and even lead the ‘Dores to a bowl win.
But while Vanderbilt wasn’t flashy, Johnson was doing one hell of a job coaching in a near impossible place to win. The culture was one of losing-4/8 seasons at Vandy Johnson only won 2 games. But at least they were respected and no one circled the Vanderbilt game as one they really wanted to win.
If the controversy hadn’t happened after last year’s game, I think Georgia still would have beaten Vanderbilt Saturday night. Probably would have won handidly. But the players and the coaching staff wanted this game. They wanted to make an example. Hence, Vanderbilt’s worst SEC loss since 2003. A lot of times, UGA would look past Vanderbilt and it would be a closer than necessary game. Not this year.
So while the culture has changed at Vanderbilt-they ain’t gonna take crap off no body-they are still losing. At least with Bobby Johnson, they were respected.