Franklin to PSU, so Vandy hires Stanford DC Mason

Published on 1/9/14, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern.
Updated on Friday, 1/10/14, at 1:20 p.m. Eastern.

By Brian Edwards

UPDATE on Friday, 1/17/14 — Vandy has hired Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason as its next head coach. Since James Franklin’s departure, the Commodores have lost 10 of 20 commitments from their 2014 recruiting class.

UPDATE: As of 1:20 p.m. Eastern on Friday, Franklin remained the head coach at Vandy despite numerous reports to the contrary from Thursday. If you listen to the Penn St. side of things, it’s a done deal with a handshake and the details of the contract are being worked out and then must be approved. On the other hand, there’s a report that Franklin has left his beach house in Destin, Fla., to return to Nashville. Again, the PSU side of things will tell you Franklin wants to give his AD the respect to tell him to his face that he’s leaving. On the Vandy front, if it gets Franklin back in Nashville and offers to match any offer money-wise from PSU, maybe the Commodores can keep the best coach in school history? Vandy isn’t known to reach deep in the pockets to pay coaches but make no mistake, there are plenty of boosters with big cash and it can happen. Stay tuned for the latest on this huge development…

UPDATE II: Penn St. has scheduled a press conference for tomorrow afternoon “for a major announcement,” so we’re left to assume that Franklin to PSU is a done deal. For what it’s worth (probably nothing), Franklin’s twitter page still has him as the head coach at Vandy.


Clay Travis of listed these names as candidates to replace James Franklin at Vandy. I like Travis’s No. 5 a lot. That would be former San Jose St. and current Colorado head coach Mike MacIntyre. In 2012, MacIntyre led the Spartans to an 11-2 record both straight up and against the spread. MacIntyre’s last two teams at SJS went 19-6 ATS. When your team is exceeding Las Vegas’s expectations at a 76% clip, you’re coaching your freakin’ ass off.

–Depending on how the next Vandy coach performs, we could look back on Franklin’s three-year tenure in Music City as one of the most astonishing coaching achievments in the history of college football. The sensational work done by Franklin can’t possibly be overstated. I’m saying he’s done better coaching that anyone the last three years and if Vandy quickly goes back to being Vandy, we’ll look back at it as one of the best three-year runs in college football history, especially when considering the circumstances and woeful history of the program when he walked onto campus for the first time.

–UAB head coach Garrick McGee will abandon his post to become Bobby Petrino’s offensive coordinator at Louisville. McGee worked with Petrino at Arkansas.

–When introduced at U of L earlier today, BP told the media, “I want everyone to know that this is my destination job.” For those of you taking him for his word in this instance, I’ve got some great beachfront property to sell you in…..Topeka, Kansas.

–All signs are pointing to Western Ky. hiring Petrino’s offensive coordinator Jeff Brohm as its next head coach. And remember, nobody should feel sorry for the Hilltoppers, who protected themselves nicely with Petrino’s contract. With the buyout that exceeded BP’s salary in his first season, Western Ky. actually made money and had one of the country’s best coaches on its sidelines.

Rick Bozich, who has covered the U of L for decades, had this take on Petrino’s return.

–Yahoo’s Pat Forde, another long-time scribe from Louisville, offered this on Petrino’s second chance.

–I was in my car this morning listening to the Tim Brando Show while Bobby Bowden was making a guest appearance. The conversation turned to the early 1990s when the Seminoles opted to go to the ACC instead of the SEC. As we all know, this move basically presented FSU with a three-game schedule to make the national-title game on an annual basis. If the ‘Noles could beat Miami, Florida and a third opponent (sometimes the second-best in the ACC and other times another non-conference foe), they would play for the national title. For decades, FSU fans have run from this premise, denying its existence. And there it was today coming straight from Bobby’s mouth. Bowden said, “Why would we want to be in the SEC? LSU finishes third or fourth in that conference, but they’re as good as anybody in the country. In the ACC, I got into the national Hall of Fame and four BCS Championship Games. Playing in the ACC gave us a better chance to get to the title game.” Again, this is common knowledge, but it’s rare to hear it come from any semmie, certainly not Bowden.

–If FSU is going to repeat, it won’t do so by facing Idaho, Bethune-Cookman and Nevada in non-conference play. The semmies open against Oklahoma St. at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. They also host Notre Dame in Tallahassee and also get the Gators at Doak Campbell. Now that’s not exactly a murderer’s row of a schedule, but it is more difficult than the joke of a 2013 slate. Still, though, FSU gets UF, Clemson and the Fighting Irish at home.

–I thought it was such a joke last spring and summer when the media made such a stink a bout Johnny Football’s off-the-field behavior. The dude won the Heisman and earned every bit of fun he enjoyed, yet many tight-ass pundits described his behavior as immature, juvenile and out of control. It was ridiculous then and seems insane at this point. Johnny Pigskin was one of the best — and probably the most exciting — college football players we’ve seen in many years….maybe ever! So with Manziel turning pro yesterday, I wish him the best and offer him a tip of the cap. Thanks for the memories, Johnny Pigskin!

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