clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Todd Grantham And James Franklin: Behold A Feisty New Vanderbilt Program

There are some loose parallels between the weekend's two #COACHFIGHTS. Both are lessons in enthusiasm. The 49ers Jim Harbaugh was right in immediately admitting he was too energetic and boisterious shaking Lions' coach Jim Schwartz's hand after San Francisco beat Detroit.

In Nashville, the losing coach probably should've retained some tact, although he had the same head of steam you'd expect from winner. But that's the emerging identity of James Franklin and the new Vanderbilt Commodores: emotional, invested and passionate, except when you're 3-3 at Vandy and just a handful of plays from beating Georgia, that's not a cliche - it's a sea change in mentalities. 

Franklin allegedly had beef with Grantham and Georgia regarding the play of Bulldogs safety Shawn Williams. Grudges and grumbles of this sort are almost a currency in the SEC, but they're never acted upon nor addressed the way the first-year coach Franklin decided to. As Doug Gillet points out, Grantham's brahsome explosiveness is a known commodity, as is the energy of a post-game midfield just seconds after a close game. Needless to say, there are better avenues for Franklin to air a greivance.That doesn't absolve Grantham from Hulking out, but the very last thing he was probably expecting was a lippy opposing coach looking for a debate.

Had the Commodores been able to capitalize on that blocked punt in the waning minutes of the game and upset Georgia, the narrative would be dramatically different - Richt back on the hot seat, and Franklin the fiery rookie coaching a 4-2 Vandy team with Army and Kentucky (read: bowl bid fertilizer) remaining. It's still doubtful that Franklin or any other coach can turn Vandy into in any kind of consistent winner under that administration's structure and policies, but if he's somehow doomed to become a doormat like so many other Commodore eras, he's damn sure not going to be quiet about it.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.