Here’s the thing…here’s the reasons why this whole affair is agonizing on multiple levels:
1) This is the first time in decades that we had a coach who aspired to more than "try not to die." For fifty years we were prisoners of Coach Art Guepe's "no way you can be Harvard six days a week and Alabama on Saturday" line. But for the last three years we were encouraged to believe in the program, we were encouraged to hope, we were told that we could be competitive with everyone in the country and that no one should settle for less. Then, at the peak of our success, the coach goes somewhere else. That kinda hurts.
2) Everyone in the SEC – hell, everyone in college football – spent most of the season saying that Franklin would inevitably leave for another job. Find a Power Poll at Team Speed Kills that didn’t allude to his imminent departure once the USC job opened up. The rest of the world keeps telling us that we essentially don’t deserve to have a successful coach, and he handed them the chance to say "told you so." That really stings.
3) This is the most success this program has had in a lifetime. Literally. You have to look at the 1920s to find this level of success. Nine wins in back to back seasons, back to back wins over an archrival, back to back bowl victories – it may sound pretty damn modest elsewhere, but it’s literally as good as it’s ever been for Vanderbilt. We didn’t have this for almost a century. And then, a historically successful program that’s on the rocks – and deservedly so, frankly – is able to swing in and poach a big chunk of our success so they can restore themselves? It kind of smacks of punching out a homeless guy and taking his money because you forgot to bring your wallet and you really want a Coke from the vending machine. Having our brightest moment in over 80 years purloined so Penn State can get right quicker…yes, it’s football, not feelingsball, but it’s fucking heartless.
This is the chip. No one wishes us well. Nobody else has our best interests at heart. Nobody thinks we deserve anything more than to be their easy automatic W. We have to stick close, we have to stand together, we have to fight for each other, because nobody else will, and we’re all going down together. To the last man, to the last play, to the last snap, to the last second – we fight.