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Vanderbilt 2020 Football Mail Bag #4 (Part II): Answers to Your Questions

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Letters... we get letters... we get sacks and sacks of letters... (so much that we had to break this into two parts!)


Due to the SEC-Big XII match-up of Vanderbilt versus Missourah’s postponement, and the plethora of questions we have received this week, I will break the mail bag into two parts. This is Part II.

Question from Texas VU:

James Franklin proved that Vanderbilt football could be relevant. When he departed for Penn State, David Williams stated that people were calling him about the open job who previously had never called back. Derek Mason was a logical choice at the time, but it just hasn’t worked. So sometime in the next year or two, VU will have to make a coaching change. Given that it has now been 7 years with none of them having a positive record, do you think that Vanderbilt can still attract a top coach or has it wasted the opportunity that it had due to Franklin’s success?

Answers from AoG:

Andrew VU ‘04: Man, that’s a tough question. I tend to agree with the Goldfather (RIP) that the Mason hire (on paper, at least) was a better hire than was the Franklin hire. I also agree with the Goldfather (RIP) on his choice of clothing (I am currently wearing nothing but velour track suits). Where I disagree with the Goldfather (RIP) is that interviews are not done on paper, and I cannot in good conscience say I would have hired Derek Mason after a phone, video-conferencing, or in-person interview. I know I took some heat for this here in year one of the Mason era where I ripped him for his “process process process” nothing-speak, and stated in no uncertain terms that Mason completely lacked the performative ethos necessary for a job as difficult as Vanderbilt Football Head Coach. I stand by that take. The Vanderbilt job may well be the most difficult job in all of college football. Franklin provided the blueprint. He also provided the reason this job SHOULD be attractive to young, up-and-coming football coaches. Succeed here and every football coaching job in the country is yours for the taking. In other words, if we offer, Nadia Harvin should accept.

Heck, even Mason should find a cushy landing spot as a DC somewhere next year (yes, I still see no compelling reason to retain him beyond this season).

Tom Stephenson: So, let’s not rewrite history here and make something very clear. James Franklin in 2010 was a guy who had just been told to take a hike by Maryland because they wanted to fire Ralph Friedgen and didn’t want to honor the head-coach-in-waiting designation, and Vanderbilt only hired him after Gus Malzahn decided he’d rather be Auburn’s offensive coordinator.

I mean, when the Vanderbilt fans on Twitter and a certain other board that will remain nameless talk about who their ideal coaching hire to replace Mason would be, it’s a freaking 35-year-old goofball who had one 7-6 season at Charlotte (and is 1-2 this season). Yes, I’m calling out the Will Healy fan club. Over here at Anchor of Gold, we stan Jamey Chadwell. (Like Will Healy, Jamey Chadwell grew up in Tennessee, so you can’t even claim that, idiots.)

Stanimal: I think it is both true that Vanderbilt can attract a top candidate and also that they wasted the opportunity they had due to Franklin’s success. Coaching in the SEC is generally a good job in any respect. It’s obviously much harder to succeed here, but as Andrew said, if you succeed, the next step is huge. Also, Vandy is patient (too patient), but nonetheless there’s a degree of security. If the resources were better, you could have a whole lot to sell, and you’re on TV all the time so your reputation can grow.

In 2014, when we went from Franklin to Mason, I’d argue there was an upward trajectory with our facilities. We had shown a willingness to invest, and though the stadium was the primary issue, at least there was something to build on. Franklin did leave the cupboard bare after taking his recruits with him to Penn State, but it wasn’t as if the buzz was completely gone at the time. There is very little buzz now and the commitment to football is nonexistant dubious. I call that a squandered opportunity.

DoreonthePlains: I think Andrew hit it pretty well except for the assumption Mason sucked in the interview process. If a person has seen him on the "Coaches Film Room" broadcasts, he is an excellent communicator there. It is plausible he just sucks at communicating when he cannot say everything he wants to say, as in front of the media.

Question from JesseCuster44:

On a scale of 1-5, with one being not at all and 5 being absolutely, what is the likelihood that all of the other SEC teams are manipulating screening data to preserve a competitive roster? I suppose you could use the wet het-meter as a visual aid here.

Answers from AoG:

Tom Stephenson:

Stanimal: 5 spot.

Andrew VU ‘04: That’s a hard FIVE, champ.

DoreonthePlains: 55

Question from VU 1970 (AKA Dietetic Coke Guy):

If we had played Georgia Tech, Tulane and Sewanee in our first three games, as the gods intended, what would our record be?

Answers from AoG:

Tom Stephenson: 0-2, because Sewanee’s not playing football this fall, chief.

Stanimal: 1-2.

Andrew VU ‘04: 1-2. Sewanee would be a forfeit.

DoreonthePlains: At least 1-1. Georgia Tech has been inept until last weekend. Tulane has been ehhhh.

Question from Parlagi:

In the Anchor Drop, Tom mentioned he’ll miss having daytime sports for background noise.

What do you think would draw better ratings for ESPNU: A live 3 PM weekday G5 game (say Navy vs. East Carolina) or a scheduled replay of Alabama vs. Ole Miss? And why is ESPNU replaying Alabama vs. Ole Miss while SECN shows a senile old man spitting into a microphone, anyway?

Answers from AoG:

Tom Stephenson: You know, the entire concept of scheduled replays of games is weird in the era where there’s DVR and you can just record the game and watch it whenever the hell you want. That said, of COURSE they should show the G5 game at 3 PM on a weekday.

Stanimal: Put it at 5-6 PM and every bar in America has that G5 game on at Happy Hour.

Andrew VU ‘04: You know I agree with you on everything but your Sweet Briar Vixens and Star Trek reruns viewing patterns, Parlagi. Give me the G5 game. Midshipman vs. Pirates should draw better than Bammer vs. Ole Piss or PAWWWWWWWWWLLLL replays.

DoreonthePlains: Live sports will always outdraw replays, especially (as Tom pointed out) in the age of DVR.

Question from Galactahack:

How many Vanderbilt football players can trace their lineage back to a participant in the Battle of Hastings?

Answers from AoG:

Tom Stephenson: Just from name alone, I can only assume Brayden “BBR” Bapst.

Stanimal: Battle of what now? (I went to Vanderbilt; never said I was good when I was there).

Andrew VU ‘04: The previous question was a Parlagi question, but this one is a question for Parlagi.

DoreonthePlains: Will didn't play in the 2016 Vandy-Auburn game, so I'm confused.

Question from RocketCityVandy:

So….. what are the odds on baseball starting on time this year?

Answers from AoG:

Tom Stephenson: Why wouldn’t it? It should be clear by now that we’re playing sports, damnit.

Stanimal: I feel pretty good about it. Pro baseball obviously had it’s issues early on, but I think the nature of the sport itself is such that it’s more conducive than the others. The NBAs bubble plan obviously worked, but I don’t see how that can be practically applied to non-tournament NCAA sports.

DoreonthePlains: Because God hates VU '04, it will be delayed.

Andrew VU ‘04: (Gun rattles in mouth) 100%!!! 100%!!! You will not rob me of another year of Rocker and Leiter, Yahweh!!! (Remainder of answer unintelligible, as mouth is now a morass of blood and broken teeth.)