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Vanderbilt 2020 Football Mail Bag #9: Answers to Your Questions

Letters... we get letters... we get sacks and sacks of letters...

SFChronicleVirusElection Paul Chinn/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Question(s) from Westboundnup & JesseCuster44:

Could James Franklin be Vanderbilt’s next football coach?


Would James Franklin go 0-10 with this Vanderbilt team?

Answers from AoG:

Andrew VU ‘04: No and also no. For the first, I’d be shocked if the State Penn fired Jimmy Franks even after the horrid beginning to this season. Second, I would welcome him back, but I have to think his star is currently bright enough to make at least a lateral move. Though he would likely love to be back in Nashville palling around with Corbs, this ain’t happening.

As for the 2nd question, it’s a heeeeeeeelllll no. I’m assuming you mean this team before the opt out and transfer exodus (which is literally still continuing as I type this). He would fire them up enough to have beaten the Clanga Leach Pirates last week, at the very least. We would not have a winning record, mind you, but would likely go 3-7 or 2-8. You would also likely have hope for next year. You do not currently have hope for next year.

DoreonthePlains: No chance in hell. I do not think his ego would let him come back even if the university was willing to take him back like a girlfriend who watched a man leave her for the pretty, more popular girl. I do not think either party would entertain it. Vanderbilt should not, but Franklin probably should if the Penn State life goes bad.

As for CJF going 0-fer with this team, definitely not. I am strongly opposed to the idea that this team is somehow less talented than the typical Bobby Johnson team. It is certainly flawed, but plenty of starters would still start for any of the 2011-2013 teams. The entire DL, Dimitri Moore, Jerkins, Bresnahan and maybe even Steen/Miller on the OL would likely have started. Seals competing with Larry Smith and Jordan Rodgers would be interesting. He is more talented, so I think Franklin would get a lot of mileage out of him, KHB/Marlow, and Amir Abdur-Rahman and Cam Johnson, who is a pretty good Krause replica.

Stanimal: Vanderbilt isn’t bringing back Franklin, and it has nothing to do with Franklin as a coach, but Franklin definitely doesn’t go 0-fer with this team.

Question from VU 1970:

Take your pick:

Is Ken Seals as good as we hope he is, or were his shortcomings “exposed” in Starkville?

If you took the turnovers and the final score off the stat sheet, anyone who looked at it would assume that Vandy won the game handily … wouldn’t they?

Finally, how many games to go until our team comes out dressed in all-red uniforms — or will there still be touches of gray even then?

Answers from AoG:

Andrew VU ‘04: I’ll go with the former. The kid’s got a lot of Shurms McKenzie in him, with more of a gunslinger mentality. Whomever is our next coach is getting a gift in the Loose Seal. I’ll let my colleagues handle the rest.

DoreonthePlains: Nothing was “exposed.” It was just a reminder that a freshman QB is prone to trying to do too much, especially in a high pressure situation. He still had a 59.8 Total QBR, so his play should result in a win nearly 60% of the time, even with the turnovers. Back-to-back 300 yard passing games against SEC opponents, no matter who they are, is impressive for a freshman.

Yes, we spanked them every place except the scoreboard. Mason said postgame “I’m into wins,” though, so we should judge him to that standard.

I am going to admit I do not get the joke here. Of course there will be grey with the red.

Stanimal: Ken Seals is a talented QB in his first year. He made some bone head decisions, but his stats have been solid and frankly he’s looked the part in the amount of time he’s played. I do agree if the turnovers had been eliminated from last weeks game, we probably win handily. I think that’s a testament to Seals, but the QB is always going to take the heat when he throws picks. Just the nature of the position.

Question from Shoogymgshoogs:

Why do we keep watching these games?

Answers from AoG:

DoreonthePlains: Ken Seals, KHB, Chris Pierce (did NOT see that coming), Ben Bresnahan, Dayo Odeyingbo, and a few more names.

Stanimal: Something to do while you’re drinking on Saturday.

Andrew VU ‘04: An object in motion tends to stay in motion; an object at rest blah blah blah I went there for college.

Question from 92Drummer:

Nicky Satan recently said that “defense no longer wins games.” Questions:

1) Agree or disagree generally?

2) Does that have any relevance to Mason’s decline over the years?

3) Should/how does this affect the choice if Mason”s successor?

4) Is there anyone in administration involved in the hiring process that has enough football knowledge to consider this in the hiring process?

Jeff Green Traveled. Pinman is the new Mr. C. Hire a former Nick Satan Assistant.

Answers from AoG:

DoreonthePlains: I agree in general, though I think offense has long won games while defense was how you won championships. Offense can sputter and stall almost inexplicably. Defense has tended to be more consistent. The game now just provides so many chances for an offense to break a game open, even against good defense, on purely athleticism and space.

Mason made his name as a DC shutting down the Oregon Ducks, so that style coming to the SEC should have played into his hands, though he does have a much larger talent and athleticism gap between Vandy and the rest of the than he faced while facing Oregon at Stanford.

I dislike the idea of needing to hire a guy based on their background in either offense or defense. The key should be whether they are aggressive and willing to buck conventional wisdom or are conservative.

Tommy McClelland should be a very useful part of the process. Beyond that, I have no idea.

Stanimal: Football trends have a tendency to return to the mean before the game ever gets too far away, but certainly the focus on wide open offense with explosive plays and RPOs has put the defense at a disadvantage. That, and it’s really really hard to play defensive back now given the contact rules with the ball in the air. More than anything I think the emphasis on safety has given offenses an advantage. That’s not to say the emphasis is wrong, but I don’t think you can deny that it’s hard to tell what a defensive penalty is or isn’t these days. Whether that has an effect on Mason’s decline, that’s hard to say.

The number one thing that we must have in a new coach is someone with a plan. From the minute Mason came on the scene, it was obvious he didn’t have one. Franklin came in with a targeted message and plan, and from what I understand he actually blew the field away in terms of his pitch to the administration. He talked the talk and walked the walk. Vanderbilt needs someone with that same fire and energy more than genius on either side.

I agree with DotP. McClelland should be a needed voice in the process.

Andrew VU ‘04: Hail Pinman.

Question from WestEndMayhem:

Favorite cheesecake flavor?

Answers from AoG:

DoreonthePlains: I am a simple man. Just give me the original with some chocolate or caramel drizzle.

Stanimal: Oreo Cheesecake.

Andrew VU ‘04: Turtle.

Question from DenverDore:

Which would be more embarrassing: Vandy goes 0-10 or THEM goes 2-8?

Answers from AoG:

DoreonthePlains: In a vacuum it is 0-10. Considering pre-season expecations it is far and a way THEM. Especially since that would give Vanderbilt its first 10-year period with a winning record against THEM since 1933. And we should be firing the HC who would be 4-3 against THEM.

Stanimal: Them going 2-8 after declaring they were back and having to pay on a THIRD buyout.

Andrew VU ‘04: Well, both cannot happen, mathematically, unless we find a way for both teams to lose on November 28th. I’m finding it difficult to be embarrassed by 0-10 as it was eminently predictable (and I did, in fact, predict it pre-season). Given the fact that the Chuggers would have to lose to an eventual 1-9 Vanderbilt to finish 2-8, let’s just say it “Feels like ‘98.” How’s that extension to E.T. Pruitt feeling now?

Question from Parlagi:

Should the Jets rehire Rich Kotite, and why is your answer yes?

Answers from AoG:

DoreonthePlains: Duh. They have to find someone who can make hiring Adam Gase not the worst decision in franchise history.

Stanimal: Remember Mark Sanchez and the butt fumble? Those were the days. (I’ve got no room to talk honestly, 28-3).

Andrew VU ‘04: Without a doubt. What this Jets team lacks is the ability to lose in a way that is in any way interesting. Remember when Kotite lost a game because he didn’t laminate his play sheet and it rained? Good times...

Question from RocketCityVandy:

What is the likelihood of us getting the Het-o-Meter recalibrated to handle the milli-bobs of hope that are now measured across the fanbase, rather than the centi-bobs that it was originally made for? Or possibly even get it to read negative numbers? Or is this an arcane secret now lost to the ages?

Answers from AoG:

DoreonthePlains: I just man the Sunshine Pump...

Stanimal: Only Andrew knows the true secrets of the Het-o-meter, but if Soaked is the lowest it goes, then we are more soaked than the diapers Tom is gonna have to double change.

Andrew VU ‘04: That’s a big ol’ zero, unfortunately, as I don’t know how to code, and the person who made it (former writer and commenter VandyTigerPhD) has fallen off the face of the earth. I think he joined NXIVM.