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Maryland Offensive Coordinator James Franklin a Candidate in Vanderbilt Coaching Search

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Vanderbilt, hmm? Image via <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/21/sports/ncaafootball/21coaches.html?_r=1">NY Times</a>
Vanderbilt, hmm? Image via NY Times

Lots of coaching news in the past few days. First, Ralph Friedgen's lawyer floats out a trial balloon (or does some public negotiation) on an extension for Fridge. Now James Franklin is reportedly a candidate in the Vanderbilt coaching search.

This was pointed out yesterday in a FanPost, but the story has since been filled out a bit and is worthy of some front page pub'. ESPN's Bruce Feldman tweeted yesterday that Franklin was being considered in the Vandy coaching search. Not a lot of candidates have confirmed that they're officially in the race, but everyone from TT mancrush Al Golden to Auburn offensive whiz Gus Malzahn to Virginia Tech defensive guru Bud Foster plus a ton more have been mentioned in connection with the job.

Franklin seems more of a "due dilligence" type of "consideration", not a real candidate. Unless he interviews out of his mind and/or Vandy turns out to be aiming way too high - something tells me that a rich SEC school with a solid academic rep should be able to aim fairly high - Franklin is a fringe candidate. He hasn't had enough success at his previews jobs and too few connections to the Tennessee area to be a truly attractive candidate.

Eric Prisbell of the Post has confirmed that Franklin is a candidate, but not a leader. In other words, it's kind of what I (and a lot of people) thought.

That said, suddenly that public negotation on Fridge's part makes a lot more sense. With Franklin gone, Friedgen would be a lame duck coach with no set replacement; that would almost certainly cripple recruiting. In other words: he'd need an extension. Very timely to bring it up.

All this does bring up the interesting possibility that Franklin could end up leaving before the $1mil buyout associated with his HCIW deal causes a problem. It would cause a bunch of interesting domino effects back here (the aforementioned recruiting problems, plus hiring a new OC), but it wouldn't really be worth going into all of them until something actually happened. Right now, that's still a longshot.