Vandy football ramblings

There were a couple of interesting news items which crossed the desk this week, one relating the current state of affairs at Vanderbilt, the other to a former employee selling a familiar pitch.

Vandy facilities better than Penn State

Love him or loathe him, James Franklin was certainly the catalyst for some major changes within the Vanderbilt football program. His legacy at the school will almost certainly be defined by the upgrades to the stadium and facilities which occurred under his watch. That includes the $31 million indoor complex which will hopefully help push the program to new heights in the coming years. It should really be of little surprise then that Franklin is already pushing for facility improvements in his new ‘hood.

"To put it in a little bit of perspective for you, when I was at Vanderbilt, we had the last-place facilities in the SEC," said Franklin, as reported by Mark Brennan of "It wasn't even close. And our facilities at Vanderbilt (were) better than what they are at Penn State right now, which is probably a little shocking to people."

"It's everything," he continued. "It's the indoor facility. Our turf needs to be replaced outside and inside. The carpet. The paint. The branding. The furniture. The technology. What I would recommend (the media) do is you get on the Internet and you do some research on what does Oregon have? What does USC have? What does Oklahoma State have? … I think it's important for us to be aware of what's really out there. It has to be said that much of this is bluster, but Franklin obviously has a track record of getting what he wants out of situations like this. The venerable Penn State is, of course, one of the richest programs in the country. The team was ranked as the 15th most valuable in the country last year, generating $59 million in revenue and making a profit of $30. It is fair to say that a drive to come up with the funds to build a state of the art facility would not exactly fall on deaf ears.

Who knows maybe one day the facilities at Franklin's new job may even match up favorably to the facilities at his old job.

Schedules, schedules, schedules

According to the Tennessean, it looks like a home and home with Tennessee State is all but sealed as athletic director David Williams continues to work on future schedules for the ‘Dores. It is expected the games will be in 2016 and 2018, starting ten years after the teams last plated in 2006 (a 38-9 Vanderbilt win).

Of more interest though is the names of some of the teams the ‘Dores are still trying to work into their out of conference rotation. Wake Forest and North Carolina State, both middle of the road programs who are capable of good years, have shown interest in playing Vanderbilt sometime after the 2016 non-conference game against Georgia Tech. There is mutual interest too from Stanford, which would be a massive addition to the schedule. The problem is working out dates which fit for both sides.

Also of note is that Williams is working hard to try to get a home and home with Notre Dame at some point in the future. Thus far the Irish have been less than responsive on the subject, but Williams has proven to be persistent enough to get deals like this done in the past, so watch this space.

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