Saturday, December 18, 2010

Why This Time Is Different

David Climer wrote a predictable column in today's Tennessean articulating why he is skeptical of a transformative change in Vanderbilt's football program with the hire of James Franklin. Our friends at Anchor of Gold have made the case (meaning I don't have to). Diezba highlights the 3 things that Vice Chancellor David Williams said yesterday that Vanderbilt needs to be successful: 1) change the culture such that losing is not longer accepted, 2) upgrade the football teams facilities to be comparable to those of every competitive program in America, and 3) be led by a dynamic coach who will inspire, as well as breathe life and energy into the program. As the article concludes, only time will tell whether these redoubled efforts will lead to results, but Commodore fans have reason to think this time truly is different.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

You people need to take off the gold colored glasses. There was nothing but hot air in Williams et al.'s press conference. It was long on "talk" and little on "substantive specifics."

For those who thing I'm just a hater let me elaborate on 2 specific points that back this up.

1) On facilities we heard NOTHING SPECIFIC. Indeed when asked by a reporter about what specific upgrades would be coming we just got platitudes and some mention of projects that had already been decided upon eons ago. And indoor practice facility? NO. No such promise. Only "whatever the coach needs"... well that's vague. And hardly assures. Which Climer points out.

2) On recruitment. All we heard was why Vandy should be able to sell great academics to recruits and a chance to play in the SEC. Unless I missed something every head coach who has walked through that door in the past 20 years has said the same thing! Nothing new here. Nothing about establishing a new easier major or relaxing recruiting demands via academics. In fact, DW put that to bed in the presser - he said we don't need to relax standards. Really? Again. Same ole, same ole.

Sorry, but "all in" sounds like nothing but vague platitudes... show me an indoor practice facility, a bigger stadium, a newer stadium, and 4-5 star recruits that get in and go to an easier major.

even more anonymous said...

A bigger stadium? To hold the 10,000 fans who came to our last home game?

Makes me wonder if it's the players or some of the back seat critics who need to "go to an easier major." But if Anonymous really wants to dumb it down, why not go all-in and just pay Mississippi State to play its home games at Old Dudley?

Anonymous said...

Listen, I was the first poster and yes your point is valid... we can't even fill our stadium as it is. I was only using stadium *size* as an example of facilities "upgrades." It isn't the best example, but my overall point (and many other points in my post) are still valid and were NOT ADDRESSED in your response AT ALL.

For starters, what specific facilities upgrades are we getting? Most of our competitors in the SEC have INDOOR PRACTICE FACILITIES. By lacking these, we look cheap to prospective recruits. Why didn't "All In" include a specific plan to build an Indoor Facility, for example. To improve the quality of the stadium in other ways.

The bottom line is.. ALL IN... is lipservice. DW and Zeppos said NOTHING specific. What about recruiting athletes who have low test scores... when that was addressed DW was clear: NOTHING CHANGES. NO standards lowerings. Now its a fine position to hold, but it means no real change has happened. CBJ had the same things to "Sell" about Vandy as CJF... what makes you think CJF will get better recruits. Vandy's educational prestige wasn't exactly bringing them in by a baker's dozen in the past. Why now?

SPECIFICS!!!!!

Anonymous said...

CBJ couldn't sell an icee to a man in middle of the equator. His hire was a mistake. The (i)CRC experiment was a mistake.

The only coach in the last 40 years to leave VU with a winning record was Steve Sloan, a young offensive coordinator. This hire mirrors that hire and the ones of Eddie Fogler and Tim Corbin more than any other.

And those all turned out good.

I know the history of VU sports as well as anybody...and this time...

*** I AM ALL IN ***

Anonymous said...

Looks like Maryland is going to get Mike Leach. Let's sit back and see which program, Vandy (with Maryland's old OC) or Maryland (with the 1 coach VU fans wanted but DW wouldn't touch) has more success in the next 5 years. The proof will come in 1 variety: WINS. WINS, WINS, WINS. Who will get more?????

even more anonymous said...

Anonymous the First is right in saying that I didn't address all his points. He's also quite right about the lack of specifics.

But if all-in means lowering academic standards, I'm out.

Slightly less anonymous than some, but more than others said...

Agreed, "even more anonymous."

Anonymous said...

I agree with the first "Anonymous."

Why?

Because for "this time" to be "different," Vanderbilt needs either A) A schematic advantage or B) A talent advantage.

Most Franklin supporters are making the case that he is a gifted recruiter. This argument would fall into the B Category, that is, ability to give Vanderbilt a "Talent Advantage" that it has not heretofore had. I have not heard anyone claim that he is a Leach/Malzahn offensive whiz on X's and O's suggesting that Vandy will now have a better schematic advantage via a gimmicky offense that it can use to win more games with inferior talent.

No, all of those supporting CJF and saying things will be different now, are going on the argument that he can bring better talent to Vanderbilt than his predecessors because he is a better recruiter and because Zeppos and VCDW stood at a podium, pounded their fists, and told us that they were serious about football.

Pardon me for being skeptical, but given VU's 50 year history of losing, that's not a lot to hang your hat on. Here's the problem. If the Franklin hire is going to "change the culture" and the Administration is "All In" and this time is "different" then someone, for the love of god, tell me WHAT HAS CHANGED! WHAT SPECIFICALLY WILL NOW ENABLE VANDY TO RECRUIT TOP TALENT THAT WAS NOT THE CASE ABOUT VANDY THE PAST 20 YEARS????

Are we lowering standards? No.

Are we *suddenly* offering the best education in the SEC (something entirely new)? No - we've had this advantage forever. Hasn't seemed to do much for us.

Are we going to build the most up to date set of facilities and add a sports management major in Peabody to attract athletes who want to go pro and are looking for the edge on the football field, max exposure, and the fanciest locker rooms in the SEC? No.

So those who insist that things have changed. The onus is on YOU GUYS. Explain what has changed specifically. I want specifics. People who don't deal in logic are blinded by emotional feel good loyalty. Be an empiricist. It takes more than having a few big whigs from Kirkland stand behind a podium and promise stuff.

Vandygal78 said...

I too was disappointed that Williams did not come out with specific plans and a dollar commitment for facilities. That would have made for a very dramatic statement. I agree that we need the best indoor, training, etc facilities. Where I probably disagree with everyone is what to do about the stadium. First, when they are redoing the stadium, I hope they use the Titans field. Second, we will always have the smallest stadium in the SEC, and that is ok if we make our stadium the most unique and fun. I would do 2 things; first design a fold down stage as part of the new structure for the now open end zone (have music after games and also make the stadium multi-use), and have our stadium showcase the history of SEC football ( the players, coaches , sportscasters who have ever been there). Everybody else does modern, big and souless. My husbands school (u of Penn) modified the Palestra and played up the history of basketball and the big 5 in the concourse; truly moving.

Anonymous said...

All good post. A couple of items to consoder.A) This press conference was not the place or time to give "specific" details of facilities upgrades. No need to deal with that in the face of a new hire who s trying to bring leadership and credibility to a football program with his hiring. B) Vandy football needs to focus on establishinig a winning season right NOW. Most recruits want to be a part of a winning program. They are not selecting a school based on "facilities". The previous strong recruiting class that BJ assembled was after the bowl season. No doubt these players wanted to be a part of what they thought was a winning future, not great facilities or lack thereof. Within the next few weeks, I di agree that DW should have a press conference (with architecks present) to discuss plans for upgrading facilities and a long-range plan. The players want to win 1st; most do not complain about "facilities" like boosters and fans. We need to have a winning season of at least 6-8 games and hopefully this staff can use "winning" to establish that Vandy is serious.

Andrew said...

I'd love one of you guys who is so optimistic about Franklin to explain why.

If Vandy is to become an occasional top 25 program, it will need a coach who is truly excellent -- probably better than one of the top 25 coaches in the country because Vandy has institutional disadvantages that the coach will have to overcome.

What about Franklin makes you guys think he's the guy. I've spent a lot of time looking at Maryland's program over the past week and I cannot see anything exceptional, either about the offense's performance or the talent level. Maryland hasn't had a lot of Heisman candidates. It hasn't even had all that many people go to the NFL. Where is the evidence that this guy is such a recruiter?

Anonymous said...

42nd in scoring offense...we were 112th...7 bowls in the last ten years...we've been to 3 in the last 50 years. They increased from 2 wins to 8 wins this season. We went from 2 wins to again 2 wins under remaining vestiges of the CBJ/Kiser regime.

This change is clearly for the better. It's so obvious, even a blind man could see it.

'Bilt said...

We should move the benches to the endzones.

Anonymous said...

No one is blind anonymous. Franklin achieved those numbers in the ACC coaching at a school that did not have the recruiting challenges of Vanderbilt. The standards on getting into Maryland are much easier. Your comparison is Apples to Oranges.

Anonymous said...

And Texas Tech is a bastion of academic superiority? People have a raging erection for Mike Leach based on results from Texas Tech...it's a place people go who can't get in to U of Texas. Texas Tech makes Maryland look like an Ivy League school when it comes to academics.

Even a blind friggin person should understand that.

Anonymous said...

I'm the first anonymous poster, but I have an easy reply to the last anonymous poster that bill debunk his claim.

Yes Tech is a dump academic school and Leach, like Franklin, would not be in any better position to work recruitment miracles at Vandy.

HOWEVER, you will notice in my first post that I said 2 things can change Vandy's luck. Getting A) A Schematic advantage or B) Better Athletes. Leach would have gotten Vandy a schematic advantage, Franklin not so much.

Only a moron wouldn't know that Leach is very well known for running a gimmicky, unusual offense that exploits defenses using inferior talent. Trust me Tech's talent was inferior to at least 2 other schools in the same state! Hell, 60 minutes did a profile on Leach explaining how he runs a unique system. I don't think Franklin is known for running a similarly unique system and I haven't heard any Franklin lovers explain how his X's and O's provide a schematic advantage. Leach calls his own plays, Franklin already said he won't be doing that. So unless he knocks us over with a well known offensive whiz for OC than the last poster's point is .... WORTHLESS and poster 1 (me) wins the debate. Thanks for playing.

Anonymous said...

If Leach is such a wizzard, why did he only win 59% in the league? No league championships. Similar results to the previous coach there.

Some might say he actually UNDER-achieved there.

We have no idea who the next OC will be. How can we condemn a coach that hasn't even been named?

If people want to support maryland or leach or whoever instead of Vandy, that's fine. nobody will prevent you from pulling for whatever team it is that will make you happy. Go for it.

Bob Loblaw said...

1. Wizard only has one Z.
2. 59% in the Big 12 was just as good as Spike Dykes' record before Leach got to Lubbock; Leach also never had a losing season and went to a bowl every year at Tech.
3. The coach I am condemning HAS been named, and his name is James Franklin.

The other anonymous said...

Where was the bitching and whining when CBJ won only 18% in the SEC, only won ONE d-1 game a year for the first three years, etc...

This looks like there is something "other than coaching ability" going on here in what people "like and don't like" if you catch my drift.

Robert said...

I am still mad the Ron Mercer didn't get in....lol....