While Nick : and Les Miles were expected to battle it out for a National Championship in 2011, Mark Richt and Steve Spurrier were expected to battle it out for the SEC East, James Franklin and his Vanderbilt team were expected to be their inspiring, yet toothless selves.

But the Commodores had a sensational season by their standards, finishing 6-6 and getting bowl eligible (they lost 31-24 in a heartbreaker in the Liberty Bowl).

Franklin, looking resplendent in white shirt and chinos (he looked like one of the cast of the OC), took the interview with the SEC’s Buzz Baker:

The 2011 season: The UConn win at the start of the season was critical to us – UConn were a team who had just gone to a BCS Bowl, and we needed to start building success from the start.

Selling Vanderbilt to recruits: We sell Vanderbilt on education, the SEC, playing time and finally Nashville, because the culture of a town is as important as the college education.

Upgrades to the Sports Facilities: We are having a brand new field turf put in that might allow us to try and host the State high school Championship game, brand new lights and a $31m indoor facility.

The schedule: Having 8 games on our schedule in a conference as tough as the SEC allows the flexibility with the other games. You can schedule an out-of-conference schedule in the way that you need to be successful, and that’s really helpful.

I’m very supportive of a 6-1-1 schedule. Having Ole Miss as our season’s competitor makes sense, and I’m excited about these discussions.

 

 

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