Arkansas should make a run at James Franklin

I think that Derek Dooley has the biggest rebuilding of the coaches mentioned below. I heard Vince Dooley speak at the Little Rock Touchdown Club meeting in October of 2010 and he said that his son inherited a program that had been set back by defections. In fact, I read recently that the great recruiting class that Lane Kiffin  brought in had flopped because of various reasons and only one player out of those 23 have even started over 10 ten games. Vince Dooley wondered if the Vol fans would be patient enough for Derek to get the job done. I don’t think they will.

James Franklin has been a great hire for Vandy. I know there are coaches who could motivate players to overacheive, but they may not be able to take very talented players and get the most out of them. I wish Arkansas would make a run at Franklin. I have been very impressed with him so far. He is great with the press and the x’s and o’s and will keep the current Arkansas system.

Below is the latest story from Arkansas Sports 360:

4/16/2012 at 10:30am

Vanderbilt's James Franklin is one of the five most recent coaching hires in the SEC. He guided the Commodores to six wins and a bowl appearance in his first season.
Image by Mark Wagner

Vanderbilt’s James Franklin is one of the five most recent coaching hires in the SEC. He guided the Commodores to six wins and a bowl appearance in his first season.

Arkansas appeared to have one of the more stable coaching situations in the SEC entering April. Now, thanks to Bobby Petrino’s wild ride, the Razorbacks find themselves with a rare spring coaching opening.

Athletic Director Jeff Long is evaluating the situation, trying to decide if he should hire now or go the interim route for 2012, then make a hire (I’ve got thoughts on that I’ll share later in the week). Long raised the bar at Arkansas when hiring Petrino (we’re talking about the bar for pure football, not for good citizenry, btw).

Long has money to spend. Petrino was making $3.56 million. The Razorbacks are coming off a two-year stretch in which they finished in the Top 10 twice and went 21-5.

Seems like there is much more to offer than when Long hired Petrino.

So where is the bar when it comes to filling SEC coaching positions?

While it’s hard to make a true comparison between the UA’s situation and those of other SEC schools – for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the timing of the Razorbacks’ opening — let’s look at what other ADs have done when filling the past five openings.

Below are the six most recent hires in the SEC, the jobs they inherited and money they’re making:

Hugh Freeze, Ole Miss
Entering:
First Season
Previous Stop:
Arkansas State (10-2, one season)
Replaced:
Houston Nutt (24-26, 10-22)
Previous Salary:
$255,000
Current Salary:
$1.3 million
Season Before He Arrived:
Ole Miss finished 2-10, 0-8
Since He Arrived:
Hired In December

Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M
Entering:
First Season
Previous Stop:
Houston (35-17, 24-8)
Replaced:
Mike Sherman (25-25, 15-8 Big 12)
Previous Salary:
  $1 million
Current Salary:
  $2 million
Season Before He Arrived:
A&M was 6-6, 4-5 Big 12
Since He Arrived:
 Hired In December

Will Muschamp, Florida
Entering:
Second Season
Previous Stop:
Texas Defensive Coordinator
Replaced:
Urban Meyer (65-15, 36-12 SEC)
Previous Salary:
  $900,000
Current Salary:
  $2.7 million
Season Before He Arrived:
Florida was 8-5, 4-4
Since He Arrived:
Gators were 7-6, 3-5; Gator Bowl victory for 2011

James Franklin, Vanderbilt
Entering:
Second Season
Previous Stop:
Maryland Offensive Coordinator
Replaced:
Robbie Caldwell (2-10, 1-7 SEC)
Previous Salary:
  $486,500
Current Salary:
 “Approximately $3 million”
Before He Arrived:
Vanderbilt was 2-10, 1-7
Since He Arrived:
6-7, 2-6; Liberty Bowl appearance for 2011

Derek Dooley, Tennessee
Entering:
Third Season
Previous Stop:
Louisiana Tech (17-20, 12-12)
Replaced:
Lane Kiffin (7-6, 4-4 SEC)
Previous Salary:
  $400,000
Current Salary:  $1.8 million
Before He Arrived:
Tennessee was 7-6, 4-4
Since He Arrived:
11-14, 12-12 overall; 5-7, 1-7 SEC in 2011

Joker Phillips, Kentucky
Entering: Third Season
Previous Stop:
Kentucky OC, Coach in Waiting
Replaced: Rich Brooks (39-46, 16-39 SEC)
Previous Salary:
$323,460
Current Salary:
 $1.7 million
Before He Arrived:
Kentucky was 7-6, 3-4
Since He Arrived:
11-14, 4-12 overall; 5-7, 2-6 2011

*Salary figures are compiled from a variety of sources, including the USA Today salary database.

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