Vanderbilt plans to go from 'good to great'

Promise by Antonio Richardson 'an opinion'

Vanderbilt coach James Franklin talks with reporters during the Southeastern Conference football Media Days in Hoover, Ala., Thursday, July 18, 2013. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

Photo by Dave Martin

Vanderbilt coach James Franklin talks with reporters during the Southeastern Conference football Media Days in Hoover, Ala., Thursday, July 18, 2013. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

HOOVER, Ala. — When Tennessee offensive lineman Antonio “Tiny” Richardson promised that the Vols’ dismal loss at Vanderbilt last season wouldn’t happen again, he was speaking of one game.

But Vanderbilt players hear and see much of that same doubt about their success as a whole.

The Commodores are coming off their winningest season since 1915. It was a remarkable story. But now, receiver Jordan Matthews said, many seem to think that Vandy will “go back down to the cellar” from whence they came.

“People think we’ve peaked,” Matthews said.

Video from YouTube

But have they? If Vandy takes a step back, Tennessee’s path to a six-win season and bowl eligibility will get considerably easier. However, if the Commodores go from “good to great,” as Matthews predicts, 2013 could the

second meeting in a row in which the Vandy provides the knockout blow to UT’s season.

The Vols and Commodores meet Nov. 23 at Neyland Stadium in a game that has already been circled by many in Knoxville because of the crushing embarrassment of last year’s 41-18 loss. Hours after the game, coach Derek Dooley was fired.

“That won’t happen again. I promise you that,” said Richardson, a Nashville native, during Wednesday’s SEC Media Days session.

Reporters, of course, dutifully repeated that quote — fairly mild as bulletin-board material goes — to Vanderbilt players. It turned out to be unnecessary. They had already seen it.

“That’s an opinion,” said Vandy cornerback Andre Hall. “If that’s what he thinks, I’m happy for him. We’ll see in November what he thinks.”

Asked about the importance of the Tennessee win in 2012, Hall would only allow that it was “very satisfying.”

Matthews said he knows and respects Richardson, calling him a “great player.”

“I can’t focus on (the comments),” Matthews said. “I can only focus on (the opener) against Ole Miss.”

Matthews said last year’s victory, only the second win against the Vols since 1983, meant as much for long-suffering fans as it did for the players.

“That was a fan’s game,” Matthews said. “Fans would say, ‘If you all do anything, you’ve got to be able to beat UT.’ ”

The rare victory in the series won’t make players complacent, Matthews said.

“If we don’t come back with that same edge, (UT) is going to creep up on us,” he said.

Third-year coach James Franklin has led the Commodores to back-to-back bowl games and also has chased blue-chip recruits that Vanderbilt used to ignore.

But the program has been buffeted by the dismissal of four players this summer amidst an investigation into a possible sex crime. No one has been charged or arrested in the case.

Franklin politely deflected any questions that even hinted at the topic, saying it would be inappropriate to comment on an “ongoing investigation.”

None of the dismissed athletes played last season, and Franklin’s sunny optimism offered no hint that the program’s striking rebound was over — or that he had any plans to go elsewhere.

“I think more than anything you see a commitment at Vanderbilt right now,” Franklin said. “Not only from the head coach and the players, but from the administration and the boosters and the fan base and everybody else, probably more so than it’s ever been at Vanderbilt. To me, that’s exciting.”

Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him at www.Twitter.com/TennesseeBeat.

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Comments » 132

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor say you cant spell Candy without Vandy..Witch Doctor say if they believe in themselves so much their scheduling would reflect that..it doesn't.
Bones never lie.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say you cant spell Candy without Vandy..Witch Doctor say if they believe in themselves so much their scheduling would reflect that..it doesn't.
Bones never lie.

*PS Witch Doctor say Franklin has given more "Victory" speeches than Saban this off season..Witch Doctor say act like youve been there. Witch Doctor say most REAL Vandy fans Witch Doctor know around the west end is becoming embarrassed by the "They said I couldnt win here!" haha talk(uh one season out of 100). Witch Doctor say its getting funny now! lol
Bones never lie.

dbc5361 writes:

41-18

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to dbc5361:

41-18

Witch Doctor say no one got that tattoo! lol.
Bones never lie.

Colliervol writes:

Must be hard to know you can be as good as you can be and you will NEVER get above 3rd or 4th in the division much less get to Atlanta. No need for further discussion. Next subject.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to Colliervol:

Must be hard to know you can be as good as you can be and you will NEVER get above 3rd or 4th in the division much less get to Atlanta. No need for further discussion. Next subject.

Witch Doctor say when they dream their little legs kick! jajaja
(Witch Doctor learning spanish!)
Bones never lie.

BigBadVol writes:

Didn't they have like 2000 fans at the spring game?🏈

NashvillePreds writes:

Tennessee had more fans at a picnic in Nashville tonight than vu could muster for their spring game, which Franklin claimed would be, "sold out."
Franklin is a blowhard chump who has cultural problems within his squad.
Enjoy the Liberty Bowl next year vandy. "From good to great!"
Hahahahah

Rise to the Top
Go Vols

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

Let's make it simple. Last season, coaching (or lack of it) cost the Vols the Vandy game. Defense couldn't stop anybody, ever, and that was on Sunseri. Last year, Vandy DID have a better coach than we did, and that helped them win, despite being out-classed in the area of talent on the field.

This year is very different. Vandy is still out-classed in the area of talent on the field -- as they always will be -- and now they're not better coached.

Both teams will have new QBs. Give the Vols the edge there. The Anchor-heads will not have their star runner either, while the Vols' top two runners return, and they average 4.5 and 5.5 yards per carry last year. Give the edge to the Vols there too.

The edge on the O-line obviously goes to the Vols too.

In fact, the only things the Dores might have an advantage in are: One starting WR, who is a great one; kicking.

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

For Vandy to go from "good to great," a few more teams on their schedule will have to fall into the pits. They can't beat anybody who doesn't need rebuilding.

ActualUTAlum writes:

It's cute to listen to both of Vandy's fans talk about how they're better than UT. This is all based on one game against the worst Tennessee team in recent memory, who had already quit on its atrocious coach. We will beat their brakes off this year, and it's only going to get worse. Check out Rivals recruiting, Commodores...is it Vandy or UT that's #1 by 300 points?

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to dbc5361:

41-18

You are really pathetic. One win and you act like you are doing something. Your one win that you are so proud of was against the worst defense UT has ever fielded. But since you like numbers here are a few for you.

73-29-5 (Overall record in Tennessee's favor)
Dooley's record against Vandy 2-1 (Worst coach in a long time)
Tennessee has never lost more than 7 games in a season - the only school that can say that.
Vandy loses 8-10 games regularly .
Vandy has been to 5 bowl games in it's 100+ years of playing football. UT has been to 49 and boasts 6 national titles.

21 in a row from '83-'04
27 out of the last 29

So, yeah, go ahead and enjoy that one win you loser! It will be a long time before you win another. Your precious commodes lost a lot of seniors so we'll see how you all react to finishing below .500 again and your precious savior Franklin bolts for the weaker, less stressful Big 10.

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to ALWAYSSEEITTHROUGH:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

See my previous post but wipe.

goldengate writes:

I hope the 'dores will go from good to great ... it'll be a better win for UT each year of the next quarter century or so.

Let the Vandy fans have their say. They're like a big swarm of cicadas - they come out every few years when they feel that they can spread their wings. But they have no sting and are harmless.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

In reality; 2 years from now if you were picking one of the bottom 4 teams in the east to finish 3rd not many would pick Vandy..The days of being an annual doormat are gone but to the best of my knowledge Franklin has yet to even beat a top #25 team and they refuse to schedule one in a OOC game..Instead of Duke or Wake why not North Carolina or Va Tech as the ACC OOC team.. If Franklin is what they say they are than let the world know your aren't afraid to play a road game at Michigan State instead of Northwestern!!! Most all of those 9 wins were against teams with awful losing records. Beating a defenseless; uninspired Vol team that threw in the towel after the Mizzo game doesn't prove squat!! Go into the Swamp or A&M and have a dominate win then we will talk great

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to ALWAYSSEEITTHROUGH:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Witch Doctor say its fun to watch Candys fans trying to explain a sport they know nothing about. lol
Bones never lie.

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to 9willbesofine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Dude, I hear your granny calling you, she needs you to come out of the basement and rub her feet and then feed her some oatmeal for breakfast.

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

In reality; 2 years from now if you were picking one of the bottom 4 teams in the east to finish 3rd not many would pick Vandy..The days of being an annual doormat are gone but to the best of my knowledge Franklin has yet to even beat a top #25 team and they refuse to schedule one in a OOC game..Instead of Duke or Wake why not North Carolina or Va Tech as the ACC OOC team.. If Franklin is what they say they are than let the world know your aren't afraid to play a road game at Michigan State instead of Northwestern!!! Most all of those 9 wins were against teams with awful losing records. Beating a defenseless; uninspired Vol team that threw in the towel after the Mizzo game doesn't prove squat!! Go into the Swamp or A&M and have a dominate win then we will talk great

I agree with most of what you say, but the days of being an annual doormat will be back soon for vandy. Once a more popular Big 10 team comes calling franky boy will be gone and the commodes will be back to losing 10 games a year.

It took SC 120 years before they could be considered a powerhouse team. Every once and a while they would win 8 games and make a bowl, but Vandy and franky boy are not the next SC.

usafvol writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

Dude, I hear your granny calling you, she needs you to come out of the basement and rub her feet and then feed her some oatmeal for breakfast.

I picture this guy as the dude who owns the comic book store on the Simpsons..

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

What is humorous is this sudden cockiness from the Commodes and the idiotic trolls here. What is factual as we all know is their giddiness over 9 wins borne out from a pathetic schedule. Trading schedules in 2012 and 2013 would be cause for the tea sippers to examine what the record in 2012 plus 2013 would be.

By the end of the 2013 season, the Vols will have in place an established QB, along with superior coaching, plus the always present 95-100,000 fans, something you might see in Dudley after about 4 games.

Believable quotes? I am pretty sure we can put more stock in something Richardson says as opposed to anything a Commode player such as Matthews says.

By the time the Commodes enter Neyland Stadium, they will have run into Ole Miss, South Carolina, Missouri, Georgia, Texas A & M, Florida.

After that experience, the game with Tennessee will more than like be the 6th or 7th loss.

CrankE writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

I agree with most of what you say, but the days of being an annual doormat will be back soon for vandy. Once a more popular Big 10 team comes calling franky boy will be gone and the commodes will be back to losing 10 games a year.

It took SC 120 years before they could be considered a powerhouse team. Every once and a while they would win 8 games and make a bowl, but Vandy and franky boy are not the next SC.

Can't make any predictions on 2013, it will just be rough for UT. After 2013 though, it ultimately does not matter if Franky stays or goes. UT is still UT. Vandie is still Vandie. That ain't changing.

As for SC, even Stevie boy hasn't won them an SEC Championship. When he goes, SC will likely return to being SC.

SevenT writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

Vols,

What is humorous is this sudden cockiness from the Commodes and the idiotic trolls here. What is factual as we all know is their giddiness over 9 wins borne out from a pathetic schedule. Trading schedules in 2012 and 2013 would be cause for the tea sippers to examine what the record in 2012 plus 2013 would be.

By the end of the 2013 season, the Vols will have in place an established QB, along with superior coaching, plus the always present 95-100,000 fans, something you might see in Dudley after about 4 games.

Believable quotes? I am pretty sure we can put more stock in something Richardson says as opposed to anything a Commode player such as Matthews says.

By the time the Commodes enter Neyland Stadium, they will have run into Ole Miss, South Carolina, Missouri, Georgia, Texas A & M, Florida.

After that experience, the game with Tennessee will more than like be the 6th or 7th loss.

Vandy's non-conference schedule was very solid last year.

Northwestern
Presbyterian
UMass
Wake Forest

Presbyterian is the only "pathetic" team on the non-conference schedule.

Now let's compare last years UT non-conference.

NC State
Georgia State
Akron
Troy

Now that is "pathetic" particularly since UT Fan claims they are an elite football program.

orangecountyvols writes:

Seven teeth,

You don't even have a dog in this hunt. Try trolling somewhere people will think what you say is relevant.

Your obsession with the Vols is going to get you, you know. What a pathetic little obsessed kid.

SevenT writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

Seven teeth,

You don't even have a dog in this hunt. Try trolling somewhere people will think what you say is relevant.

Your obsession with the Vols is going to get you, you know. What a pathetic little obsessed kid.

I can see you are a frustrated UT fan. I don't blame you for lashing out at anyone who points out the stupidity of firing Fulmer and the obvious abysmal state of the UT sinking ship program. One day the UT administration will wake up spend some money and hire a big name coach. Until that happens UT will be at the bottom of the SEC fighting it out with Vandy and Kentucky.

CantStandCantStandSaban writes:

"But have they? If Vandy takes a step back, Tennessee’s path to a six-win season and bowl eligibility will get considerably easier."

Wow, I never thought I'd live to see the day where 1.) TN's season would be measured as a success with a 6 win season and 2.) We would have to count on Vandy being WORSE than the previous year in order to secure said bowl berth.

Everybody stands at the back of the line sooner or later. It's happened to Alabama, Florida, LSU, etc. Although some of those fans might tend to forget those leaner times as they troll message boards during Star Trek commercial breaks. It still important to keep our current run of bad football in historical perspective. We'll be back. And if our 2014 recruiting class is any indication, it will be sooner rather than later.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

Vandy is about to see what reloading means opposed to rebuilding. Losing key starters won't be an easy transition unless your Bama. It takes 5 or 6 games to gain chemistry (sometimes a whole season) before they are playing at the level needed in the SEC. Look for vandy to take a step back this year.

MilitaryBrat writes:

It still amazes me that people are still obsessed over Fulmer getting fired.

It is pretty pathetic that they are more Fulmer fans, than Tennessee fans.

BigbearVol writes:

Wait a sec, hold up. How are you gonna go from good to great with your "Anchor DOWN". He is REALLY talking himself into corner. What a blowhard. Double talk jibber-jabber. We'll just see when the cleats hit the turf. HaHAAA!!

Orangeblood13 writes:

just win ballgames

BigBadVol writes:

in response to SevenT:

I can see you are a frustrated UT fan. I don't blame you for lashing out at anyone who points out the stupidity of firing Fulmer and the obvious abysmal state of the UT sinking ship program. One day the UT administration will wake up spend some money and hire a big name coach. Until that happens UT will be at the bottom of the SEC fighting it out with Vandy and Kentucky.

Man your sauce is weak! Is that it? Is that all you've got? Really sad but you wouldn't understand.

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to SevenT:

I can see you are a frustrated UT fan. I don't blame you for lashing out at anyone who points out the stupidity of firing Fulmer and the obvious abysmal state of the UT sinking ship program. One day the UT administration will wake up spend some money and hire a big name coach. Until that happens UT will be at the bottom of the SEC fighting it out with Vandy and Kentucky.

Toothless,

To repeat..........you don't even have a dog in the hunt. Trolls such as you really must believe you're somewhat knowledgeable about anything.
What's funny to us is how clowns can troll here puffing up sorry programs, and ignoring the fact that the premier SEC programs such as Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and LSU also include Tennessee.

Idiots want to look at the last 3 or 4 years and surmise that's the way the Vols have always been and always will be. Everyone else knows about the big picture, the history and tradition of these programs. We also know even Alabama was down for a period of time yet they rebuilt and have come back strong. Almost all the premier schools have been down at one time or two.

The Kentucky's and Commodes of the world have traditionally been door mats and in all probability will continue to do so. Perhaps that's why obsessed trolls such as Seven teeth have no recourse except to take out their jealousy and frustration on the better, and tradition rich schools.

thevoice writes:

Can't go from good to great without pulling anchor. Seems Vandy actually does have it right: anchor down and don't move. By November, we'll see if that big anchor fell right through that little canoe's floor, pulling both anchor and little canoe to the bottom of the lake.

bUTch_please writes:

Well....I can't comment on Vanderbilts' projected fortunes....'cause as they are sooo fond of saying on the West End...the investigation is ongoing.

formervol1950s writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say you cant spell Candy without Vandy..Witch Doctor say if they believe in themselves so much their scheduling would reflect that..it doesn't.
Bones never lie.

As a guy who was born and raised in Nashville I chose to play for the VOLS as opposed to Vandy . You are right on Witch Doctor...I have been blessed all these years for making the right choice !

mountainbrook writes:

in response to ALWAYSSEEITTHROUGH:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Franklin coached Candy has only beaten one team with a winning record since he's been there. They have nothing. Maybe they could schedule Elon 10 times a season?

CantStandCantStandSaban writes:

in response to Crafty_Commodore_4118:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

copy...paste...copy...paste...never...kissed...a...girl

SevenT writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

Toothless,

To repeat..........you don't even have a dog in the hunt. Trolls such as you really must believe you're somewhat knowledgeable about anything.
What's funny to us is how clowns can troll here puffing up sorry programs, and ignoring the fact that the premier SEC programs such as Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and LSU also include Tennessee.

Idiots want to look at the last 3 or 4 years and surmise that's the way the Vols have always been and always will be. Everyone else knows about the big picture, the history and tradition of these programs. We also know even Alabama was down for a period of time yet they rebuilt and have come back strong. Almost all the premier schools have been down at one time or two.

The Kentucky's and Commodes of the world have traditionally been door mats and in all probability will continue to do so. Perhaps that's why obsessed trolls such as Seven teeth have no recourse except to take out their jealousy and frustration on the better, and tradition rich schools.

Yep, your UT tradition is impressive all right. Particularly in the 50s, now go back to the coffee shop an yup it up with all the old timers and talk about the Glory Days of UT football. Maybe y'all will get it turned around in another 10-15 years.

trubleoj#657755 writes:

Well they are certainly on the right track from good to great according to the police blotter metric...

I'll be interested to see if Peabody's good to great "fan base" will represent in Neyland. In the past 25 years it has been no more than player's parents and band.

Central_IL_Vol writes:

CRAPPY COMMODE DORE,

Get used to continued beatdowns by Butch Jones and the BIG ORANGE! Jones has already administered a beating to the COMMODE DORES in the Liberty Bowl!

Bald Tool Franklin and the Candy Doors are already BUTCH'S B1TCHES!!!
.....

DalTexVol writes:

in response to dbc5361:

41-18

How about 73-28-5? That's the Vols all time record against Vandy. Good luck on closing that gap. Just sayin'

antonio14313 writes:

LMAO!!!

when it comes to football, the words "vanderbilt" and "great" should never be in the same sentence.

thanks for the laugh...

go vols.

t

DalTexVol writes:

in response to 9willbesofine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Oh, are you buying your ninth pair of jorts?

FearTheVols1252 writes:

Good to great?? Pffft! Wish in one hand and cr@p in the other and see which gets filled first, Franklin. Just sayin...

DalTexVol writes:

in response to CantStandCantStandSaban:

"But have they? If Vandy takes a step back, Tennessee’s path to a six-win season and bowl eligibility will get considerably easier."

Wow, I never thought I'd live to see the day where 1.) TN's season would be measured as a success with a 6 win season and 2.) We would have to count on Vandy being WORSE than the previous year in order to secure said bowl berth.

Everybody stands at the back of the line sooner or later. It's happened to Alabama, Florida, LSU, etc. Although some of those fans might tend to forget those leaner times as they troll message boards during Star Trek commercial breaks. It still important to keep our current run of bad football in historical perspective. We'll be back. And if our 2014 recruiting class is any indication, it will be sooner rather than later.

Great line ..."as they troll message boards during Star Trek commercial breaks." Pure genius quote of the week. Made me LOL! Thanks!!!

GerryOP writes:

JimmyFrank has no HC experience except his last two years at Vandy! So, how would he know what is "good" and what is "great" and what it takes to go from "good" to "great?"

GR82BTNVOL writes:

Here's how Vandy's season goes down. Teams will be ready for them therefore they will lose many. After a couple of tough losses, Franklin will lose his player's confidence due to his constant brow beating of them--the season will crumble and the Vanderbilt headmasters will can his behind due to team violations, stupid comments, etc. Franklin jumps ship and takes Akron to a bowl game. Oh and the VOLS beat his behind severely.

GR82BTNVOL writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say no one got that tattoo! lol.
Bones never lie.

Classic Witch Doctor-lol!

Snapshot writes:

in response to SevenT:

Vandy's non-conference schedule was very solid last year.

Northwestern
Presbyterian
UMass
Wake Forest

Presbyterian is the only "pathetic" team on the non-conference schedule.

Now let's compare last years UT non-conference.

NC State
Georgia State
Akron
Troy

Now that is "pathetic" particularly since UT Fan claims they are an elite football program.

sevenTeeth you are a coward as well ad an idiot.

MidTNVolFan writes:

in response to formervol1950s:

As a guy who was born and raised in Nashville I chose to play for the VOLS as opposed to Vandy . You are right on Witch Doctor...I have been blessed all these years for making the right choice !

I 2nd that formervol1950s! I too was born and raised in Nashville. As a kid I wanted to be a fan of Vandy. I looked for every reason to like the commodores. I felt it only natural to cheer for the "home team". Vanderbilt never once ever in the 30 years of my life ever gave me a reason to cheer for them. EVER. All this talk over one game? Give me one reason why anyone on this earth would ever think Vandy is a better program than Tennessee? With all the facts to support it I would love to read about it. Because I know its a fact that regardless of the score last season, UT has a better program and Vandy would need to win, not just beat us but win (SEC championships, National Championships, rivalries etc.) for another 30 or 40 years before your program can even compare to ours. Thats fact Commodores. If it weren't true I'd have been a fan 20 years ago. Nothing can erase all the losing you Commodores have done. You should be ashamed of yourselves for coming here posting nonsense.

Tru138 writes:

in response to Snapshot:

sevenTeeth you are a coward as well ad an idiot.

He's definitely a coward. He once threatened to bring a gun to a game because one of the big fellas threatened (allegedly) to slap the taste out of his mouth.

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