Vanderbilt defeated rival Tennessee 14-10 on Saturday at Neyland Stadium. VandyMania.com's Don…
Five Football Reasons to be Thankful
1) James Franklin is still a Commodore
From his impassioned speeches, to his cliff diving, to his constant promotion of all things Vanderbilt, the 'Dores are truly blessed to have James Franklin in town. What he, and the athletic department, have done with the black and gold is really nothing short of remarkable given the position of the program when he took control. The fact he turned down overtures from bigger programs last summer to stay in Nashville was a huge vote of confidence to what Franklin thinks he can achieve with the Commodores and we should all enjoy every last minute of this ride.
2) Jordan Matthews dominance
Regardless of his yardage output at the end of the year you can make a massive argument that this is Matthews's best year as a Commodore. During this season he has set SEC record for career receptions and career yards receiving, as well as setting a personal mark for catches in a game. The beauty of his season is that this has been done, on many occasions, as the ONLY passing threat the Commodores have. Matthews has seen double and triple coverage all season long and he still makes play after play with his combination of size, route running, and some of the softest hands in the country. Enjoy Matthews's last two games as a Commodore, who knows when we will see his like again.
3) Bowl eligibility (again)
Be thankful for the fact that Franklin has Vanderbilt bowl eligible for the third straight year under his stewardship. At 1-2, then again at 3-3, the likelihood of Vanderbilt playing in the postseason again was looking a little shaky. Then November hit and the Commodores did what they usually do under Franklin in that month, win. Keep an eye on the Ole Miss and Georgia (without Aaron Murray) results this weekend, a couple of losses for those two schools and Vanderbilt could find themselves playing in the biggest bowl yet under this regime.
4) Wins over Georgia and Florida
Certainly both these schools have had their issues and are down this year, but wins over the Bulldogs (#15 at the time) and the Gators in the same season do not come around that often. When I say often I do of course mean ever as this was the first time in the history of program which has been around since 1890 when wins over this combination of schools was achieved.
5) Vanderbilt is not in Tennessee's situation
Definitely something to be thankful for. Seriously, what a mess.
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