Perhaps the most intriguing thing about James Franklin as Vanderbilt's head coach is that he acts like the team he coaches isn't Vanderbilt. Although the Commodores have historically suffered at the hands of SEC foes that are infinitely more popular, Franklin has always acted like Vandy belonged, coaching with a chip on his shoulder.
Now, Franklin literally has a chip on his shoulder:
Love this shirt. "The 'chip' represents who we are" -James Franklin pic.twitter.com/JyeBXascMB— Jon Cooper (@JonSDS) August 2, 2013
Franklin has long been a fan of making swaggy things -- his ninja star business cards, for example -- and now, he's put the team's "hey, why not us" mindset on a clever shirt.
It's a mindset that has paid off, big time. The Dores finished 9-4 last year, their first nine-win season since 1904, and now they're ranked 17th nationally in 247's composite rankings. They're not competing for SEC titles, but they're competing in SEC ballgames, which is something Vandy hasn't been able to say in a long time.