NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Vanderbilt coach James Franklin doesn’t claim to have all the answers, but he knows the quickest way to turn around a program is through recruiting and scheduling.
He feels like the Commodores are on their way in the recruiting department. Their 2012 signing class just missed being ranked in the final top 25 nationally by ESPN and included four four-star prospects. Two of their five commitments for the 2013 class are ESPNU 150 Watch List members.
“Depth is still a problem and is going to be a problem for a long time,” Franklin said. “Some of the fans and the media think you go out and have one good recruiting class and solve all your problems. Most people in our league have brought in those kind of classes for five years. Last year is the first year we’ve done it, but we like the caliber of kids we’re involved with now.”
When it comes to scheduling, Franklin said the Commodores have some work to do.
In particular, he wants to see them play one nonconference game every year against a school from a BCS conference and then three games against schools from smaller conferences.
A year ago, Vanderbilt and LSU were the only two schools in the SEC that played two nonconference games against schools from BCS conferences. In 2012, Vanderbilt again plays a pair of nonconference games against schools from BCS conferences, and both games are on the road -- at Northwestern on Sept. 8 and at Wake Forest on Nov. 24.
The only other SEC school with two nonconference games against BCS schools next season is Missouri, which faces Arizona State and Syracuse -- both at home.
“Most people in this league are playing one BCS game or one tough game and then three games they should win. We’re playing two,” Franklin said. “We should just be playing one of those. I can make an argument, if you studied our schedule, that we have one of the toughest out-of-conference schedules, and we shouldn’t.
“We have to find a way to get it done, especially playing in the SEC, where we’re playing the same kind of out-of-conference schedule as everybody else. That’s got to happen.”
In 2010, the Commodores played three nonconference games against schools from BCS conferences.