Texas hires Charlie Strong, so where does James Franklin go?

Texas hires Charlie Strong, so where does James Franklin go?
January 5, 2014, 3:15 pm
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Terps drop Military Bowl, still finish winning season

(Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports)

Cross one possible destination for Vanderbilt head coach and former Maryland offensive coordinator James Franklin off the list. Louisville head coach Charlie Strong is the new coach of the Texas Longhorns.

So Franklin can put down the classified ads for houses in Austin.

Franklin had long been rumored as a candidate to replace ousted head coach Mack Brown, but in comes Strong, who has remade the image of Louisville football, vaulting the Cardinals into the Top 25 and a legitimate threat as Louisville moves into the ACC.

What does it mean for Franklin, who led Vanderbilt to a BBVA Compass Bowl win over Houston on Saturday?

It’s not like the well of interest in Franklin has dried up. Far from it, actually. Reports have tied Franklin’s name to college jobs including Penn State, along with Miami’s Al Golden and recently fired Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak.

[RELATED: Redskins reportedly request interview with James Franklin]

The NFL isn’t without interest either. Reports say Franklin interviewed for the Houston Texans job, a position that was later filled by Penn State coach Bill O’Brien. In recent days, multiple reports have said Franklin has had interview requests come from the Redskins and Browns.

According to NFL Network, the Titans could be interested, as well.

The real question that arises, though, is where Franklin ultimately sees himself. Is he destined to be a head coach at a major college football program, the cornerstone at a “destination job”? Or is the NFL his final stop, whether some time at a big-time college program is part of that plan or not?

Franklin was tabbed as the coach-in-waiting to succeed former Terrapins coach Ralph Friedgen, who was unceremoniously fired after an appearance in the Military Bowl in 2010. Franklin bolted for Vanderbilt under a cloud of administrative uncertainty in College Park.

He has amassed an overall record of 24-15 in three seasons at Vanderbilt.