Vanderbilt Needs a Breakout Player On Offense
After all, Franklin accomplished things that no football school in Vanderbilt history had ever done.
So it's easy to understand why those outside of the program (and fans within the program that experienced so many disastrous seasons) would believe that the Commodores will return to being one of the SEC's doormats in the future.
But thanks to vice chancellor David Williams landing former Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason, the chance of that happening are slim to none.
Sure, Vandy's 2014 recruiting class was far from ideal due to Franklin's exit. Due to the timing of Franklin's departure, the Commodores ended up with the lowest-rated class in the SEC, leaving many to wonder what may be on the horizon in the fall.
The good news, though, is that Mason understands the challenges that come with leading an academics-first school to college football glory.
And there will certainly be plenty of those challenges for the new coach heading into next season.
Vandy must replace several players at key positions, but the main focus will be finding someone on offense that can even come close to duplicating what Jordan Matthews did at the wide receiver position.
What helped Franklin's teams succeed during his time in Nashville was his ability to find a playmaker that could change the complexion of the game with one play. Matthews did that, as did fellow wide receiver Jonathan Krause.
Needless to say, Mason desperately needs someone to step up at wide receiver if Vandy wants to continue to build off of its recent success.
Mason is obviously a defensive guru, but with defenses in the league set to take a major step forward this season, there needs to be improvement on offense if the Commodores want to win games.
Of course, it isn't just about replacing wide receivers. Vandy will also have a new starting quarterback, as Patton Robinette and Johnny McCrary will continue to battle for the starting spot.
Austyn Carta-Samuels may not have had impressive numbers last season under center, but he was the type of leader that a team needs at quarterback. It will be extremely important for either Robinette or McCrary to step in and bring that same type of leadership.
At running back, the speedy Jerron Seymour seems to be the guy with the biggest playmaking potential. He scored 14 touchdowns in 2013, and there's a good chance that he eclipses that number next season as he will be relied on to do quite a bit in new offensive coordinator Karl Dorrell's offense.
The Commodores will be fine on defense. Mason has proven year after year that he can mold a defense into being one of the best in the country.
However, if Vandy wants to remain relevant in the SEC, it will need to find a star that will help this offense keep up in year one of the Mason era.
What are your thoughts on Vandy's offense heading into next season? Let us know by commenting below! For more college football talk, follow FanIQ College Football or myself on Twitter!