Things have pretty much gone as expected for the Vanderbilt Commodores at this point in the 2012 college football season.
The Commodores are currently 3-4 after scratching through a very top-heavy schedule that now offers plenty of opportunities for a nice winning streak to be built.
Quite frankly, the Commodores are lucky that they took down an Auburn team that is arguably the worst in the SEC. The fact that the Commodores won by just four points was a direct result of the overly-aggressive play calling by James Franklin.
No matter how bad the SEC opponent is, you will not often get away with these tricky plays that Franklin seems to always throw out there at the worst times.
The biggest example of this against Auburn was the fake punt attempt that led to a huge momentum shift that would've doomed the Commodores if they were playing a more formidable opponent.
This gimmick offense makes sense when you're playing a team that is vastly better than you in all areas of the game, but not against a team that you are actually better than.
With the remainder of the schedule being very winnable, the Commodores really have an opportunity to get to that next level.
Throwing in some of these high-risk plays just doesn't make sense for an offense that is no longer the doormat of the SEC.
Zac Stacy has become one of the better running backs in the SEC, and the duo of Jordan Matthews and Chris Boyd makes this offense a solid one without all of the trickery.
Jordan Rodgers is also improving with his accuracy each and every week.
Furthermore, the defense is solid enough to keep the score low in every game except when the Tennessee Volunteers come to Nashville in a few weeks.
That matchup is up for debate on what kind of gameplan you bring if you're Franklin.
The Commodores don't need gimmick plays on offense to beat the other opponents remaining on their schedule.
With the exception of Tennessee, the Commodores are hands down the better team and should take care of business as long as they execute.
However, it's a lot harder to execute when you're running plays that have lots of components to them where numerous things can go wrong.
Franklin has to keep it simple, because he can win with the talent he has at his disposal without all the gimmicks.
If the Commodores stick with a steady dose of Stacy running off tackle, along with Matthews getting plenty of targets in the passing game, then this team will win seven or eight games to finish Franklin's second year at Vanderbilt.