James Franklin's Contract Extension at Vandy Takes Him off SEC's Radar, for Now

Barrett SalleeSEC Football Lead WriterDecember 3, 2012

Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin
Vanderbilt head coach James FranklinMike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Arkansas, Auburn and Tennessee can scratch another candidate off the list.

According to The Tennessean, Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin has received a significant contract extension to remain the head coach of the Commodores.

The extension includes a raise, an increased commitment to facility upgrades and more money to spend on assistant coaches. Since Vanderbilt is a private institution, specific terms of the extension were not disclosed.

Due to the lack of details, there's no way of knowing how set in stone this new contract is.

But it does confirm that Franklin won't be leaving to any of the remaining three openings in the SEC right now, which is unfortunate if you're a fan of any of those three programs.

Franklin has done a tremendous job since taking over for Robbie Caldwell in Nashville prior to the 2011 season. In his second-year, he led the Commodores to an 8-4 record and their second consecutive bowl game—the first time in program history that the Commodores have reached bowl games in back-to-back years.

On top of that, he has successfully made Vanderbilt a desirable place to play football for high school recruits.

The Commodores currently come in at the No. 17 spot in the latest Rivals.com 2013 recruiting rankings, after finishing last season with the nation's No. 29 class.

Not great, but by Vanderbilt standards, its wildly impressive.

Prior to the 2012 class, Vanderbilt hadn't finished in the top 60 in the Rivals.com team recruiting rankings in more than a decade.

That appeal will continue, whether Franklin does, in fact, stay in Nashville long-term or not.

He already secured a new indoor practice facility in his previous extension, and athletic director David Williams did mention the need to upgrade training facilities to The Tennessean.

Never say never.

At some point, the grass may be greener on the other side, but it isn't the case for Arkansas, Auburn and Tennessee—at least during this offseason.

Down the road? We'll see.

But whenever Franklin decides to take the next step, he will leave Vanderbilt much better off than when he found it.