HOOVER, Ala. -- It didn't take long for Vanderbilt football players to figure the difference between new coach Derek Mason and the previous coach, James Franklin.
"I have heard a lot of times that Coach Franklin was considered a walking headline. He loves the cameras. He loves the media. He loves to be in the center of attention," Commodores sophomore defensive lineman Adam Butler said at SEC Media Days. "That's not the case with Coach Mason."
What Franklin did in breathing life into a moribund football program was nothing short of miraculous. The program's unprecedented success in his three seasons included consecutive nine-win campaigns and three straight bowl berths for the first time.
It also earned Franklin the Penn State job, opening the door for Mason, the former Stanford defensive coordinator. Like Franklin before coming to Vanderbilt, Mason was also a coveted assistant coach with no head coaching experience, but destined to be one on the stre...