Originally posted on Fox Sports Tennessee  |  Last updated 1/30/13
Vanderbilt football coach James Franklin recently took a seemingly unprovoked shot at Alabama's Nick Saban, referring to the four-time national champion coach as "Nicky Satan." While recently addressing kids at Central High School in Macon, Ga., Franklin boldly stated, "There's this guy down at Alabama, I think his name is Nicky Satan. You guys have probably heard of him before. I'm going to outwork him." Franklin has since apologized for his comments, saying he meant them as a joke. In this era of social-media sports, where absurd andor inflammatory comments spread across the internet like wildfire, it's odd that Franklin would deliver a public shot across the bow of Saban's very successful Crimson Tide program, especially since Alabama and Vandy didn't play in 2012 (the schools don't meet next year, either). Alabama finished the season 13-1 (7-1 SEC) after winning its third national championship in four seasons while Vanderbilt ended at 9-4 (5-3 in SEC) and defeated NC State in the Music City Bowl. A few days ago, four-star running back recruit Johnathan Ford backed away from a long-standing commitment to Vanderbilt, essentially re-opening his recruitment to the SEC powers-that-be. Perhaps that recruiting defeat had something to do with Franklin's promise of "outworking" Saban, or "Satan" comparison. With National Signing Day a week away, Alabama currently has the ninth overall class, according to Scout.com, while Vandy has the 21st. So far, no response from Saban.
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