All That and a Bag of Mail: James Franklin to Penn State Edition

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College football season is over, but it’s still been a wild week off the field too.

James Franklin to Penn State, Bobby Petrino to Louisville, and Johnny Manziel announces he’s going pro.

Our beaver pelt trader of the week is Johnny Manziel. Check out the video that Texas A&M made of several of his top plays.

The only thing that could have made this video better is if they’d ended it with Manziel walking out of the LA nightclub with FSU model Lauren Hanley. And, by the way, you guys cannot get enough of Lauren Hanley on here. Several of you have emailed to say you think she’s the hottest girl you’ve ever seen on the Internet. 

I mean, reasonable people — well, as reasonable as married men emailing Outkick and saying this but begging me not to post their full names so their wives will know — are saying this too. 

So there’s a new Lauren Hanley picture up on the website. 

We need to make her an Outkick columnist. 

Now on to the mailbag.  

Ernest writes:

“So, Penn State just went through the biggest scandal in college football history involving a coach and university who covered up a child rape case. They deserved every bit of the negative coverage they received and may never be able to rid themselves of the stigma of covering up a rape. Even though Franklin and Vanderbilt have handled the case as well as could possibly be imagined and Franklin himself has had no implications in the coverup, is it not a bad PR move to hire Franklin so soon after the Sandusky and Paterno Scandal?”

It’s an easy angle to take — and I understand why some writers and TV hosts have taken that perspective — but the better way to look at Franklin’s tenure is by overall arrest record. And if you do that, Vandy is by far the most well-behaving of the SEC teams over Franklin’s three year tenure in charge.

Vanderbilt football has only had five players arrested during Franklin’s tenure. No other SEC program is in single digits — which is a remarkable stat by itself.

Granted the Vanderbilt rape case is a very serious alleged crime, but it’s more of an outlier than it is a symptom of a recurring problem. And, as I’ve been telling you guys for months, the Vanderbilt coaching staff isn’t involved. You don’t have to believe me, believe the DA. 

Two other things that I want to clear up about Franklin to Vanderbilt:

1. His buyout is negligible.

I’ve actually been told by people that know that he has no buyout in his contract at all. 

Why doesn’t he have a buyout?

For the same reason that Nick Saban doesn’t have one. Because Franklin didn’t want one and negotiated it that way. 

Some people have bought into the idea that Franklin’s somehow on the hook for the cost of facility improvements. This is just ludicrous and completely untrue. I suspect this is confusion over what Franklin’s contract does have — a requirement for facility improvements. Franklin didn’t want to rely on Vandy promises that things would get improved, he had it written into his contract that they had to happen. But the idea that he’d have to pay for the improvements if he left early is totally and completely laughable. And totally and completely false. 

2. Lots of you are asking so here’s my list of nine possible replacements for Franklin at Vandy.  

As I’ve said since Tuesday, if Franklin had an offer from Penn State, he was leaving. He got one. 

While Vanderbilt has done everything possible to keep him, he’s gone.  

Anonymous writes:

“A buddy of mine married a girl in a devout Alabama Crimson Tide household. Monday night, he simply stated that he was rooting for Auburn, as he couldn’t stand Jameis Winston, and believed him to be guilty of the rape allegations. Whether he was or wasn’t, he simply asked his wife, “Well, what if it was proven that he did rape that girl? You’d really root for a rapist over Auburn?”

His wife’s response? “You’re damn right!”

Now, my question…..when does a crazy fan translate into a crazy person? Should my friend be concerned for his young marriage?”

I’m not sure this is crazy. 

This just means you’re from Alabama. 

(Some of you are probably thinking, all people from Alabama are crazy when it comes to football. You’d be correct).

I’d be more concerned about raising the kids not to be Bama fans. This is going to be virtually impossible. Bama football is like a cult.  

John B. writes:

“I’m mid twenties, almost three years out of college, and live here in Nashville. Needless to say, at this point in my life, almost all my friends are either married or in a serious relationship. Something I’ve noticed and absolutely makes me laugh, and ultimately make fun of someone is when a buddy (who is in a relationship) drastically changes the way they speak on the phone with their significant other.

You know what I mean right? 98% of his conversations will be in a normal tone of voice (curse words, dude talk, etc), but the second the girlfriend calls you hear the softest, most caring vocal tone you’ve ever heard. It’s like they’re talking to a puppy, or a baby. It baffles me.

Sometimes it gets worse, and the guy will giggle, make some obnoxious sound. It makes me question their manhood.

Why does this happen? Furthermore, what is an appropriate response to this action?

I think it’s funny, next time you’re around a friend who is in a relationship pay attention to the way he answers the phone and talks to her, it’s hilarious. You’ll hear sounds you never even imagined your buddy could make.”

It happens because tons of men are houses divided against themselves when it comes to women. 

Around men they act one way and around women they act completely different. 

I don’t think most women are like this. (I don’t know because I’m not privy to entirely female conversations). 

But next time you’re at a party and your wife or girlfriend is talking with one of her friends about an upcoming baby shower and you’re whispering with one of your guy friends about which woman at the party had the most threesomes, take note of this fact.

Women and men private conversations are drastically different.  

The phone call, which you’ve hit on, is perfect evidence of this duality. Many men are in a constant race to hide from themselves. It manifests itself in all sorts of odd ways, changing the way you talk on the phone is one of them.   

Whatever limited success I’ve had with women comes from the fact that I talk pretty much the same way around women as I do around men. I think women find this honesty refreshing. Because they all suspect this is the way we really talk and that we’re lying to them much of our lives.

They are correct.

Anyway, I guess my point is, all men have secret lives. Some women do, but not most of them.  

Ronnie L. writes:

“How much do you think the extra playoff game next year will affect attendance? I think it will be difficult for the fans of a school to travel for the conference championship game, semi-final game, and championship game. I’m a big fan of the format, but I think schools will have a hard time getting 15-20,000 fans to drop that kind of cash, especially if it involves schools that have to travel across the country like Auburn and FSU had to this year.”

I think you’re right, the tickets will become much easier for the semi-final games.

The SEC title game, for instance, won’t have trouble selling out because the geography isn’t that bad for most teams. That is, most fans can still drive. 

The playoff committee is supposed to seed teams based on proximity, but what happens if both top teams are from the same geographic region?

Then one team gets really screwed.  

Let’s pretend the playoff started this year.

The top four teams in the playoff would have been: Florida State, Auburn, Alabama, and Michigan State. (This is my guess, anyway). 

So FSU would have gotten the Sugar Bowl site and Auburn and Alabama would have been shipped across the country to play in the Rose Bowl. 

Then after that game the two winners would have to travel to Dallas for the title game. 

Let’s think about it from the perspective of, say, Mizzou, a team in the SEC that isn’t even that close to Atlanta.

If you’re a Mizzou fan, in the space of little over a month, your team could play in Atlanta for the SEC title, play in Los Angeles in the playoff semi-final, and then play in Dallas for the BCS title next year.

How many fans have the money, and perhaps more importantly, the job flexibility to make those trips?

I think the odd man out here would end up being the semi-final round. (Also the conference title game). The actual title game will remain a tough ticket regardless because many fans will save up for that trip.   

Here’s an even bigger mess that no one is talking about, what if the top two teams are from the same geographic region and the number two seed, ostensibly the higher seeded team, gets shipped across the country to play in the three seeds backyard?

For instance, what if instead of Alabama making the title game this year, Oregon or Stanford did. 

Would it be fair for Auburn, the higher seed, to have to travel all the way across the country to play a lower seed with a home field advantage?

You know this will happen at some point too. 

Nathan B. writes:

“Is the only guy around Vandy actually happy about James Franklin jumping ship Kevin Stallings? Stallings’ teams have consistently under-achieved and are at the bottom of a weak SEC. He has been rumored to be on the hot seat for the last few years. I mean no way David Williams replaces both a football and basketball coach in the same year if he has the choice, right? Do you think Stallings will drive James Franklin to the airport?”

Good point. 

Although you can also argue that Stallings is on less of a hot seat because Vandy’s actually good at football right now.

If Vandy stunk at football too, as per usual, being bad at basketball would be even more frustrating. 

Having said that, Vandy basketball is a dumpster fire right now. 

Kim G. writes:

“Hi Clay,

So my daughter and I were discussing the recent “competition” of college football players to have the best looking girlfriend. We started speculating about Johnny Manziel and what celebrity girl would match his personality the best. We both are big Johnny fans, basically because he acts like a real guy!

After going through many different celebrities- Victoria Secret models, Britney Spears, etc, we decided the most fun girl with the best shock factor would be Miley Cyrus–which brings me to the question- Do you think that Johnny and Miley would be this generations Bonnie and Clyde or Sid and Nancy? It’s fun to imagine the outrage, even their names work well together!”

Short of Nick Saban being charged with murder and put on trial while Alabama still allowed him to coach football games — “Innocent until proven guilty, roll tide roll! — i can’t think of anything that would be better for Outkick than Johnny Manziel and Miley Cyrus dating.

Okay, maybe Tim Tebow and Justin Bieber starting to date.


Todd K. writes

“With the SEC network set to kickoff next year with the Ags v. SC game, only Uverse has a deal in place. We have to assume all the other networks will eventually work something out, but the question for you – do you think we will be in an arena in the next few years where the major games are on PPV? Does the SEC network become an add-on package like MLB extra innings or NBA league pass?

People in Alabama will have to cut back on ammo purchases so they can watch Sabin (or however they spell it there…)”

The SEC Network will not be an add-on in any respects.

That’s what the battle is over right now with carriers, whether or not the channel is carried as part of regular cable and satellite packages. That’s where the money is. 

Given that most of these deals don’t get signed until right before — or after — the games actually begin, it’s going to be a real battle all year long and probably into the actual season, get ready.

I don’t think the average fan is aware of the battle that’s coming and I actually feel sorry for the cable companies. They don’t know what’s coming when SEC football fans find out their favorite teams aren’t available on their cable or satellite packages. Hell, just look at my Twitter feed when I have the gall to pick against an SEC team in a game. (Newsflash, I have to pick one team to win and one team to lose). 

I’m used to Twitter venom, but God forbid if Outkick the Coverage was suddenly responsible for a football game not being on.  

Rebecca J. writes:

“I relocated to San Diego last week. Because I know no one in this city, I decided to join Tinder to help me meet people. (Feel free to give your two cents on the Tinder App when you answer this question. If you haven’t heard of it, I promise it’s worth your while to do a little research.) Anyway, I’ve had no trouble getting matches thus far, so I’ve come up with several ways of weeding out potential suitors. Rule #1: Never reply to anyone who uses “your” and “you’re” incorrectly. (“Your cute.” Delete…because YOU’RE dumb.)

I recently came across a rather persistent male whose original message ended with “Hope your having a good day.” I didn’t respond because he broke Rule #1. However, he continued to message me and finally asked why I wasn’t responding. I told him. He called me another word for female dog. (I refuse to type said word since my mother is probably reading this. In the meantime, I need to find some way to justify Tinder to her.)

Anyway, I know I’m not in the wrong, and I’m certain that you will agree. Why would I put myself out there with this guy and have to endure the possibility of a relationship where I cringe every time I get a text from him? Is there a nice way to let people know they’re idiots? Should I simply respond with “Roll Tide?”

PS: As you know, Johnny Football is headed to San Diego to prepare for the NFL draft. I’m more than willing to go on a #manzielmanhunt for you. What do you think are the odds that he’ll join Tinder?” 

I’m familiar with the Tinder app, it’s just the latest technological device designed to make having sex easier. (And make married men think, why didn’t this exist when I was single?”) 

By the time my boys are in college, there will be an actual, “Do you want to have sex right now app?” and they’ll just scroll through looking for girls who want to have sex at that exact moment.

Your vs. you’re is a nice way for a smart girl to cut through the dumb guys with rapidity.

Email correspondence is another way. If he uses all caps or multiple exclamation points, just run in the opposite direction.  

If I was a girl trying to weed out dumb guys, I’d go with something simple too, just ask, what’s the last book you read for fun?

The number of guys who reply, “I don’t really read books, but I read magazines,” is incredibly sad. You also can’t give credit for a business book that he was required to read. 

You can weed out like 85% of men with this question.

in fact, right now many of the women reading this answer are sighing because they can’t even remember the last time their husbands or boyfriends read a book. I remember doing a book signing for “Dixieland Delight,” when a recent SEC grad came up to me at the signing and said, of her husband, “I’ve never seen him read a book before!”

It’s what I do, I bring couples together.  

As for Johnny Manziel on Tinder? That’s how he and Miley will get together. 


Written by Clay Travis

OutKick founder, host and author. He's presently banned from appearing on both CNN and ESPN because he’s too honest for both.