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What must James Franklin be thinking?

Quick, which is the better football coaching job? Is it Vanderbilt, which won two games this season and two the season before and is 1-15 in its last 16 SEC games?

Or is it Maryland, which is coming off an 8-4 season and has the ACC's top rookie quarterback -- cultivated and developed by James Franklin -- and a maturing offensive line?

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OK, I tipped my hand on that one.

I mention this as a way of suggesting what must be going through the mind of Franklin, Maryland's offensive coordinator, as he talks with Vanderbilt about its head coaching vacancy.

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Franklin really wanted to be Maryland's head coach. He wanted it badly enough to pass up a top assistant's job with his friend Raheem Morris and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers early in 2009. He traded that job offer for a $1 million promise from Maryland that he would be the Terps' head coach by January 2012.

Franklin is clearly attached to Maryland. After leaving the school, he returned in 2008 to become offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Almost from the day he arrived, he was being groomed to be the Terps' head coach. He recruited and developed many of the current players.

I remember him gritting his teeth and telling me after the 2-10 season in 2009: "We'll get this thing turned around."

So, as much as he wants to be a head coach sooner rather than later, I suspect these past few days present difficult choices for James Franklin as he considers the prospect of leaving College Park. It would make sense to me that he would talk over his choices with Maryland before he would say goodbye.

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