With Gus Malzahn's last-minute decision to stay as Auburn's offensive coordinator, the Vanderbilt head coaching job is now open again. Maryland offensive coordinator James Franklin had been the favorite earlier, and now, he's reportedly set to accept the job, according to Eric Prisbell of the Washington Post:
James Franklin, Maryland's offensive coordinator and head coach-in-waiting, is expected to become the next head football coach at Vanderbilt, according to two sources close to Franklin with knowledge of the negotiations.
Prisbell reports that "barring an unforseen road block," Franklin will be introduced today or tomorrow. It sounds as definite as definite can be, but keep in mind that Prisbell also reported that Malzahn took the job when it turns out he hadn't.
There's a chance that Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson makes a last-ditch effort to convince Franklin to stay, like Auburn did with Malzahn. However, having Franklin go to Vanderbilt would also provide some clarity to Ralph Friedgen's future. The coach is seeking a long-term contract, and Franklin is ensured a $1 million roster bonus if he is not the Terps' head coach by 2012. This would eliminate that possibility.
Franklin has been Maryland's offensive coordinator since 2008.