Derek Mason plans to win the SEC East at Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt introduced its new coach on Saturday, and Derek Mason did not shy away from setting lofty goals.
James Franklin accomplished things that most other coaches were never able to do at Vanderbilt, and some have wondered whether or not Franklin's replacement, Derek Mason, will be able to maintain what Franklin built in three seasons.
Mason doesn't plan on maintaining Franklin's success, though. He plans on taking it to the next level.
"SEC East title, here we come," said Mason during his introductory press conference at Vanderbilt Saturday. "Make no bones about it. You've got to talk about it to make it happen."
A lofty goal to set from the start to be sure. For all that he accomplished during his three years at Vanderbilt, Franklin's teams never managed to finish higher than fourth in the SEC East. And while Mason believes you've got to talk to make it happen, it will take a lot more than talk to get past the likes of South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and now Missouri on an annual basis.
You can't win anything without a good coaching staff and talented players, which are two other areas Mason addressed on Saturday.
Mason said he "expects to have 90 percent of my (coaching) staff done in the next 48 hours," saying he knows who the coaches are that he's hoping to bring along. He also said he appreciated the efforts of remaining coaches to keep the current recruiting class together. Mason says he has not contacted any of the recruits who have decided to follow James Franklin to Penn State. Whether or not he will contact Franklin's recruits remains to be seen, but Mason did make one thing perfectly clear.
"I'm never going to try to be James Franklin," he said. "I'm Derek Mason. I'm your new head coach."
And given his division title aspirations, it's obvious that Mason isn't trying to be Franklin. He's trying to be better than Franklin.
Chip and Barton pick win totals for Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan and more
These three teams could surprise quite a few people in 2017
With the Chargers moving to Los Angeles, the Aztecs now need to find a new home -- fast
Lawyers representing Ole Miss want Leo Lewis and Kobe Jone to show at an infractions heari...
The redshirt sophomore will not only decide Auburn's fate, but the landscape of the SEC
Ohio State filed for apparel rights to 'OSU' in February 2017