14 Burning Questions for 2012: #13: Vanderbilt

14 SEC teams for 2012 and a burning question for each.  Today:  #13 of 14.

Question #13 for 2012: Was 2011 a fluke for Vandy or does James Franklin have the Commodores rolling?

The quick answer: if you consider a second straight .500 season rolling, well, I guess Franklin has the Dores rolling.

Vandy finished 2011 with 6-7 record after a dismal 2-10 mark the previous season. The 2011 team wound up with a losing record after falling to Cincinnati in the Liberty Bowl.

There is reason for optimism in Nashville. The Commodores played Georgia, Arkansas and Florida off their feet, but lost all three games. They also lost to in-state rival Tennessee in overtime, 27-21.

A play here and there and the Dores could have been 10-3. Scary isn’t it?

Franklin returns some players to work with in 2012.  Jordan Rodgers returns at quarterback and the top three rushers (including Rodgers) are also back. The two top receivers return and the defense brings back seven starters. That has to have all six Vandy fans salivating.

But unfortunately for Vandy, Georgia, Florida and Tennessee should not be looking past the Dores this season.  They should be properly motivated, and in the case of the Gators and Vols, they should be better teams. The Razorbacks roll off the schedule, but Missouri and Auburn roll on.  I could see Vandy losing both of those.

Mix all that together and I think Vandy struggles in league play this season, but squeaks out another bowl.  If you’re Vandy, I guess you’re on a roll.