Nov 23, 2013; Knoxville, TN, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores head coach James Franklin during the game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium. Vanderbilt won 14 to 10. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Longhorns Head Coaching Search: Vanderbilt's James Franklin Interviews, but is Steve Patterson waiting on Jimbo Fisher?

It was only a few weeks ago that Texas AD Steve Patterson declared that a Mack Brown’s successor would be in place by January 15th. With under two weeks to go, another big name has entered the fray.

A source has told Orangebloods.com that Vanderbilt’s James Franklin interviewed for the position and is a finalist for the job. We already learned earlier in the week that Patterson interviewed Charlie Strong, and Orangebloods corroborated that report.

There’s a lot of information to digest here. Franklin has been a hot coaching commodity since he led the perennial SEC bottom feeder Vanderbilt to back-to-back 8+ win seasons. In his three years at Vanderbilt, he’s coached up two and three star recruits into SEC-level players. Several, like former Commodore Casey Hayward, have gone on to considerable success in the NFL. While Franklin does not have many ties to the state of Texas, he is a relatively young coach (41) and could remain with the Longhorns for a considerable length of time should Texas hire him.

Jan 2, 2014; Costa Mesa, CA, USA; Florida State Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher at practice for the 2014 BCS National Championship against the Auburn Tigers at the Jack R. Hammett Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

However, the elephant in the room remains Florida State headman Jimbo Fisher. Fisher has been rumored as a dream candidate for Texas since Nick Saban agreed to his most recent extension with Alabama, but with the Seminoles preparing for the BCS National Championship game in Pasadena, little progress can be made.

Assuming mutual interest, the soonest Fisher could conceivably interview with Texas is next Tuesday following the championship game. That would give Patterson a little over a week to hammer out the details before his January 15th deadline. However, should a deal with Fisher fall apart, not only would there be little time for Patterson to pick up the pieces, but it would also throw Texas into an unflattering light. Accordingly, it might be viewed as too risky a move, especially considering that other notable vacancies could drain the talent pool should the school idle much longer.

Certainly, there’s more to come. Keep your internet machines tuned to Hook’em Headlines for the latest Longhorns news and developments.

Jason Hirschhorn serves as Editor-in-Chief for FanSided’s Texas Longhorns blog, Hook ‘em Headlines. He also covers the Green Bay Packers for SB Nation’s Acme Packing Company. Jason has previously written for a plethora of other publications including Beats Per Minute, Lombardi Ave, and College Hoops Net.

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Tags: Charlie Strong James Franklin Jimbo Fisher Texas Longhorns

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