By Ron Wynn
NASHVILLLE, TN — The Vanderbilt Commodores announced their 2018 football schedule last week, and while there are some definitely winnable games early, overall it looks like a formidable one. As has often proven the case, the Commodores will be heavy underdogs in a lot of their SEC games, but if they can at least manage a couple of conference victories, coupled with wins in those games they are favored, they should have a good shot at making a bowl game. They narrowly missed that mark last season with a 5-7 record.
But on the flip side, should they suffer any upset losses, things may turn sour very quickly. A prime example is the season opener against Middle Tennessee at home on September 1. The Blue Raiders usually play Vandy tough, but the Commodores should be able to prevail in their home opener. They will also be solid favorites against Nevada at home on September 8. Then things get tougher with a trip to Notre Dame on Sept. 15. That’s followed by the SEC opener on September 22 against South Carolina, also at home. They wrap up the month with a fourth home contest, facing Tennessee State.
October sees the Commodores on the road for three of four games, starting with Georgia Oct. 6. Their only home game of the month sees Florida coming to Nashville October 13. Vanderbilt then goes back out for games against Kentucky Oct. 20 and Arkansas Oct. 27 to end month number two.
After an open date, the Commodores final road game is November 10 against Missouri. Then come their final two home games, Nov. 17 against Ole Miss, and the home finale against Tennessee Nov. 24. By that time it will be clear whether Vandy has a legitimate shot at returning to a bowl game, or whether 2018 will be another unsuccessful season.