By Ron Wynn
NASHVILLE, TN — The Southeastern Conference finalized their schedules for all schools last week, and Vanderbilt’s is among the toughest. The SEC decided to forego non-conference games and play a 10-game schedule. That decision eliminated at least two and maybe three games Vandy had a good shot at winning. If Derek Mason can lead the Commodores to a winning season with this slate (assuming there will even be a season) it will be his finest coaching job since taking over the program.
They begin the year at home, which is the about the only good thing that can be said about drawing Florida as your opening opponent. The four other home games are LSU, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee. Of those four, Mississippi and Tennessee would be considered the best bets at wins, and that’s based on past performance. With Vandy breaking in a new QB and not having any non-conference games to get its offense and defense in gear, that might not be such a wise projection. Still, it’s much sounder than anticipating them beating either defending national champion LSU or South Carolina, a team they never match up well against, at home or on the road.
The road games are Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Missouri and Texas A&M. Three of those would seem, at least on paper, potential wins. Kentucky and Texas A&M are at worse toss-ups, while Missouri has been an SEC doormat, but one that still has been able to defeat Vanderbilt, especially at home.
No dates had yet been set at press time, which makes sense because there is absolutely no guarantee there will be a college football season, or if any fans will be allowed to attend if there is one. But the sure thing here is if they get to play the games. the Commodores will face some tough obstacles.