The 2018 spring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Vanderbilt Commodores.
No. 61: Vanderbilt Commodores
Spring Practice Starts: February 26
Spring Game: March 25 (final practice
Vanderbilt Commodores Spring Status
Vanderbilt is supposed to be able to go to a bowl every year at this point. It’s not easy, but considering the East has been down, it should’ve been a better run last season, going 5-7 and collapsing after a 3-0 start.
On the plus side, head coach Derek Mason has a good looking team returning, even without mainstay RB Ralph Webb, a few of the top receivers, and with a slew of key parts off the defensive front.
The O line gets back everyone, the linebacking corps should be great, and QB Kyle Shurmur is a good enough veteran to win with.
Vanderbilt Biggest Depth Chart Battle
Receivers. The Commodores have to find a few reliable new targets after losing top two leading receivers, C.J. Duncan and Trent Sherfield. Duncan was a solid midrange target, but it was Sherfield who stretched the field more. Also take away Caleb Scott, and pass catching RB Ralph Webb, and Vandy needs receivers.
Vanderbilt Biggest Issue
The defense needs to make more big plays. Enter new defensive coordinator Jason Tarver, who’ll fill in for head coach Derek Mason as the main man to coach the defense. And now his group has to make more big things happen behind the line, and it has to generate more takeaways after recovering just four fumbles.
Vanderbilt Biggest Positive
The offensive line should be terrific. All five starters are back from a group that was solid, but didn’t do enough for the ground game. Vandy averaged just 3.7 yards per carry, but the line was strong in pass protection and didn’t allow a whole lot of big plays behind the line.
Really, Why Are The Vanderbilt Commodores Ranked Here?
Here’s the problem. Georgia is national title-good. Florida is going to be better now, and so is Tennessee, South Carolina will be a top 15 team, and Missouri and Kentucky will go bowling. So where do the Commodores fit in? They live on a tough defense and great ground game, but this year, with a veteran quarterback in Shurmur, the passing attack should be solid, too. It’s bowl game or bust.