Preview 2018: Previewing and looking ahead to the Vanderbilt season with what you need to know.
Preview 2018: Vanderbilt Commodores
Did Vanderbilt just miss its chance?
Of course, the Commodores are always going to puff out their chests and say they expect to beat anyone and everyone on the SEC slate, and then Alabama comes into town and wins 59-0.
The program needs a few breaks, it needs to come up with a stunningly close upset here and there, it needs the schedule to be just okay, and it needs the SEC East to be down.
The SEC East was really, really down last year, and it was still a 5-7 season without a bowl bid and with a 1-7 conference slate.
It might have been fun to beat Tennessee two years in a row and in four of the last six seasons, but what happens if Jeremy Pruitt really is the right guy for the gig?
The Commodores have just one win over Florida since 1988, beating South Carolina has been more of a problem than it might seem, Missouri is always going to be a 50/50 toss up – at best – and there’s only one win over Kentucky over the last four seasons.
And just forget about beating Georgia now for a long, long time without some sort of a miraculous performance.
So with the apparent turn in the division with the East about to be a whole lot stronger over the next few years, where can Vanderbilt fit in?
Yeah, it can catch lightning in a bottle once in a while, but again, for Vandy to have a great season, it needs to play a whole lot of bad teams – like in the 9-4 2013 season with just two wins over FBS teams that finished with winning records.
But on the plus side, as bad as last year was in SEC play, the Commodores were still one win away from getting to six wins. With six games against teams that didn’t go to a bowling, there’s a shot to get to a bowl if the defense starts to play better.
The D melted down way too often, the offense couldn’t establish the running game, and there were too many SEC blowout losses.
This year, there’s a new defensive coordinator, but just four starters are back on that side. The production can’t be must worse after getting hit for 44 points or more in five SEC games.
There’s hope for the offense that gets back everyone up front, veteran QB Kyle Shurmur, and a few sneaky-good skill guys.
Yeah, Vanderbilt might have miss a chance last year, but it didn’t miss its chance for something special. This year’s team might not be anything amazing, but get to at least six wins and a bowl game, and it’ll have taken full advantage of the opportunity.