Vanderbilt Football: Playing Ole Miss at LP Field a Smart Move

Chad MintonCorrespondent IApril 3, 2014

Vandy is 34-48-2 against Ole Miss all time
Vandy is 34-48-2 against Ole Miss all timeFrederick Breedon/Getty Images

The Vanderbilt Commodores are looking to stay in the spotlight despite the loss of head coach James Franklin to Penn State.

To help remain in the spotlight, Vanderbilt will use one of their eight home dates in 2014 to play Ole Miss at LP Field, which is just a couple of miles from Vanderbilt's campus in Nashville.

This is the perfect game for Vanderbilt to choose to do this because it will be the only SEC game scheduled on that day.

Even if the game essentially turns into a neutral location after all of the Ole Miss fans spill into LP Field, it's still a smart move for Vanderbilt's football program.

Vanderbilt athletic director David Williams has done a superb job at trying new ways to elevate the Vanderbilt football program and commented that this is a great way to do that by playing at LP Field.

DM: It's a growing city and a growing brand and it puts us on a national stage as the only @SEC matchup playing that day

— VandyFootball (@VandyFootball) April 3, 2014

Playing "home" games at the larger LP Field gives Vanderbilt and their fans the chance to prove that they're ready to take the next step. They'll never do it playing in Vanderbilt Stadium, which seats fewer than 40,000.

It's fair to say that Vanderbilt and Ole Miss are equal competition to each other, giving Vanderbilt a decent chance at pulling off a big early season SEC win in front of a large crowd.

Vanderbilt has won four of the last six meetings with Ole Miss, and it's turned into a decent annual rivalry that will be magnified at LP Field.

Clay Travis of Nashville's 104.5 The Zone tweeted that he thinks it's just about the money for Vanderbilt.

Vandy will play Ole Miss at LP Field. Money grab is only reason I can think of. Will be 55/45 Ole Miss crowd.

— Clay Travis (@ClayTravisBGID) April 3, 2014

That may be true, but exposure is ultimately what Vanderbilt has to keep getting if they're going to continue to rise up the college football ranks and gain more of a following in the local community.

However, this does mean that Vanderbilt fans have to prove that they can support their team like every other SEC team enjoys in bigger stadiums.

Even if Ole Miss splits the attendance with Vanderbilt, it's still more beneficial to be playing at LP Field. 

Vanderbilt also still has seven other home dates to work with in what is a very favorable 2014 home schedule that should lead to another bowl berth.

It also helps in recruiting when potential prospects see that the opportunity is there to play in an NFL stadium when coming to Vanderbilt.

Thinking outside of the box is critical for Vanderbilt to sustain the recent success that it has enjoyed, and opening up the SEC schedule at LP Field is a good start.