1984...ring a bell?
That's right—the last time Vandy was ranked in the top 25. It has been 24 years since this has happened.
Sound like luck? No, they have completely worked for the 4-0 start this year.
We all know that Vanderbilt is the brains of the SEC, not the brawn. The tide seems to have turned this year. Bobby Johnson has got the squad thinking how to win. That is a good idea seeing as how it is one of the top-notch academic schools in the SEC.
What do they do at this point of the season? Do they botch the 4-0 season like they did in 1950, '84, and 2005? Well, let's take a look at the key matchups this season to see if Vandy can get to a bowl game.
This coming Saturday (Sept. 27), Vandy has a good bye week. It will be much needed to regroup and get ready for a stout defensive team from Auburn. It is a home game, which may help the Commodores, but they need more than a home crowd to win this game.
After the Auburn game, Vandy will most likely be at 4-1. After this rough game they have to travel to Miss. State. The Bulldogs have a tough team this year, but they just can't get on the winning side of things often. Should prove interesting.
The possible upset of the year is against Georgia. I think that Georgia may be overlooking the Commodores as they come between the hedges for a big SEC matchup. What a way to look if you come out of Athens with a win...but you never can tell in the SEC.
To look at things realistically, Vandy has Duke after GA, which should be a solid win for the black and gold. Looking at the big picture and what should happen, this should put the Commodores at 5-3—6-2 if they pull off a win against Miss. St.
Florida comes to town...sorry for the Commodores. It's OK—they have Kentucky the next week.
Kentucky should be an evenly matched game. Lots of defense + struggling offenses = great SEC game.
The Kentucky game should probably put Vanderbilt at 7-3, or 6-4 depending on other outcomes. This is bowl eligible. This is a great thing for Vanderbilt's recruiting and program.
Towards the end of November, Vanderbilt is actually the favorite (at the present time) to win the Vandy vs. UT game. It is in Nashville, which should prove to be of some assistance. Likely at the end of this game the season record should be 7-4 or 8-3.
This is almost unreal to talk about Vanderbilt in such a positive manner, but maybe the power is shifting from Knoxville to Nashville...or maybe that's a little out there for such a statement.
To close the season, the Commodores travel to Wake Forest. This should prove to be a brawl. It's likely a highlight game for the weekend if all works out according to this prediction.
After all is said and done, the Vanderbilt Commodores should be 9-3 or 8-4 according to my prediction. It is possible if they keep up their game play.
Instead of letting one side of the ball take the responsibility for each game they are in, they should take control on both sides of the ball. In that case they may just dominate one game at least this season.
Let's just hope Bobby Johnson and company don't accidentally hit the self-destruct button. Let's shake up the SEC this year and see what happens. We need more parity, and Vandy would be just the school to give it to us as SEC fans, college football fans, and BCS poll haters.