The SEC has released 2013 schedules, and Vanderbilt's has some big surprises.
So here it is:
- Aug 31 - Ole Miss (may get moved up to that Thursday if ESPN wants it).
- Sept 7 - Austin Peay
- Sept 14 - @ South Carolina
- Sept 21 - @ UMass (in Gillette Stadium)
- Sept 28 - UAB
- Oct 5 - Missouri
- Oct 12 - BYE
- Oct 19 - Georgia
- Oct 26 - @ TAMU
- Nov 2 - BYE
- Nov 9 @ Florida
- Nov 16 - Kentucky
- Nov 23 - @ Tennessee
- Nov 30 - Wake Forest
- We get to keep Ole Miss as our permanent rival from the west. There was some rumor that they might swap some permanent rivals, but they ended up not changing any. Seriously though, no one is really lining up to be "rivals" with either Vandy or Ole Miss, so that was probably always pretty safe.
- We'll get to see TAMU for the first time in our West rotating game. This is pretty cool because 1. it isn't Bama or LSU, and 2. first timers! and 3. Johnny Manziel. (He may rush for 800 yards if we don't figure out how to stop a running QB in the next year).
- There is a chance we'll get to open the season again, if ESPN moves up our Aug 31 Ole Miss game to Aug 29.
- This will be the first season of the 14 week schedule, meaning we'll have 2 byes now. Those byes are incredibly well placed for us too, giving us a week off between Mizzou and UGA, and a week off between trips to TAMU and UF.
- With the bye between TAMU and UF, we only have one back-to-back set of road games, and the 2nd in that set is @UMass.
- We do have a solid shot to open 5-1 or maybe even 6-0.
- The worst stretch is a 3 game stretch of UGA, @TAMU and @UF, but there are also byes in there before UGA and UF so even that isn't too bad.
- We have five games that seem like we'll very likely be favorites. AP, @UMass, UAB, UK, WF. Ole Miss and Mizzou at home also should be very winnable. Who knows who will be favored @UT. We'll probably be underdogs at USC, TAMU, UF and with UGA at home.
So it turns out that the national media really cares about Vandy when it gives them a chance to pitch fits about our supposedly soft schedule.
It turns out not playing 3 BCS non-conference games is a sign of weakness.
Guess what. Vandy fans don't give a rip what anyone else thinks. When we are just one year removed from back-to-back two win seasons, we really just want the W's and the bowl bids.
But the bigger reason we don't care is, we already have a plenty tough schedule, and if you want to pretend like it's unfair that we schedule winnable games, call us after you've played the #9, #5 and #5 teams in the nation. Glass houses and what-not.
A few choice reactions.
Gene Smith is disappointed in how we told him. I think Gene Smith is most disappointed that they won't get an SEC win they think is easy. Guess what Gene, if you want an SEC win, tell you team not to suck so much in the BCS Championship game because whenever they get there again an SEC team will be waiting for you. Enjoy.
Northwestern fans are reveling in being the team that someone ducks. Well enjoy that. You unquestionably deserve the two wins you got from us, and I'd love for Vandy to be bowl eligible in October. But you may want to play a ranked team this season (not one on the schedule at this point) before you get too high and mighty about someone else's schedule.
Finally, an incredibly small sample of media response:
"We're pussies." RT @38godfrey Statement from Vandy: "The new schedule has meant that we needed to reshape our non-conference schedule..."— Mark Ennis (@Mengus22) October 18, 2012
That comes from a guy who writes about the Big East.
The non-schedules of the three best teams in the Big East this season?
UK, Missouri St, UNC, @FIU, @Southern Miss.
Delaware St, Va Tech (neutral site), Miami (OH), Fordham, @Toledo.
@Tulane, Howard, @Arkansas, Kent St., Army
OOOOOHHHH! TOUCH YOU! A total of 4 BCS teams in 15 games, and one of those is UK? And 5.5 road games in 15 games. Again impressive.
But at least those guys have to go back and play in the BIG EAST!!!!!
How weak of us, with our currently 3rd ranked SOS under Sagarin to drop a mediocre BCS team from our schedule and not add a one-off road game against a historic power.
What I guess I'm saying is, sure, speak up, call us soft, but as long as you play in the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Conference USA, MAC, MWC, Sun Belt or WAC, you don't have much to say to me right now.