Ranking: 23rd in the Coaches' FCS Poll. The formulas have Charleston Southern rated 124th in the Real Time RPI (Vanderbilt is #93) and 11th in Warren Nolan's FCS rankings (Vandy is, sigh, 116th on the BCS side).
Conference: The Big South. The league's football membership dropped to five teams when the Virginia Military Academy left after 2013, but never fear, admirers of awful football! Monmouth (neither Big nor located in the South) and Kennesaw State (0-0 all-time) are here to keep the league afloat!
All-time vs. Vanderbilt: 0-0
In the Last 10 Years vs. Vanderbilt: 0-0
The Last Time We Saw These Guys: 0-0. This just made my whole previewing job way easier.
Is Vandy Favored?: Maybe, if you're into making your own odds. Sportsbooks won't list this one, partially because CSU is a I-AA team, and partially because no one knows if Derek Mason's quarterback depth chart is an actual listing of players or just an old-timey black and white cartoon of a cow playing a washingboard as a percussion instrument.
Most Potent Offensive Threat: Austin Brown. CSU hasn't really played anyone of note this season, but Brown came through in their biggest matchup against FBS-bound Charlotte. The perfectly cromulent quarterback helped lead the Bucs to 619 total yards in a 47-41 win. More impressively, he completed 17 of his 20 pass attempts and failed to throw an interception. Christian Reyes may be the more imposing threat at tailback, but given Vandy's struggles in the secondary, an intermediate passing game led by Brown could do significant damage on Saturday.
Most Potent Defensive Threat: Skyler Skersick. The alliterative defensive tackle is smaller than most of the linemen Vanderbilt has had to deal with this season, so if Skersick makes his presence known in the backfield then we'll have a good idea of just how bad this offensive line can get. Skersick is a solid player who can get past blockers and cause problems. The Commodores' ability to handle him and his trenchmates will determine how this team performs against CSU.
Matchup to Watch: Vanderbilt football vs. My Liver (+14). Because good lord, if Vandy loses to Charleston Southern, I'm drinking anything with an unscrewable top on it.