The 2014 season is now in the rearview, and most of us have been trying to speed away from that 3-9 car wreck as if we had prior warrants out for our arrests. However, your faithful staff at Anchor of Gold isn't just sticking around - we're here to conduct the autopsy on a season that may have died in the early hours of August 29th. The Season in Review (SiR) Awards are AoG's superlatives for the football season that was. We'll have a number of prestigious titles to give out, including:
- Freshman of the Year
- Special Teams Player
- Most Improved Player/Breakout Player
- Play of the Year
- Defensive/Offensive Player of the Year
- Player of the Year
Today, we're kicking things off with the Ted Cain Memorial Award For The Hard of Thinking and Kids Who Can't Football Good And Stuff Coaching Decision Of The Year, more tactfully known as the Boneheaded Coaching Move of the Year. There were plenty of candidates to choose from in 2014 - a quarterback carousel, redshirts that were used as kindling, philosophical differences that led some starters to give up football altogether - and that doesn't even cover any of the on-field calls that plagued this 3-9 season.
Ultimately, only one botched decision could stand above them all - even if it was technically a spree of indecision that flipped the 2014 season from "rebuilding" to "HERE THERE BE DRAGONS" on the SEC identifier scale. Vanderbilt tore through four different starting quarterbacks in the first eight games of the season and never had a chance to find a rhythm on offense. Patton Robinette, Stephen Rivers, Wade Freebeck, and Johnny McCrary all saw time behind center as they battled to replace graduated starter Austyn Carta-Samuels. While each QB had his moments, no one was able to find sustained success when it came to moving the Vandy offense downfield.
That made Vanderbilt's Quarterback Carousel the top pick for the Boneheaded Coaching Move of the Year. It had competition, however. The team's decision to punt on their final drive while trailing Missouri 24-14 earned some scorn (though, in Mason's defense, Vandy was facing 4th-and-31 from their own 4-yard line), as did the -13 yard reverse pass-back that ruined Vanderbilt's momentum in the fourth quarter of their 17-24 loss to Tennessee.
Here's how the voting turned out in full:
- Various quarterback missteps (Sitting McCrary, burning Freebeck's redshirt, assuming that Stephen Rivers knew the difference between "60" and "90" on his play sheet, starting Rivers against Ole Miss). (12 points)
- Playing it safe against Missouri. (7 points)
- The ill-fated throwback against Tennessee. (5 points)