A confidence-building* win over UMass means that Derek Mason can claim that he's the head coach of one of the top 100 programs in the country. Vanderbilt's 34-31 win over the Minutemen was the team's first victory of 2014 and enough to boost the Commodores to 94th in Jeff Sagarin's computer ratings. The 'Dores had been stuck at 132nd after their 0-2 start.
That win helped rank Vandy higher than four BCS programs, including one that had a similar three-point win over UMass the previous week (Colorado). Sagarin would make Vanderbilt the favorite on a neutral field against Kansas, Wake Forest, and Purdue. The 'Dores also passed in-state programs like Middle Tennessee State and Chattanooga. However, the team still sits behind several I-AA programs in the ratings:
On the plus side, Vandy did outpace Montana (95th), which would make the Commodores the third-best program in the badlands right now. They'll take on the 16th-ranked team, South Carolina,
on the road at home this Saturday.
*Your mileage may vary.