Vanderbilt football has reportedly scheduled a new non-conference opponent for 2022 and 2023, and it will be one hell of a home-and-home series.
According to FBSSchedules.com, the Commodores will head to Hawaii to face the Rainbow Warriors in a Week 0 showdown to kick off the 2022 season. Hawaii will return the favor by traveling up to Nashville for a rematch the following year, possibly in David Williams’ off-campus soccer stadium.
Playing in Hawaii comes with certain perks. Kicking off the season in Manoa means Vanderbilt will start its 2022 campaign before anyone else in the SEC, all but guaranteeing a national broadcast spot. The NCAA typically restricts teams from starting their season prior to the Thursday before Labor Day, but lifts that rule for teams making significant travel plans — i.e. Cal playing in Australia this summer, or any future early-season trips to Hawaii.
The Rainbow Warriors could provide a solid test for the ‘Dores. After five straight losing seasons, first-year head coach Nick Rolovich has the program headed in the right direction after a seven-win campaign in 2016. While the game won’t satisfy the SEC’s requirement of scheduling at least one Power 5 non-conference opponent each season, it will give Vandy the opportunity to kick off the year with a high-profile win.
If the news holds, here’s what Vanderbilt’s non-conference schedule will look like through 2024.
Vanderbilt football non-conference schedule -
|2017||at Middle Tennessee|
|East Tennessee State|
|at Kansas State|
|2021||East Tennessee State|
|at Colorado State|
|at Northern Illinois|
|2023||at Wake Forest|
The report has been floating around since early in January, but there hasn’t been any official confirmation on either side. While FBSSchedules’ story cites an official release from Hawaii, there’s no mention of Vanderbilt anywhere on the university’s website.
So don’t book those flights to Manoa just yet. A marquee road game in the middle of the Pacific Ocean would make a lot of sense for the Commodores, but nothing’s set in stone.