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Derek Mason: “Nobody’s cheating in this conference”

So that’s that. I guess we’re done here.

NCAA Football: SEC-Media Day Kelly Lambert-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday, at the SEC Spring Meetings in Destin, Florida, Butch Jones spouted some wisdom about how his program contends to win championships. Not to be outdone, Vanderbilt head football coach Derek Mason came back on Wednesday with some wisdom of his own.

This is a bold statement in a conference that just saw a school self-impose a bowl ban due to a NCAA investigation into major violations.

But we’ll give Mason some benefit of the doubt here. After all, Vanderbilt beat the alleged cheaters from Ole Miss last year by a score of 38-17. Were Ole Miss to be a professional football team and Vanderbilt a motley collection of amateurs, one would logically think that Vanderbilt would have no chance in hell of winning that game. Nor the games against Georgia or Tennessee, which Vanderbilt also won. In the bad old days when literally everybody in the conference except for Vanderbilt was paying players, Vanderbilt routinely went 1-10.

Now one could conclude that Derek Mason is a better coach than Woody Widenhofer, and one would probably be correct in reaching this conclusion. But the fact remains that if the rest of the conference were cheating, either they are very bad at it or Vanderbilt would have no chance at winning a football game, ever.

Either that, or this is a Jedi mind trick. These aren’t the droids you’re looking for, and everyone in this conference is doing things the right way. Are you listening, Butch Jones? Everyone’s doing it the right way.