The Vanderbilt Commodores will open the 2017 football season unranked, but you already knew that.
Vanderbilt didn’t receive a single vote in the preseason Coaches’ Poll released Thursday. That’s not really a surprise given that the Commodores finished last season 6-7 and lost star linebacker Zach Cunningham to the NFL.
But five teams on Vanderbilt’s schedule will open the season ranked — and the Commodores will play four of them in consecutive weeks. That stretch starts with a September 16 matchup with #19 Kansas State, followed a week later by a visit from #1 Alabama. On September 30, the Commodores will play #16 Florida in Gainesville, then they return home on October 7 to play #15 Georgia. The Commodores go on the road to play #24 Tennessee to end the season.
Interestingly, though, while Vanderbilt will play five teams in the top 25, none of the other seven teams on the schedule received a single vote in the preseason poll. (Ole Miss is ineligible for the coaches’ poll.)
Six SEC teams are ranked in the preseason poll. In addition to the four Vanderbilt opponents in the top 25, LSU opens the season ranked 12th and Auburn is 13th.