Today marks 47 days from Vanderbilt’s season opener against Middle Tennessee. #47 on the Vanderbilt roster belongs to Tommy Schiager. The 6’0”, 220-pound redshirt sophomore from Portland, Oregon, was initially a walk-on fullback, but served as the Commodores’ long snapper for the final four games of the 2017 season. This season, he’s the only player listed as a snapper on the roster and figures to serve as the team’s primary snapper on punts, field goals, and extra points. You probably knew none of this before today; now you do.
The Tennessean listed Pearl-Cohn WR and Vanderbilt commit Jayden Harrison as the #8 player on its Dandy Dozen.
In the scorching takes department, Nashville sports radio person Jared Stillman fired out this shot on Sunday afternoon:
How can Vandy-Tennessee be a more interesting game than Bama-Auburn when nothing tangible (other than maybe a bid to the Independence Bowl that nobody will care about) will on the line? https://t.co/ejCV7D8MMD— Jared Stillman (@JaredStillman) July 15, 2018
In his defense, no, the Vanderbilt-Tennessee game is not going to be as big a deal as the Iron Bowl. However, given that this is Jared Stillman, the takes only got hotter from here:
I read it and what I disagree with most is the idea Derek Mason on Jeremy Pruitt with "need" it. Neither are in danger of losing their jobs.— Jared Stillman (@JaredStillman) July 15, 2018
Well, let’s see. To say that a coach with an 18-31 record (and 6-26 SEC record) in four years, even at Vanderbilt, is in danger of losing his job is... probably wrong, but okay. Maybe Jared is assuming that Mason will have a good enough year to keep his job; I don’t know why he would assume that, but it’s a possibility. Then again, that contradicts his earlier statement that maybe an Independence Bowl bid will be on the line. Unless he’s guessing that an 8-4 Vanderbilt team would end up in Shreveport, which... okay, he’s probably right about that one.
More fans on his side? Who isn't on his side? Derek Mason is the most appreciated coach by his fan base outside of Saban and Kirby.— Jared Stillman (@JaredStillman) July 15, 2018
Is this guy actually high? Has he ever actually met a Vanderbilt fan, or is he just projecting his own incredibly low expectations for the Vanderbilt football program onto us? This is the stereotypical “take your 5-7 season and like it, and just be happy you’re not going 3-9” attitude that permeates a certain other fan base in the state of Tennessee. Remember: at least four other schools in the SEC East believe that there is no excuse for their team to ever lose to Vanderbilt, and Missouri just hasn’t been around long enough to have developed that attitude. (Oh, hi there, Kentucky, you don’t believe that.)
(In any case, yes, Derek Mason is in danger of losing his job.)
Off the West End
SEC Media Days starts today and runs through Thursday. Vanderbilt won’t be up until Thursday (which is also the day when the SEC media will pick us to finish seventh in the SEC East; you heard it here first) so if you want to tune out the first three days, you’re probably fine.
Then again, what else are you gonna do? The MLB All-Star break also happens to be from today until Thursday, and there isn’t a single Vanderbilt player on either roster. The World Cup is done, too, with France winning the thing 4-2 over Croatia in a wild final on Sunday. The Open Championship doesn’t start until Thursday morning (Brandt Snedeker and Luke List are both playing.)
Team USA won the MLB Futures Game, 10-6. Kyle Wright pitched a perfect eighth inning for Team USA.
The Portland Trail Blazers advanced to the NBA Summer League semifinals with a 95-80 win over the Celtics, on the backs of strong performances from two former Vanderbilt players: John Jenkins scored 25 points on 9-of-12 shooting, and Wade Baldwin IV had 14 points and 10 assists.