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Anchor Drop, July 25, 2018: 38 Days

The women’s basketball team released its nonconference schedule on Tuesday.

Wake Forest v Vanderbilt Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Good morning.

We’re 38 days away from Vanderbilt’s season opener against Middle Tennessee State. #38 on the Commodores’ roster is junior defensive back Gil Barksdale. The walk-on from Solon, Ohio, appeared in three games for Vanderbilt last year, mostly on special teams though he also played some snaps at cornerback.

The women’s basketball team released its nonconference schedule for the 2018-19 season on Tuesday. The Commodores will open the season at home against North Alabama on November 6; the highlight of the nonconference slate (or, possibly, lowlight) is a visit to UConn on November 17. Vanderbilt enters its third season under head coach Stephanie White coming off a 7-24 campaign.

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Off the West End

Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel has a solid article about the canary in the coal mine that is Comcast’s decision to pull the Big Ten Network off basic cable, even in states with a Big Ten school, on September 1. The basics: cord-cutting means that conference television networks can’t count on free money from cable subscribers who never watch the conference network for much longer. Now, to some degree Comcast may well be playing hardball with the Big Ten, but the implications of this fight are obvious across the college sports world.

To tie it back to Vanderbilt, a lot of fans have suggested that the athletic department should be taking the SEC Network revenue checks and dumping them into costly facilities upgrades, but the uncertainty surrounding the future payouts means that spending it on long-term capital investments may look bad if the spigot eventually runs dry. Granted, the SEC’s in a better position simply because, well, you try telling cable subscribers in Alabama that the SEC Network is off basic cable — but the general point still stands.

Apparently Jalen Hurts is staying at Alabama. Have I mentioned that I’m glad Alabama is not on our schedule again?