As it turned out, Vanderbilt’s 21-14 win over Missouri back on October 19 wasn’t the start of a turnaround. Vanderbilt followed that up with a 24-7 loss at South Carolina last week and then, the coup de grace, yesterday’s 56-0 loss to Florida — a game that was somehow 14-0 at halftime.
There really isn’t a whole lot new to say about this. Through six SEC games, Vanderbilt has scored 13.0 ppg and given up 36.8 ppg. For comparison, Robbie Caldwell’s 2010 team averaged 12.0 ppg and gave up 33.9 ppg in SEC games. Woody Widenhofer’s 2001 team averaged 16.0 ppg and gave up 39.4 ppg. Rod Dowhower’s 1996 team averaged 8.1 ppg and gave up 24.8 ppg. Watson Brown’s 1990 team averaged 20.0 ppg and gave up 38.0 ppg.
What all of those seasons had in common was that (a) they were the last year of the coach in question, but also (b) they featured a team that was frequently getting blown out by SEC teams. Caldwell’s last team and Woody’s last team were bad on both sides of the ball; Dowhower and Watson had teams that were actually decent on one side of the ball, which was cancelled out by being terrible on the other side. Vanderbilt will put up with losing, but it doesn’t put up with getting embarrassed for very long.
Of course, there is this small matter...
Maybe. Maybe not.— Adam Sparks (@AdamSparks) November 9, 2019
At this point, I don't think he will be judged solely on his performance as coach. The buyout is a bigger factor.
IMO, if Derek had 2 years left, he'd be gone. But he has 4 or 5 years left.
It's more a math problem than a philosophy of the program.
And there’s the problem. Derek Mason signed an extension after the 2018 season, which seemed questionable at the time — he was rumored to be a candidate for the Colorado job, but I don’t know that any of us would have been super upset if he’d taken it — and now, apparently, makes it seem like he might survive going 3-9 this season.
But of course, the other side of the math problem that Adam points out is the one that’s harder to quantify. How much revenue does Vanderbilt lose — through lost ticket sales, fewer donations, what have you — if Mason is retained? There comes a point where the cost of paying the buyout is outweighed by the cost of keeping the coach. Vanderbilt isn’t immune from this — regardless of how much some of the fan base thinks that the administration doesn’t care.
So I don’t really know what’s going to happen. But it’s bad.
Bad Gambling Advice
Season to date: 25-11 overall; 13-5 ATS; 12-6 totals
Wyoming at South Carolina (11:00 AM, SEC Network): Wyoming +17, Under 137
Florida State at Florida (12:00 PM, ESPN): Florida State +6, Under 133