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Anchor Drop, August 14, 2019: 17 Days to Kickoff

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We’re no closer to having a starting QB named, it appears.

Tennessee State v Vanderbilt Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Good morning.

We are now 17 days away from Vanderbilt football’s season opener against Georgia. #17 for Vanderbilt is LB Feleti Afemui. The 6’3”, 240-pound redshirt sophomore from Maui played in ten games for the Commodores last season and started the bowl game.

Storms pushed Vanderbilt’s practice indoors yesterday. Derek Mason talked after practice for a bit:

And meanwhile, here’s Adam Sparks unintentionally making the obvious point:

Why yes. As we’ve all been told, Deuce Wallace and Riley Neal are in an open competition for the starting quarterback job. In that light, it would be a little odd if one of the two were always taking snaps with the first team in practice, in that it would probably be a clear signal that it isn’t an open competition and the coaching staff has made up its mind, even if they haven’t told us.

I have to think, though, that a lot of the reason we’re seeing this is because Vanderbilt opens the season with the trifecta of Georgia, Purdue, and LSU. In a different world, where Vanderbilt’s first two games are against UNLV and ETSU, the coaching staff could probably just name whoever they wanted the starter knowing they have two full games to figure it out — but here’s a situation where the wrong decision could mean an 0-3 start. (It’s also a situation where the right decision could still mean an 0-3 start, but I’ve already had that specific argument one too many times this offseason.) I still think Riley Neal is the more likely starter, but I’ve been incredibly wrong on enough occasions that you probably shouldn’t read anything into what I think.

SEC coaches picked Vanderbilt soccer to finish third in the league, a year after winning the league title. Your reminder that they were picked ninth last season.

Off the West End

Well this is ... weird. George Plaster’s show on WSM is already off the air after a month, for undisclosed reasons. Plaster is apparently going to start a podcast. Meanwhile, Jared Stillman and Chad Withrow still have radio shows in Nashville so... figure that out.

From SI: Walker Buehler has the look of a Dodgers great. Hey, we know him.

The Atlanta United coach thinks equal pay for women is ridiculous. Okay.

HBO is negotiating with four schools (Alabama, Arizona State, Penn State, and Washington State) to create a behind-the-scenes all-access show. Boo to Penn State, yay to Washington State.

ESPN updated its Way Too Early Top 25 (basketball edition.) Shockingly, we’re not in it.

From The Athletic ($): State of the Hoops Program: Texas A&M; Charting QB transfers; Group text: Predicting Big 12 Football.

Scoreboard

MLB: Astros 6, White Sox 2 (Game 1) ... Yankees 8, Orioles 3 ... Nationals 3, Reds 1 ... Phillies 4, Cubs 2 ... Blue Jays 3, Rangers 0 ... Dodgers 15, Marlins 1 ... Braves 5, Mets 3 ... Mariners 11, Tigers 6 ... Red Sox 7, Indians 6 ... Twins 7, Brewers 5... Cardinals 2, Royals 0 ... Diamondbacks 9, Rockies 3 ... White Sox 4, Astros 1 (Game 2) ... Giants 3, A’s 2 ... Pirates 10, Angels 7 ... Rays 7, Padres 5.