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Anchor Drop, November 30, 2020: Coaching Search Season

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For the first time since 2014, Vanderbilt is in the market for a new head football coach.

NCAA Football: UNLV at Vanderbilt Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning.

Optional Musical Accompaniment

Well. What a weekend.

After Sarah Fuller became the first woman to appear for a Power 5 football team on Saturday, Derek Mason was fired on Sunday after six-plus years, a 27-55 record, an 0-8 start to the 2020 season, and a 41-0 loss to Missouri on Saturday. Todd Fitch will serve as the interim head coach for what we assume are the final two games of the season (at Georgia on Saturday, and a makeup game against Tennessee at some point.)

So! It’s time for a coaching search. Everybody and their brother has a list of names, but honestly, for now I’m going to go with the Hot Board (free) that Chris Lee posted yesterday — and really, I’m going to go with three of the four names on it. (No, I do not think Vanderbilt should hire Jeff Fisher.)

That list would then consist of three names: Coastal Carolina head coach Jamey Chadwell, Charlotte head coach Will Healy, and Notre Dame defensive coordinator Clark Lea. All three would be decent-to-good hires, and probably at least one of the three would take the job if offered. (Interestingly, all three are Tennessee natives, and Lea of course is a Vanderbilt alum in the Class of 2004.) Really, the only reason to go with a name outside of that list would be if somebody unequivocally better than those three is available — would Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott qualify? Maybe! But really, I just mean if some successful Power 5 head coach wants the job. No, I don’t mean Hugh Freeze. Shut up.

There isn’t a ton of reason to overthink this. There are three names that Vanderbilt should be focused on, though I am sure a lot more will be floated in the next week or two. What I would advise you to do is if you hear a name connected to the job, ask yourself “would I rather have this guy than Clark Lea?” and if the answer is no, then move on.

In other news, Vanderbilt’s roster is probably going to be in flux, but Robert Seals did confirm to 247 Sports that Ken Seals will remain at Vanderbilt, so there’s that.

Vanderbilt basketball is reportedly out of the Legends Classic this week, though that hasn’t been confirmed by VU, and it’s still listed on the schedule. I don’t know, either.

Speaking of Clark Lea, our old friends at One Foot Down posted that Notre Dame needs to do what it needs to lock him up long term — and they posted that before Derek Mason was fired.

Vanderbilt opened as a 33.5-point underdog at Georgia on Saturday. Eat at Arby’s.

Yesterday’s Basketball

Richmond 76, Kentucky 64 (lol) ... South Carolina 69, Tulsa 58 ... Georgia 85, Florida A&M 75 ... Texas A&M 82, New Orleans 53.

SEC Basketball Schedule

Bad Gambling Advice: Yesterday: 2-2 ATS, 2-2 totals; Season to date: 8-8-1 ATS, 9-8 totals

Auburn at UCF (6:00 PM CT, ESPN+): UCF -1.5, Over 142

SE Louisiana at LSU (7:00 PM CT, SEC Network+): SE Louisiana +26.5, Over 155.5

Texas State at Mississippi State (7:00 PM CT, SEC Network): Texas State +6.5, Under 137.5

Alabama vs. Stanford (8:30 PM CT, ESPN2): Stanford +2.5, Over 148.5