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Vanderbilt 2020 Football Mail Bag #8: Answers to Your Questions

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Letters... we get letters... we get sacks and sacks of letters...

US-HEALTH-VIRUS-USPS Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

Just because we had the first Shooty-Hoops Mail Bag this week does not mean the Feetball Mail Bags will stop. That said, can we please stop Mason’t tenure? Please? I mean... I allowed you guys to Vote for or against Mason on Election Day. Here are the results of that poll in image form:


Question from GoldenFlakes:

Put simply, what do you do when a coach in Year 7 of his recently extended tenure (i) can point to a number of legitimate excuses/reasons for poor on-the-field performance but simultaneously (ii) provide little reason to believe that things will get better, especially in the area that is his supposed area of coaching expertise? You’d think the 2021 season will be some return to normalcy, but you don’t know that for sure and may not until next summer. New chancellor, new AD…SOV?

Answers from AoG:

Andrew VU ‘04: You fire him mid-season.

Tom Stephenson: I’m going to differ from my colleagues and say that Vanderbilt should wait until the end of the season to fire him. (My reasoning for this is that you don’t want to get stuck with Ted Roof as your head coach because he took over at midseason and managed to beat Tennessee, or something. Because you know that’s what would happen.)

DoreonthePlains: Fire him yesterday.

Stanimal: Fire him the second he allows two players with the same number to take the field.


Question from Shoogymgshoogs:

Why hasn’t Mason been fired yet?

Answers from AoG:

Andrew VU ‘04: I waver between “they don’t want to pay the buyout” and “simple Kirkland apathy.” This cannot continue. To borrow a phrase from the HBO show Silicon Valley, “Mason is great, but yet...”

Tom Stephenson: I mean, if we’re just asking why he hasn’t been fired midseason, that’s because there’s not really much of a point. What, are we going to get a jump on what’s likely to be an extremely slow hiring season anyway? Now if you’re asking why he wasn’t fired last year, well, I got nothing.

DoreonthePlains: I'll be optimistic and say buyout is the only thing saving him now.

Stanimal: Buyout. That’s it.


Question from Dore31:

Is there really anything left to ask about Mason at this point?

Answers from AoG:

Andrew VU ‘04: How much of a real estate profit will he make when he lists his house? That’s all I’ve got.

Tom Stephenson: What is the maximum wetness of an unladen het?

*Editor’s Note: What do you mean, Tom? An African or a European het?

DoreonthePlains: Which players and recruits leave when he goes?

Stanimal: Honestly, no.


Question from WestEndMayhem:

What’s the point?

Answers from AoG:

Andrew VU ‘04: Didn’t you ask this last time? Didn’t I respond with some Dictionary snark and then ask you an REM lyric?

Tom Stephenson: Baseball, women’s tennis, and bowling.

DoreonthePlains: The part of the knife Mason stuck in my back.

Stanimal:


Question from DoreJam:

Apathy. What is it good for?

Answers from AoG:

Andrew VU ‘04: I’ll start by quoting VUAllday’s response in the comments:

Absolutely nothin, say it again!

Oh wait. That was War, not apathy.

Man, I could not agree with that more. Apathy allows you to continue to be shat upon over and over. It is a tool of status quo oppression. Fight, you bastards! Fill AD CSL’s voice mail with two words: Fire Mason. Do not relent! Rage... rage against the dying of the light!!!

Tom Stephenson: It’s good for continuing to employ a coach with a 27-51 career record.

DoreonthePlains: Sanity. If you don't care, you can't be hurt. Must be nice.

Stanimal: Well, you do get to spend three hours of your life doing something else, so that’s nice.


Question from DenverDore:

Outside of the LSU anomaly, MSU has scored an average of 8 points per game.

1) What are the odds they score more than 35 points on us on Saturday?

2) What are the odds we play a run heavy defense to combat their Air Raid offense, and refuse to modify our defensive scheme all game?

Answers from AoG:

Andrew VU ‘04: Oh, an actual question. Hmm... I was not prepared for anything but various versions of “Why have we not yet fired Mason?” Give me a minute.

Okay.

As for question #1, Clanga’s offense looked tooled up against Yellow Shoe, and then nonexistent against, well, everyone else. On the year, they have put up 44 (Gumbo Bengal opener outlier), 14, 2 (mark it zero, Dude, as safeties don’t count for the offense), 14, and 0.

Simply put, I do not expect our defense to be able to be as stout as Kentucky’s or Alabama’s (duh). Arkansas and aTm gave up 14 apiece, and are completely different defenses. The Hogs seem to be really well coached, as we would likely have the talent advantage over them if everyone was healthy. Jimbo Fisher’s ass To mouth has the talent advantage over us, healthy or not. Kaufman is out, and we either got tired early, or completely gave up before halftime against Ole Piss. I have to assume our players’ morale is low right now. I mean, look at the past few mail bag questions. We’re damn near despondent.

(breathes)

Taking all that into consideration, no, I don’t think Clanga puts up 35 on us, but I do think they put up 4 scores. If they have a game against us like they did against DACOACHO’s Ghost of National Champions Past Jambalaya Tigers on opening day, it will mean the players have completely given up on this season, and Mason should be fired on the day.

I’ll let my compadres handle question #2.

Tom Stephenson: See, the thing is that a matchup between a bad offense and a bad defense usually favors the defense, because bad offenses do a lot to prevent themselves from scoring. This game is destined to have a final score of like 6-5, and we will have to convince ourselves that was not the score of a baseball game.

DoreonthePlains: I'd put the odds of giving up 35+ at like 5%.

Going run heavy is like 0.00001%. We never bring pressure. We will probably rush 3 and drop 8. That strategy has worked against KJ Costello. Leach is switching up QBs though, so we will see.

Stanimal: I was optimistic in my predictions, yet pessimistic in my offensive preview. Frankly, down is up and left is right to me in both college football and the world right now. I’d say there’s a 40% chance this is an offensive throttling, but the chemistry in Starkville just isn’t there, so I don’t think they’ll get to 35.

As for question 2, I’ll play along with your sarcasm and say that if Derek Mason is coaching, he can and will find a way to do it wrong, so maybe a 30% chance that he decides to go with some run heavy packages, and a 95% chance he won’t adjust mid-game.


Question from Shoogymgshoogs:

Why can’t we have nice things?

Attachment:

Vanderbilt safety/kick returner Donovan Kaufman is out for the season for a medical-related issue, coach Derek Mason confirms.

Mason said he anticipates Kaufman returning to field next season.

— Adam Sparks (@AdamSparks) November 3, 2020

Answers from AoG:

Andrew VU ‘04: National Champion Baseball team says hello.

Tom Stephenson: Because when we were kids and we were picking teams, we clearly chose wrong.

DoreonthePlains: I'm a bad person. It is all my fault.

Stanimal: See Andrew’s statement, but the better answer to your question is that people who could get us nice things just don’t want us to have them.


Question from JAinTX:

Former Vanderbilt quarterback Allan Walters landed at Mississippi State. What’s your favorite Allan Walters memory in Black/Gold or Grey (since he only played in the Florida game last year)?

But for real – Mike Leach was 0-2 against Stanford with Derek Mason calling the defense. Does this prior success and familiarity ignite any hint of optimism for this week’s tilt? Since there are no numbers to offer hope, I’m searching for any positive angle here.

Answers from AoG:

Andrew VU ‘04: My favorite memory was when he committed, and we could dream of his potential. His kinetic? File not found.

As for question #2, I have the optimism of Martin from Voltaire’s Candide.

“But then why,” said Candide, “was the world formed?”

“To drive us mad,” said Martin.

Tom Stephenson: When the Alligator Army Twitter account tweeted “Holy shit, Vandy has a worse quarterback than Deuce Wallace.”

DoreonthePlains: (abstains)

Stanimal: Derek Mason’s defenses, save 2015 I want to say, have been a far cry from his Stanford defenses. MAYBE he’s better against the Air Raid.


Question from Etanksley:

If Mason leaves Vandy after this season, what are the chances Ken Seals goes with him?

Answers from AoG:

Andrew VU ‘04: You shut your whore mouth!

Tom Stephenson: I don’t even want to think about this.

DoreonthePlains: Ban!

Stanimal: Ya know, I kind of doubt it. He’s a starting QB in the SEC. Those opportunities don’t grow on trees.


Question from BarnDore1950:

Is there a watershed moment for each of you that indicated it is time for Derek Mason to go? Or has it just been an accumulation of total ineptness over the past season and a half?

Answers from AoG:

Andrew VU ‘04: I have long been on record with my moment. Let me just link to this article I wrote on September 10, 2014. In short, it was when I heard him speak publicly.

Tom Stephenson: I admit to exercising extreme patience with Mason in his first couple of years and giving him a bit of a pass for 2017, so the answer is the Ole Miss game in 2019. That was the point at which I decided this just needs to end, and there hasn’t been a game since then that made me rethink that. The UNLV game was the week after; but no-shows against mediocre SEC teams are always the most frustrating thing. It’s one thing to get wiped out by Alabama or Georgia or Florida; it happens. Getting pantsed by Matt Luke-era Ole Miss, on the other hand? Yeah, you need to go if you’re gonna do that.

DoreonthePlains: UNLV.

Stanimal: Not kidding, I said fire him after Temple, then I retracted, but I honestly think, as unfair as this might be, it was the 59-0 drubbing Alabama dropped on us. That was the test to see if he had learned from his mistakes and could really compete, and he flunked it miserably.