After being told two weeks ago that no, our Senior Day against Tennessee was off and we would play Missourah instead, the Chuggers are back on the schedule this Saturday at 3 PM.
The one real negative I can think of here is that Derek Mason got fired after the Missouri game and thus won’t get the chance to leave Vanderbilt with a winning record against THEM. The good news is that interim head coach Todd Fitch will get the chance to depart with a 1-0 record at Tennessee. Fitch would also be the first Vanderbilt coach since Fred Pancoast in 1975 to beat the Vols in his first try, as pointed out by Simon Gibbs on Twitter.
And as I pointed out in response, also like Fred Pancoast, that would probably be his last SEC win, only Pancoast got 18 more tries and not the one that Fitch will get.
Anyway... let’s ask our writers about this one!
I mean, the obvious, nagging thing here is that Vanderbilt probably has about 45 healthy scholarship players available for this one and that number doesn’t include Dayo Odeyingbo, who at times has appeared to be the one SEC-level player on the defense. Ken Seals and the offense can probably score some points on Tennessee, which probably isn’t terribly interested in competing right now — but do you think Tennessee won’t be able to score on this defense?
I mean, okay, there’s always a chance that we get a surprise Jarrett Guarantano appearance and he starts throwing passes to Vanderbilt defensive backs, but... well, I’m just going to mentally prepare myself for a loss here.
The Pick: Tennessee 38, Vanderbilt 21
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: Ah, hell, I don’t know, let’s go with MISSOURAH (+13.5) over Georgia because why not.
Andrew VU ‘04
Come on... why is this even happening? Don’t say “TV money,” as I know it’s “TV money,” but sweet Jebus, this will be a bloodbath of a cripple fight and I want no part in it. Many of our seniors opted out of Senior Day, both teams just want this year to be over, and the literal only thing worth paying attention to in Vandy Feetball World is the coaching search.
I don’t care if the Chuggers’ offense is only handing the ball up the gut, because we’re starting Ro Colemen (the correct plural of Ro Coleman—though I would also have accepted Ros Coleman) at LB, if we even have 11 guys to use on defense by kickoff.
Who wants this to happen? Vandy Import’s Liver Transplant Doctor? You have to imagine the sponsors of this train wreck (likely the Jordan Rodgers Velveeta Shells, Cheese, and Sexual Innuendo Company) will lose heaps of money, as the viewers are just us teenaged girls, and I’ll be fast forwarding through the commercials, if I watch at all.
That said, I’ll probably watch it later on my DVR because I make poor life decisions and opt for masochism every fall since I enrolled as a freshman in the year 2000 (save for a few years of Brigadoon).
The Pick: Tennessee 41, Vanderbilt 12 (no... not 4 field goals; 2 missed extra points).
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: Not a one. There will not be one SEC upset this week. Not even Atlanta over Pitt. Ah hell, you’re going to make me pick one, aren’t you? Okay, give me Clanga +6.5 over the War Tigers, just to piss off the hired Auburn man. No one gets to be happy this week. No one.
So when I was 12 I played travel football for the Atlanta Colts at Murphy Candler park in Dunwoody, Georgia. Our team had 13 players. As you might imagine, we had to play both ways. As you might imagine, no one could kick. As you might imagine, we lost every single game except one, and that was to a team that was about on equal footing but a little worse. I think about that season, and that one win, and I look at this game, and yeah, Vanderbilt is the team that my Atlanta Colts beat.
The Pick: Tennessee 19, Vandy 13.
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: I know it’s Bama, but if you’re spotting me at -32 I feel alright throwing some mild interest behind Arky.
If Jim Chaney is smart enough to run the ball, Vanderbilt will not stop Eric Gray or Ty Chandler. Chaney is the same OC though who decided to give Isaiah McKenenzie the ball going to the short side on 4th and 1 instead of using either of Nick Chubb or Sony Michel. We all know how that turned out. This season, he has shown a love of having his QBs throw the ball at the dumbest times. I think that will happen often enough to stop Tennessee’s offense a couple of times.
The real question is whether Vanderbilt can match them score for score. Ken Seals had his first unimpressive outing at Missouri. I do not see that repeating. The offense has been largely untouched by the transfer and opt out bug. I am being a touch optimistic that weird stuff causes a few Vanderbilt defensive stops, but I really do think the Commodores will score enough to mostly keep up.
The Pick: Tennessee 34, Vanderbilt 37
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: Auburn losing to State is 100% the right upset pick this week. It’s Gus Malzahn. They are always on upset alert.