Vanderbilt got its second win of the season last Saturday, 30-28 over UConn, in one of the most beautiful displays of football any of us have ever witnessed.
This week’s opponent will be slightly more difficult than UConn. The Florida Gators come into Saturday’s game with a 3-2 record, sure, but those two losses were to Alabama (by two points) and Kentucky (after failing to convert a 4th and goal to tie the game in the last minute.) The Gators are 1-2 in the SEC, with a 38-14 win over Tennessee being the lone triumph, but they’re a 39-point favorite over our Commodores.
Forget asking whether Vanderbilt will win. Will Vanderbilt cover the spread?
Yeah, this isn’t going to be pretty. Vanderbilt has shown some signs of life this season after a thud of a loss to ETSU to open the season, beating Colorado State and UConn on last-second field goals and hanging tough with Stanford in a 41-23 loss, but Florida is probably closer to Georgia (which beat the Commodores 62-0 a couple of weeks ago) than it is to, well, Colorado State.
The biggest difference between Vanderbilt this year and last, at least that’s relevant to this game, is that Vanderbilt does have a pretty reliable placekicker in Joseph Bulovas. Bulovas will probably keep Vanderbilt from getting shut out, but aside from that, this one’s probably going to be ugly. At least it will be at 11 AM and we can get on with our day after that.
The Pick: Florida 42, Vanderbilt 6
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: The only one I can really see is only technically an SEC game: Texas (+3.5) over Oklahoma.
Andrew VU ‘04
There are many interesting games on the docket this week. Ours will not be one of them. In fact, the only interesting aspect of our game will be whether or not the Jorts beat the spread.
Beyond the game itself likely being terrible, as their defense will straight up maul our offensive line, it will also feel terrible, as that Human Anus Todd Grantham will feel momentary joy. Human Anus Todd Grantham should never be allowed to feel joy, no matter how fleeting. He’s one of the worst people in a business full of assholes. Speaking of assholes, have I mentioned he looks like a sentient anus? I have? Good good. It bears repeating from time to time.
The Pick: Florida 49 - Vanderbilt 3
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: The Gumbo Bengals (+3) will squeak by the Cats in Calipariville. Kentucky is the better team, but LSU will have the size/speed advantage. Oh, and DACOACHO might be DACOACHING for his DAJOB-O down on the DABAYOU.
I just want this to be better than 2019. It really depends on which version of Vanderbilt shows up for the majority of the game. The offense and defense have both had streaks of brilliance but also fallen flat on their faces too many times.
Seals (and the playcalling) could hit their stride and put up 20ish points. Or we might all be hoping for Mike Wright Magic by the end of the first quarter.
Defensively, this is a bad matchup. Florida almost always has speed on the outside. This Vanderbilt defense has nearly none. Oh, and the Commodores are known to be great against mobile QBs.
The Pick: Florida 41-13
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: WAR DAMN EAGLE! Auburn miracle season 2.0 is coming!
Based on an analysis of the offense, I haven’t seen enough evidence to suggest that Florida’s is particularly of the high octane variety. Will it beat us handily? Sure. Will it beat us by 39 points? Eh, I’m not sure about that one. So I’m picking Vandy to cover.
The Pick: Florida 38 - Vandy 10
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: I think Arkansas is a much better team than they showed against Georgia, and while I like Matt Corral, I think Ole Miss is about what you’ve seen them to be, so I’m taking Arkansas to win out right.
I think you could most accurately determine a prediction for Saturday’s game by keenly investigating how good of a week Dan Mullen had outside of football, because his mood will entirely determine the point differential here. Did his Amazon packages arrive on time? Was it Sunny in Gainesville this week? Maybe he cuts Vandy some slack. However, the opposite could still be true: His neighbors could have had their leaf blowers on all day on Sunday. His dog could have woken him up in the middle of the night.
The narrative that Florida will be angry after the UK loss doesn’t carry any weight to me because Florida could win this game by 60 points if they wanted to. It’s just - do they want to is the question? I say the Gators shows Clark Lea some mercy and reward a valiant losing effort by the Dores.
The Pick: Florida 45, Vandy 7
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: Auburn Beats UGA at home, thus starting CFP madness and giving the committee more ammunition to expand the playoff to eight in a few years.