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Anchor Drop, November 28, 2023: There’s no spinning this

Who will play quarterback next year?

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NCAA Football: Vanderbilt at Tennessee Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning.

Optional Musical Accompaniment

In the past two days, Vanderbilt has seen both Ken Seals and AJ Swann elect to transfer out of the program, and if you read AJ Swann’s announcement post it’s not hard to figure out why he’s leaving. Just look at who he didn’t thank (the coaching staff):

So, yeah. That’s not great.

There’s really no positive spin you can put on Swann and Seals both electing to leave. You can argue that Swann wasn’t all that great, and that’s fine. That still means that the coaching staff whiffed on its hand-picked quarterback to the point that they benched him during his sophomore year and ended up losing him to the transfer portal. It would be one thing if Swann were transferring because he’d been offered a bunch of NIL money to go elsewhere; that’s bad news, but that’s not really the coaching staff’s fault and might actually be a credit to them if he’d blown up to the point where other schools were tampering with him to fix their own quarterback problems.

It’s even worse if you think, like I do, that the coaching staff badly mismanaged the quarterback position and ended up losing both of them. I had always assumed that no matter how they played it, one of Swann and Seals would transfer after the season; Vanderbilt misplayed it so badly that both of them did. Neither of them wanted to stick around and have to win the job. And maybe the simplest explanation is that the coaching staff has shown, in all three of the seasons it’s been here, that the leash for quarterbacks has been short.

And if the idea is to upgrade the position in the portal, well...

I don’t know who Vanderbilt’s quarterback is going to be next year. Going into Year 4, that’s bad. The only way that wouldn’t be bad is if they lost a quarterback because he was too good for Vanderbilt and left for the NFL or a bigger NIL deal elsewhere. This is bad. This is very, very bad. I don’t want to say we’re at the point where we know how this ends with Clark Lea, but we’re getting very close to that point.

Things you also do when it’s definitely going well: fire the strength and conditioning coach. That said, this was a real problem: as Aria pointed out on Twitter, Lea was complaining about all the soft-tissue injuries in September and that’s often a strength and conditioning issue.

Sonny Gray is getting paid.

Frankie Sheehy at the Hustler posted his latest Memorial Minutes column about the women’s team.

Bad Gambling Advice

Season to date: 50-29-2 ATS, 42-36-2 totals

  • Notre Dame at South Carolina (6:00 PM CT, SEC Network): South Carolina -7.5, Over 132.5
  • Mississippi State at Georgia Tech (6:00 PM CT, ACC Network): Mississippi State -8, Under 139.5
  • LSU at Syracuse (6:00 PM CT, ESPN2); Syracuse -1.5, Under 151
  • Miami at Kentucky (6:30 PM CT, ESPN): Miami +5.5, Over 164
  • Missouri at Pitt (6:30 PM CT, ESPNU): Pitt -5.5, Under 146.5
  • NC State at Ole Miss (8:00 PM CT, ESPN2): NC State +1, Over 146.5
  • Clemson at Alabama (8:30 PM CT, ESPN): Alabama -9, Over 159.5

Sports on TV

All times Central. College basketball schedule here.

  • 6:30 PM: NBA: Bucks at Heat (TNT)
  • 9:00 PM: NBA: Warriors at Kings (TNT)


NFL: Bears 12, Vikings 10.

NBA: Wizards 126, Pistons 107 ... Trail Blazers 114, Pacers 110 ... 76ers 138, Lakers 94 ... Jazz 114, Pelicans 112 ... Nuggets 113, Clippers 104.

NHL: Panthers 5, Senators 0 ... Sabres 5, Rangers 1 ... Blue Jackets 5, Bruins 2 ... Avalanche 4, Lightning 1 ... Flames 2, Golden Knights 1 ... Sharks 2, Capitals 1.