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Anchor Drop, February 4, 2023: The Vote of Confidence

But really, what were you expecting?

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NCAA Basketball: Alabama at Vanderbilt George Walker IV-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning.

Optional Musical Accompaniment

Well, there it is: three days after a 101-44 loss, Vanderbilt AD Candice Storey Lee expressed support for head basketball coach Jerry Stackhouse, which is behind a paywall in an exclusive interview with the Tennessean but...

Meanwhile, also yesterday we posted our torchfork mailbag answers which should give you an idea that there’s a huge gulf between the athletic director and the fan base, except... maybe there’s not.

The problem with reading anything into an athletic director’s comments about an active coach at her school is that of fucking course the athletic director is going to publicly support the head coach until the day he’s no longer the head coach, and what were you expecting her to say about the situation? If Stackhouse turns things around and keeps his job, do you want the athletic director publicly on the record announcing that she doesn’t think he’s the guy? Public statements of support are par for the course here.

Now, what you can read into this is that Candice Storey Lee felt it was necessary to comment publicly at all on Stackhouse’s job status. There’s a reason why it’s called the “dreaded vote of confidence,” because when the athletic director is publicly issuing statements of support for a head coach, it usually means that support is actually in doubt. There are thirteen other head men’s basketball coaches in the SEC and as far as I know, twelve of their athletic directors did not issue public statements of support. The one who did, Alabama’s Greg Byrne, issued the kind of statement of support (a contract extension) that will make it very expensive for Alabama to hire Nate Oats, not the kind where he just tells the local newspaper that this is our guy.

In other words — Candice Storey Lee might well be about to fire Jerry Stackhouse in a month or so, but she’s not exactly going to say that out loud right now.

In any case, if Stackhouse is going to save his job, that’s pretty much going to have to start today by beating Ole Miss at home. Ole Miss is one of the worst teams in the SEC, with a 1-8 record in conference play at the halfway point, losers of ten of their past eleven, and whose SB Nation site is not just calling for the head coach to be fired, but openly asking why it hasn’t happened already. Anyway, today’s cripple fight at Memorial Gym will tip off at 12 PM CT on the SEC Network, the first game of the day in that network’s quadrupleheader.

Vanderbilt women’s tennis stayed undefeated on the season by beating Louisville 6-1 on Friday. Lacrosse plays an exhibition against Ohio State at noon today (wonderful scheduling there) and men’s tennis will host a doubleheader against Princeton (11 AM) and Tennessee State (3:30 PM.)

Bad Gambling Advice

Season to date: 106-108-4 ATS, 105-112 totals

  • Ole Miss at Vanderbilt (12:00 PM CT, SEC Network): Vanderbilt -4.5, Under 138.5
  • Auburn at Tennessee (1:00 PM CT, ESPN): Auburn +9.5, Over 134.5
  • Arkansas at South Carolina (2:30 PM CT, SEC Network): Arkansas -11.5, Over 137
  • Alabama at LSU (3:00 PM CT, ESPNU): Alabama -11.5, Under 149
  • Missouri at Mississippi State (5:00 PM CT, SEC Network): Missouri +3.5, Over 139
  • Georgia at Texas A&M (7:30 PM CT, SEC Network): Texas A&M -11.5, Under 141.5
  • Florida at Kentucky (7:30 PM CT, ESPN): Florida +5, Under 136

Sports on TV

All times Central. College basketball schedule here.

  • 12:00 PM: PGA Tour: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Third Round (Golf Channel)
  • 2:00 PM: PGA Tour: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Third Round (CBS)
  • 2:00 PM: NHL: All-Star Game (ABC)
  • 5:00 PM: NBA: Lakers at Pelicans (ESPN2)
  • 7:30 PM: NBA: Mavericks at Warriors (ABC)


NBA: Pistons 118, Hornets 112 ... Pacers 107, Kings 104 ... Trail Blazers 124, Wizards 116 ... Suns 106, Celtics 94 ... Raptors 117, Rockets 111 ... Magic 127, Timberwolves 120 ... 76ers 137, Spurs 125 ... Hawks 115, Jazz 108.