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2021 Vanderbilt Commodores: At the Bottom Looking at Everyone Else
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

2021 Vanderbilt Commodores: At the Bottom Looking at Everyone Else

It looks like more of the same in Nashville for Vandy. They were 0-9 in 2020 and fired the coaching staff. They hired Vanderbilt-alum Clark Lea so he knows what obstacles he is facing. Improving in the SEC for a private school and being competitive is next to impossible and has been proven in history. A winning season here is cause for celebration and it is not happening this year.

Offense: There is some hope at QB with Ken Seals who broke several freshman records last year. He showed calmness and accuracy and strong leadership skills and he is someone to build around. Running back Re’Mahn Davis transferred from Temple and has shown he is hard to tackle. His backup, Ja’Veon Marlow, will bring a change of pace to the running game as he is very shifty. Receivers Cam Johnson and Chris Pierce are good players and Will Shepard was impressive in the spring. The offensive line as a lot of experience returning and could be a strength.

Defense: The defense was a major problem last year and must show a ton of improvement in 2021. LB, Ethan Barr might become the leader of the defense. The defensive line needs to manufacture a pass rush and Elijah McAllister and Michael Owusu along with De’Rickey Wright will need to emerge. The secondary is in shambles and that issue has got to be resolved.

Non-Conference Schedule:

9/4 East Tennessee State

9/11 at Colorado State

9/18 Stanford

10/2 Connecticut

The non-con schedule gives the Commodores a chance to win a couple of games. They have to beat East Tennessee State and UConn is winnable. Colorado State on the road isn’t impossible but beating Stanford is unrealistic.

Conference Schedule:

9/25 Georgia

10/9 at Florida

10/16 at South Carolina

10/23 Mississippi State

10/30 Missouri

11/13 Kentucky

11/20 at Ole Miss

11/27 at Tennessee

There are a couple of home games against Mississippi State and Kentucky where the Commodores will have a chance. Road games against South Carolina and Tennessee are possibilities too.

Summary: I don’t mean to downgrade Vanderbilt because it is a great institution, but the football program is practically impossible to win at consistently. and when you add in the rigors of an SEC schedule you can double the odds. There are so many factors weighing against them. They can have a six or maybe seven win season occasionally but that’s as good as it is going to get. Coach Lea and his staff will try and turnaround the culture and set a foundation this year and that is about all you can expect.

Predicted Finish: 7th in the SEC East

Overall Record: 2-10

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