The Vanderbilt Commodores put together back-to-back nine win seasons in 2012 and 2013 under James Franklin, and seem to be a program on the rise. But now Franklin is off to Penn State, and Vandy will now look to new head coach Derek Mason to help the Commodores contend for their first ever SEC title.
The Commodores have never had a ten win season in their 124 year history, and despite losing the very successful James Franklin, they feel like they won't miss a beat with their new coach. Derek Mason takes over in Nashville after four seasons as an assistant Stanford, and he has high hopes to continue what Franklin has built at Vandy. "I don't feel like we're second to anybody. Maybe it's me just being a neophyte in this conference or maybe it's me understanding that we have something good going on at Vanderbilt."
Despite their recent success, not everybody thinks of the Commodores as SEC contenders.
Defensive lineman Adam Butler said, "After three consecutive bowl appearances you still have the nerve to predict us at 6-6 again? I think that's, I won't say absurd, but I think it's a little wrong, in my opinion. In order for us to break that stereotype we're going to have to do what Coach Mason wants us to do and that's win the SEC title, that's the next step that we have to take."
Tight end Steven Scheu said, "We still don't have the respect that we deserve and we want, so we're out to prove everybody wrong that we do deserve that respect."
Vandy opens 2014 August 28 at home against Temple.