Looking Ahead to the 2013 Schedule

It always seems a little odd to me that the SEC likes to announce the next year's football schedule right in the middle of the season. With the popularity of the sport I am sure ESPN would set aside a whole block of programming sometime in late January to break down and analyze the slate of games beginning the following August.

For now though this is how the league likes to do it and with that being said here is what the Commodores will be faced with in 2013 followed by a few thoughts.

Aug 31 - Ole Miss
Sept 7 - Austin Peay
Sept 14 - @ South Carolina
Sept 21 - @ UMass (in Gillette Stadium)
Sept 28 – UAB
Oct 5 – Missouri
Oct 12 – BYE
Oct 19 – Georgia
Oct 26 - @ TAMU
Nov 2 – BYE
Nov 9 @ Florida
Nov 16 – Kentucky
Nov 23 - @ Tennessee
Nov 30 - Wake Forest

With more non conference games than slots on the schedule it was obvious that Vandy would have to drop out of a commitment or two to fit everyone in. Though it is good to see the game with Ohio State (in Columbus) disappear it would have been cool to see the Northwestern series continue. I would hope that this can be picked up at some point in the future as the schools have similar ethos which makes for a good story.

This is the first year where the 'Dores find themselves with two byes and both seem to have fit in very nicely. The week off between trips to Gainesville and College Station will be particularly useful and will allow Vanderbilt to set up for the final month of the season.

Vandy gets both SEC new boys and manages to avoid LSU and Alabama for the second straight year. It looks like the permanent rival from the SEC West will be Mississippi which, while not a glamour school, will give the Commodores a chance for another victory every year.

You can make a solid argument that the Commodores can start the season 5-1 next year. The only game of the first six which looks like a loss is South Carolina. The rest are all games which James Franklin will expect his team to win.

How nice is it to see a schedule with just four real road tests (yes, UMass plays in an NFL stadium but they don't get close to filling it).

There is a decent chance Vandy will get to open the college football season again as ESPN could decide to move the conference clash with Ole Miss to Thursday night. It may not have the luster of the South Carolina game this season, but it would be another great opportunity for the Commodores to perform at home with the national stage to themselves.

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