No one is going to argue that 2014 was anything other than a disaster. The Commodores finished the year 3-9, but it could easily have been worse than that given that two of the ‘Dores three wins came by a grand total of four points. With Derek Mason taking over the play calling and coaching on defense, and with all the other changes which have occurred within the staff, you would think though that 2015 would have to be better. Not if this article is anything to go by.
Barrett Sallee, who is the lead SEC college football writer for Bleacher Report, has the Commodores finishing with a 2-10 record in 2015. That includes a 0-8 slate in the SEC and non-conference losses at home to Western Kentucky and at Houston. Sallee in fact predicts that Vanderbilt will only beat Austin Peay (of the FCS) and that they will win on the road at Middle Tennessee State. If this prediction were to be true, then Vandy would start the season 2-3, then not win a single game after the first weekend in October.
The analysis in the piece points out that Caleb Azubike will be a force off the edge, which is true, but questions if anyone else on defense is going to be able to step up and make plays. Knowing Mason, and seeing how the Tennessee game went last fall, it is hard to see him building a defensive unit that won’t at least keep the ‘Dores in the running in about half their games. The offense is most definitely a work in progress, but if Mason follows the Stanford blueprint then the defense alone should be worth another victory somewhere along the way.
Now, no one is saying the Commodores will go out there and make a college playoff game in 2015. However, a repeat of last year’s 3-9, should be the very least that Vanderbilt is able to put together this fall.
Sallee, by the way, also has Tennessee predicted to go 10-2 and take their place in the SEC Championship Game…
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