Friday, August 27, 2010
SEC 2010-Vanderbilt Commodores
2009 Record: 2-10 (0-8)
Head Coach: Robby Caldwell (1st season, 0-0)
Offensive Coordinator: Jimmy Kiser (1st season)
Defensive Coordinator: Jamie Bryant (3rd season)
2009 Bowl Game: A far away and distant dream
Offense: Vandy is going to have to do a hell of a lot better than their 110th ranked offense did a season ago in order to get back to some version of the bowl winner from a couple of seasons ago. Warren Norman and Zac Stacy will give the Commodores some running ability, but the real issue is whether or not the line can open holes for them to get through. The line is being rebuilt from center left, so it looks like the right side will be handling the brunt of the work. QB Larry SMith was not even remotely good last season, and he missed 3 games with a hamstring issue. Udom Udoh and John Cole both return at WR, but can they get open enough?
Defense: Vandy was incredible against the pass,ranking 9th in the nation in that category, but a common theme exists in the SEC with great pass D and poor run D, as the Commodores only finished 105th against the run. The entire D line is starting over from scratch, and Chris Marve is the lone returnee at LB. Marve is solid, but can he carry an entire rebuilt front 7? Casey Hayward returns at one CB amd Sean Richardson is the returnee at SS. The other secondary spots are up for grabs. I don't see much room for improvement against the run, and the pass D may take a drop as well.
Special Teams: Ryan Fowler made 16 FGs last season, a school record that really does not seem like a big deal. Freshman Richard Kent is being handed the punting job.
Wins: 10/9 Eastern Michigan
Toss Up Games: 11/27 Wake Forest
Losses: 9/4 Northwestern, 9/11 LSU, 9/18 @ Ole Miss, 10/2 @ UConn, 10/16 @ Georgia, 10/23 South Carolina, 10/30 @ Arkansas, 11/6 Florida, 11/13 @ Kentucky, 11/20 Tennessee
Best bet is on Vandy finishing with the same 2-10 record they had last season. I can't even guarantee that it will be that good for the Commodores, who have not won a league title since 1921 in the Southern Conference.
Outlook: Bleak. When Bobby Johnson up and quit just before fall camp, it sent out a terrible message as to how bad things were probably going to be. Now they will be worse. Robby Caldwell is the former line coach, and he is in over his head on this one. Maybe Vandy ought to ditch the SEC and head back for the Southern Conference, where they'd be a better fit and have half of a chance.