I know exactly what Lane Kiffin is feeling right now. Many years ago, three of the hottest babes in town were all demanding I become their boyfriend and move in with them. I had a nice, secure, sweet girlfriend, but these other three were Maxim-quality hotties. Just when I thought I had a way of becoming the boyfriend to all three of these perfect Size 2 supermodels with beauty that made men weak in the knees, it all came to a crushing halt--the blasted alarm clock went off. I wonder if these three job openings are going to be real or just a dream for Lane. Does he have the ability to be responsible if he's handed the keys to an SEC kingdom?
There are two more reasons why Missouri is better than Arkansas and Ole Miss. First, Missouri is the only FBS school in their state. Arkansas has Arkansas State, while Mississippi has Mississippi State and Southern Miss. Second, Missouri is the NW outpost for the SEC, and any recruit from the middle of the country that wants to play in the league against Georgia and Florida can go there and still be close enough to return home easily and have family come see them play. Missouri has been a more recent success than Arkansas or Ole Miss. Funny thing is that I remember when all three schools were powers in the 1950's and 1960's. Arkansas won a national title and had more future head coaches on one time (as players and assistants) than just about anywhere. Missouri found success under Dan Devine, which led to multiple Big 8 titles. Ole Miss was the best program in the SEC from the mid-1950's to the early 1960's. Between 1959 and 1962, they were probably the best program in the nation. Johnny Vaught was the Dabo Swinney of his time.
The SEC shows it's true colors. Auburn wins an incredible game, and the fans celebrate in a peaceful manner with nobody being hurt and the fans being happy. They get a big fine. Meanwhile, human garbage at Ole Miss, Georgia, and Tennessee do despicable things (Dog Pee, The NWA wrestling move against the side of the stands in the fight, and the Ndamukong Suh type of kicking), and the SEC does nothing. It's just more of the upside down society that has become a national nightmare that Michael Ellner described. “Everything is backwards; everything is upside down. Doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the major media destroy information, and religions destroy spirituality.” And, the SEC destroys common decency when they fine Auburn and don't remove the trash. They can't do that, because Johnny 5-star might decide to go to Michigan or USC.
Coincidentally, I ran into multiple people shopping in Franklin, TN, today wearing Arkansas apparel. I asked every one of them who they wanted for their coach. It was 100% Mike Leach. 8 or 9 people isn't a scientific poll, but I wonder how anybody other than Leach will be accepted as the coach. Correct me if I'm wrong but did Frank Broyles have only 1 year experience as a head coach when he was hired at Arkansas? Will Healy at Charlotte has only 1 year experience as a D1-FBS head coach. Broyles had a similar record in his one year at Missouri than Healy has at Charlotte.
From somebody that has no ties to Ole Miss or Mississippi State other than having friends and former teammates that played at both schools, and with Missouri now ineligible for a bowl, I wonder if the officiating will be a tad bit biased in favor of the team that can become bowl eligible with a win. I remember in the past when Alabama needed a win over Auburn to get to the Sugar Bowl as #1 and 11-0, and Auburn was 8-2 and on probation, that the officials might as well had worn crimson and white stripes rather than their zebra stripes. Auburn would have a good play and a late flag would be thrown against them. Then when the game was clinched for Alabama, the refs tried to even out the calls to make the final numbers look unbiased.
I must say I am shocked. I thought for sure that the NCAA would drag their feet so that Missouri would help the SEC try to fill out another bowl. Look at the mess now that could happen if Ole Miss wins the Egg Bowl. Playoffs 2 SEC teams with a remote chance of 3, but realistically 2 For the sake of argument, let's say LSU and Alabama if LSU is 13-0 and Georgia and LSU if both are 12-1. NY6 LSU, Alabama, Florida, and Georgia should all qualify here. Let's slot Georgia to the Sugar and Florida to the Orange. Other Bowl Eligible teams if Ole Miss beats Miss. St. Auburn, Texas A&M, Tennessee, and Kentucky That's just four more teams to fill the Citrus, Outback, Gator, Texas, Belk, Music City, Liberty, Birmingham, and Independence Bowls. In other words 5 SEC bowls then must find at-large teams. Off the bat, the Citrus gets to choose the best of the rest, and Auburn would probably be their choice. While the Outback and Gator are technically on equal footing with the Texas, Belk, Liberty, and Music City, the SEC is going to want to put teams in the Outback and Gator for sure, since they are January 1 games. Let's put Tennessee in the Outback and Kentucky in the Gator, where there is a chance they could face rival Indiana. The Texas Bowl was far from sold out last year because the game had Baylor and Vanderbilt. I believe the conferences involved will work a deal to get Texas A&M and Texas to play in Houston to help that bowl out after 2018. That would guarantee a sell out and allow the Hatfields and McCoys to play again. Now, the Belk, Music City, Liberty, Birmingham, and Independence Bowls have no SEC team. The ACC isn't going to have an extra team for the Birmingham Bowl, so would they hope to put UAB in the game, or would they go for a 6-6 MAC team or another CUSA team? The Independence would most likely take the best CUSA team left to face either Florida State, Miami, or North Carolina. The Liberty, Belk, and Music City Bowls are basically going to be up the creek without paddles. Liberty is likely to be available unless the Cure Bowl has an opening. If Boise State doesn't play in the Cotton Bowl, and they go to the Las Vegas Bowl, then an extra Mountain West team could be available. If Boise State goes to the Cotton Bowl, then a deal could be made to put Memphis in either the Liberty or Music City Bowl. The SEC might decide to put 7 Mississippi State students in striped shirts for the Egg Bowl. This will be interesting, and I hope one of the SDS writers can get a scoop and find out what's what at the bowl games before the December 8 selection day.
The founding member of the SEC and GPA arguments are a joke. Sewanee was a founding member of the SEC; are they still in the league? Are founders Tulane and Georgia Tech still in the SEC? Do you think the SEC cares more about Vanderbilt than Texas A&M, because A&M wasn't a founding member? The SEC does not field any scientific experiments teams, and the fact that your hospital is a money-making machine doesn't count for anything in athletics. The SEC is in existence to win championships in the profit-making sports, and to make the bottom line calculate to the largest black number it can be. Vanderbilt offers nothing to the SEC at this time, because its football program is a national joke, and the basketball program just went 0-19 last year against SEC opponents, something that hasn't been done since Sewanee went 0-9 in 1940. Those are the two money-making sports. Your baseball team loses 6-figures a year. The SEC teams used to love having Vanderbilt as a gimme game to pad the records of the rest of the league, but playing Vanderbilt in the Playoff era hurts their strength of schedules and could knock a team like LSU or Georgia down a notch. Vanderbilt has finished last in the SEC or in the SEC East 32 times in 60 years and last or second to last 50 of 60 years. They have finished in the top 5 just 1 time in 60 years! They have had 0 conference wins about 1/3 of the time in 6 decades. We have learned from conference expansion that leagues want to bring in teams from new markets, so Clemson would never be a candidate unless South Carolina left. North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and even Oklahoma would be new markets, but I would think West Virginia would be a great replacement for Vanderbilt, while Memphis replaces WVU in the Big 12. Vandy would fit in perfectly in the Southern Athletic Association with former SEC member Sewanee, Rhodes, Centre, Berry, and others. They might even win the SAA once every 10-15 years. Maybe they can even have more than 1,000 fans show up like they did at 0-10 Sewanee this year. FWIW, Vandy tried to leave the SEC in the early 1960s and start a Southern Ivy League. It fell through because Duke pulled out at the last minute. Harvey Branscomb was right then, and Susan Wente should consider this when they removed the interim from her job title.
There looks like less than 500 people at this game, and they were giving away free tickets all week. ETSU brought a couple hundred from Johnson City. Vandy couldn't outdraw Sewanee and Rhodes today. They get 1,500 to 2,500 a game. The last time there were this few fans at a VU home game, I am guessing it was before World War I when they still played at Curry Field. The SEC should add some rules for membership that makes it impossible for Vanderbilt to remain, so that maybe a Virginia Tech or West Virginia might look to replace them and bring in a new market. Vanderbilt really does need to drop football or go to non-scholarship D3 in football. A Vandy-Sewanee game would draw 1,000.
One of Franklin's daughters, Addy, has sickle-cell anemia. He will only coach where there is a top-rate hospital/children's hospital that is set up to treat these patients. Both Nashville and Philadelphia have two of the best clinics in the US for this. Is there one in Tallahassee?
Vanderbilt admits about one out of every 12 applicants at the present time, and the goal is to get this number down to one in 20 in the near future. The school does not want to admit exceptions that cannot perform the academic work. Ron Mercer had moved his grades to A's at Oak Hill Academy, and he was denied admission, when Vanderbilt was his first choice. Of the 350 athletes every year that are 4-star or 5-star rated, an estimated 30 to 35 of these high school seniors can gain admission to Vanderbilt, but most of them are intelligent enough to realize that playing at Vanderbilt is not the best option, where the math and science professors are more formidable than the DE and LB at Georgia. The top tier SEC teams can recruit 20 or more 4 & 5-star players every year. The middle of the pack can recruit 10-20 4 & 5-star players every year. The bottom of the pack teams other than Vandy can recruit 5-10 4 & 5-star players a year. Vandy has only recruited 19 4-star players ever and no 5-star players. Their top two recruits in history both transferred to other Major college teams. I seriously doubt James Franklin could replicate his won-loss record if he returned to Vandy now. He won some SEC games against teams that were like then what Arkansas, Missouri, and South Carolina are now. Steve Sloan was at Vandy two years and went 5-6 and 7-3-2. He left for Texas Tech, as his college coach, Bear Bryant, advised him to make the move because sustaining that record at Vandy was impossible. Franklin took the first serious offer out of Nashville as well. Mason may or may not ever see his teams finish 4-4 in any SEC season. He may or may not be the right man for the job, but then who is? No up and coming genius is going to take this job. No current FBS coach that isn't desperate is going to apply for this job. At best, only somebody that is going to have no other options to become a head coach at this level would even consider taking it. Maybe Jim McElwain or Rich Rodriguez would take a stab at it. McElwain has taken a Central Michigan team picked to finish last in the MAC-West and has the Chippewas in contention to win the division. They are bowl eligible, when they were supposed to be 3-9 or 4-8 by most preseason predictions. Alas, Mason will be the coach in 2020, and the returning talent will be slightly better on defense but no better or worse on offense. No competent offensive coordinator will come here knowing that Mason might be gone after a 2-10 or 3-9 record next year. The next coach will be no better and possibly worse. For every Mason, there has been a Rod Dowhower in Vandy's past. Dowhower couldn't win at Stanford with John Elway as the #2 QB to Turk Schonert. Had Vandy fired Mason, they would have employed Korn-Ferry to pick their new candidates. Korn-Ferry's wacky football expert, Jed Hughes, has been quoted as saying that some school should take a chance on Condoleezza Rice as a head football coach. They basically only consider out of the box candidates, so who would be a better head coach for Vandy in 2020--Mason or the former Secretary of State?
My friend that gives me a lot of inside information that I then post here and other places has written an excellent piece on the 60-year issue with Vanderbilt football and the issues going forward. His website is the "PiRate Ratings", which is also one of the most accurate computer college and pro football ratings. I originally found him through the link at The Prediction Tracker.
They cannot afford the buyout, just like Lovie Smith and Illinois last year. The problem isn't the coaching; it's the talent acquisition, and Nick Saban couldn't recruit a top 20 class to this school where 13 other SEC teams can recruit top 20 classes. How many 4-star and higher recruits can Vandy sign in one season? The answer is usually 3 to 5. These are not how many they will sign, just how many of the top 300 players would consider Vandy. In most years, they sign 0 4-stars. They are lucky to get 1 on the roster at any time. Other SEC temas have 4-star 2nd stringers, while Vandy is lucky to have 22 3-stars on their first 22.
If I had to wager on the outcome, I'd side with the field over any of these five potential candidates as to who the next Arkansas head coach will be. A lot of the candidates you hear in the news are leaked by agents trying to keep their clients' in the discussion, if not for this job, then for the next. Arkansas will probably get a top-flight head coach from a Group of 5 success. Maybe, they can dip in the Reno pool again and get Jay Norvell to join Musselman.
One can easily see where Vanderbilt football became inconsequential compared to the rest of the Southeastern Conference. After the 1959 season, the rules on liberal substitution changed a bit every year until there were no rules on substitution. Vanderbilt could compete as a middle of the pack team when teams still had to play one-platoon football with limited substitution. Vandy could find 20 players that were good enough to compete in the SEC, and although never really a contender in the conference race, they could go 7-3, 5-5, 5-3-2, 5-2-3, and 5-3-2 in a 5-year period. Beginning with 1960 through this year, there have been 60 seasons. Vandy has finished with a winning record in conference play twice in 60 years! 1982 and 2012. What kind of wave has that been? It's been a waive to the rest of the conference as they settle into last place. In 60 years, they have finished in last place or last in the division 32 times or 53.3% of the seasons. They finished second to last 18 times, so combined they have finished last or second to last 50 of the 60 years. They have suffered through more winless conference records than all of the other SEC teams combined in those 60 years! Only once in 60 years did they finish in the top half of the standings. That isn't a wave; that's being buried by a tsunami. Vanderbilt does not need to be in the SEC. They need to drop to nonscholarship D3 and compete against Sewanee, Rhodes, and Centre. Their recent combined showing in football and basketball is as bad as it was for Sewanee before the Tigers left the SEC in 1940. They are likely to finish in last place again in basketball this year, and as good as they might be in bowling and baseball, neither sport pays for itself.
Missouri would have to throw the game to lose to Arkansas. They will be bowl eligible, and it looks like the NCAA is going to wait on the appeal, which will allow the Tigers to get a bowl game to help out the SEC. But, what if Missouri finished out the season 7-5 or 6-6 and then gets invited to the Music City Bowl, and then around December 10, the NCAA rules against them? Would they be ineligible for the bowl after the fact, and then what in the world would the folks in Nashville do at that point--invite somebody like Eastern Michigan at 6-6 that had already sent its players home, or just cancel the game? And to that point, must the NCAA make some type of announcement then one way or the other before December 7 about Missouri?
If they fire Derek Mason, it will be a meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Anybody that has been in Nashville for 60 years understands that the next coach, whenever he takes over will have a first year that is weaker than the last year of the former coach, an improved second year that makes fans mistakenly believe that things are different, then a slight downturn in year three, followed by a slight upturn in year four, before the trainwreck in year 5. Vandy fans believe that some great candidate will be interested in their job. The best possible next coach will be an older former Power 5 head coach that has one last chance at an advanced age--somebody like Jim McElwain at Central Michigan or Rich Rod. Maybe a former NFL coach like Marvin Lewis, or an up and coming FCS coach like Bob Surace. If Vandy fans think they can get one of the top coordinators or Mike Leach, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. Vandy is the absolute worst Power 5 job of all, worse than Kansas or Rutgers. You can never compete in the SEC more than once every 10-20 years. You are playing chess when you have no queen, one bishop, and one rook with 3 extra pawns.
I left out the Gator Bowl too as another without an SEC opponent.
I was just using Minnesota as an example, since they are a couple games ahead of Wisconsin and Iowa in their division and own a win over Penn State. The Rose Bowl could go to any of the following: Ohio State, Minnesota, Penn State, Wisconsin, or Michigan. Almost assuredly, the Rose Bowl will have Ohio State, Minnesota, or Penn State. If Ole Miss beats Mississippi State, and Vanderbilt and Louisville beat Kentucky, and then if Missouri loses their appeal in the next 2 weeks, then this is the bowl eligible SEC roster 1. Alabama 2. Auburn 3. Florida 4. Georgia 5. LSU 6. Tennessee 7. Texas A&M In a crazy world, Tennessee could lose to Missouri and Vandy and leave just 6, but let's go with this more realistic possibility. Let's say LSU and Alabama make the playoffs Georgia gets the Sugar Bowl Florida gets the Orange Bowl Auburn gets the Citrus Bowl Texas A&M gets the Texas Bowl to play Texas and make it must-see TV Tennessee gets the Outback Bowl This would leave the Belk, Music City, Liberty, Birmingham, and Independence Bowl without an SEC team. I doubt these bowl officials relish having teams from the Mountain West, Mid-American, and Liberty replacing SEC teams.
Will the Air Raid offense of Mike Leach work in the SEC? Hal Mumme was 10-22 in 4 years in SEC games and never had a winning conference record in any season. Washington State's first two years under Leach were about as bad as Chad Morris's two years at Arkansas. If I were the Arkansas AD, I'd look for a guy with great Southern and Southwestern recruiting connections who has shown that he can win in the conference he is in, and somebody that would consider Arkansas a destination job. There is a gem in Lafayette, LA, and Billy Napier is the coach I'd consider if he's interested in the job.
Coach Mason needs to make one big change for this week if possible. Beg Mr. Bowden to throw the ball more than Kentucky wants to throw it. Come out in an 8-man front. A 5-3 stack or split 60 type defense will be difficult for a wide receiver to make reads and the offensive line to block all the possible dogs and blitzes that these defenses can spring.
Ms. Dinich is totally correct in her assumptions about the possibility that Clemson could be left out at 13-0, while a 13-0 Ohio State, a 13-0 LSU, a 13-0 Baylor, and an 11-1 Alabama get in. This just strengthens my conventions that there needs to be an 8-team playoff with the Power 5 conference champions getting automatic bids. If I were the Clemson AD, and my team was 13-0 and defending national champs and relegated to the Orange Bowl, I'd decline the bid. The goal of the playoffs should be to invite the best teams and not the teams that fit some stupid criteria that does not isolate the best teams but rewards teams for thoughtful scheduling 5 years ago.
Georgia's defense has been a little under the radar, but the Bulldogs are #2 in scoring defense and #5 in total defense. This game should be one of those 13-10 outcomes, so the Under might be a logical wager. How much will the Gus Malzahn rumors with Arkansas affect the Tigers? If Auburn were to win out with impressive victories over Georgia and Alabama, and then Georgia beats LSU in the SEC Championship game, what would it take for Auburn to move up to #4? Would 10-2 Auburn with losses at LSU and at Florida and victories over Georgia and Alabama jump over a one-loss Pac-12 Champion, a one-loss Big 12 Champion, and maybe a one-loss Big Ten contender? It will be fun watching for a fan of no particular team except for the one printed on a ticket.
No matter which team is #45, or 6, there is a reason somewhere that makes the choice the wrong one. The only logical solution is to have the teams earn their playoff berths automatically with no committee decisions. It will require 8 large conferences where the champions of each conference automatically earn a playoff spot. In a perfect world, the top 32 programs would become 1A; the next 32 programs would become 1B, and so forth. In a 32-team D1A, the teams could mimic the NFL and play 16 games with 12-team playoffs without any voting. There are not 33 programs in college football capable of winning the national title, so why not let the B, C, and D teams play in divisions where they can compete?
I am old enough to remember that terrible night in December of 1977 when the Evansville basketball team perished in a plane crash en route to Nashville to play Middle Tennessee State in Murfreesboro. I remember that one player was not on the flight due to an injury. A couple weeks later, he was killed in an automobile accident. It obviously will never undo the tragedy, but it's nice that the Purple Aces are getting national headlines today for something positive.
Southern Man, you cannot force recruits to come to Vanderbilt, and about 295 of the top 300 kids have 0 interest in coming there. There is too much instant gratification needs in today's 18 year olds, and every one of those top 300 kids believe they will be in the NFL in 3 years. The college degree is for the 2-star and 3-star players that know they will be working for a paycheck 5 years from now. Look at how kids today believe they need to be able to make money off their likeness, as if the 4 years of totally free college education means nothing. Ergo, schools like Vanderbilt, Northwestern, Rice, and Stanford are beginning to get an bit weaker in this cycle. It may be 25 years into the future before Vanderbilt becomes a choice for 4-star and 5-star kids again. Even Bill Belichick as HC with Tom Brady as OC isn't going to get any Trevor Lawrence type QBs to sign with Vandy.
The Arkansas AD went out and hired the best college basketball coach in the nation earlier this year by getting the head coach at the top mid-major. Muss will take Arky to a Final Four. Who is the Muss of football? I'd consider Louisiana's Billy Napier.
Sorry, I meant Louisville versus San Jose St. in the Music City Bowl.
You need to redo your Big Ten teams in these bowl games. Michigan will not be invited to the Outback Bowl due to the Big Ten contractural agreements. The Citrus will not invite: Michigan, Minnesota, or Penn State The Outback will not invite: Iowa, Michigan, or Wisconsin The Gator will not invite: Penn State or Iowa If Ohio State goes to the Playoffs and Minnesota gets the Rose Bowl, bid, Penn State would be looking at the Outback Bowl, while Wisconsin probably goes to the Citrus Bowl. Michigan would likely go to the Holiday Bowl; Indiana would be the logical Gator Bowl team; Illinois could take the Pinstripe; Iowa would be there for the Redbox; Michigan State would be reduced to the Quick Lane, and if Nebraska could get to 6-6, the Cornhuskers would get the Armed Forces bid. What is interesting is that if either Kentucky or Mississippi State doesn't become bowl eligible, and Missouri is told their appeal is denied, what will happen with the lower SEC bowls. There could be as few as 8 bowl eligible teams, and both Alabama and LSU could make the playoffs. That would put Georgia, Auburn, and Florida in the Sugar, Orange, and Citrus bowls in some order. Texas A&M is a possible Texas Bowl participant against Texas, if the Longhorns drop to 7-5 maybe 8-4. Tennessee at 7-5 would get the Gator Bowl, and the rest of the bowls would have to find at-large teams. The Belk, Music City, and Liberty Bowls are not in the habit of having to find teams from the MAC, Sun Belt, CUSA, Mountain West, or an independent like Liberty. Can you imagine Louisville playing somebody like San Jose State in the Liberty Bowl, or Wake Forest playing Buffalo in the Belk Bowl? Liberty would be a great option for the Liberty Bowl, especially with Hugh Freeze still having fans in the Bluff City.
If you think being a founding member of the SEC means anything, then why aren't Sewanee, Georgia Tech, and Tulane still members? These schools realized they were in over their heads and left the SEC. Vanderbilt wass actually set to leave the SEC in the early 1960's before Georgia Tech and Tulane, and they were going to form a Southern Ivy League. Only because Duke backed out when they realized North Carolina would not schedule them any more, did Vanderbilt stay in the SEC. Vanderbilt doesn't field women's softball or volleyball or men's indoor and outdoor track and field. They only compete in 14 of the 21 SEC Sports, something the SEC has previously advised the school that it might become an issue in the near future. Vanderbilt joined the American Athletic Conference in women's lacrosse and belong to the Southland Conference in women's bowling, so they already have secondary conference affiliations. When your own fan base cannot buy enough football tickets to fill up your basketball arena, are you really competing in SEC football? If you look at the numbers of people in your metropolitan area, there are many more Tennessee, Auburn, and Alabama fans there than Vanderbilt fans. You guys are now the "it" city, so opposing fans love making the Vanderbilt game an extra home game with benefits. It will be a sea of blue Saturday when Kentucky comes. There will be more people in Nashville supporting the Wildcats than come to Nashville in March for the SEC-T played at the Predators home arena. There are so many things to do in Nashville that are fun that Vanderbilt football is a distant afterthought. Vanderbilt basketball is now at the very bottom of the league too. You have the best baseball recruiter since Bobby Winkles retired from Arizona State and Rod Dedaux retired from USC, but baseball loses 6-figures a year at most SEC schools, so don't expect baseball to keep you in the SEC. You guys will be yesterday's news if the SEC ever mandates participation in the sports you cannot afford to sanction. There have been rumors in the past that the other SEC schools have talked about moving Vanderbilt home games against Florida to Jacksonville, against Georgia to Atlanta, and to play the Tennessee game in Knoxville two years out of every three, because too much money is lost in gate revenue. As a Vanderbilt fan, you don't see what the fans of other teams see. Vanderbilt is a great academic and research institution. However, 90,000 people don't show up on Saturday afternoon to see a chemist perform experiments or a surgeon perform a lung transplant. I hope you realize your hospital may be the top facility in the US for lung transplants. You are the Ohio State of research and medical. But, you are not going to ever compete in the SEC in football. 1933 to 2019--that's 87 years, and you have never been within a game of first place in the SEC football standings and only two or three times finished two games behind the champion. When Sewanee left the SEC, their combined winning percentage in football and basketball were about the same as yours has been in this calendar year. I truly feel sorry for fans of your school. Not only is football an impossible proposition, but now your basketball program is at the bottom with no peer. You went 0-19 in the SEC last year, and no other SEC team had failed to beat another SEC team at least once since Sewanee in 1940. You lost your top recruit to Ole Miss in Austin Crowley, and apparently, and since hiring Jerry Stackhouse, you lost your 5-star in-state kid to Tennessee and your high 4-star recruit to Ole Miss, even though you hired his high school coach in order to get him. Oh, and I see where Tim Corbin is in a group trying to bring Major League Baseball to your town. If that happens, you lose your baseball guru. But, at the same time, you can pluck away almost every 5-star rated physician, scientist, law professor, and engineering professor, and the other 13 SEC schools cannot compete with you there. In all actuality, being the distant #14 sports program is nothing when you are the runaway #1 in the things that really matter.
I doubt that Derek Mason can keep his job at this point, since he's now guaranteed going 6 for 6 with losing seasons, but make no mistake about this: Vanderbilt football is in an impossible situation in the SEC. They will never recruit enough SEC Caliber athletes to compete consistently in the SEC, and the cycle has changed somewhat where they may go through many years of 0 and 1-win conference seasons. Nashville has NFL and NHL, and there is rumors of Major League Baseball coming within a decade (either Tampa Bay relocating there or an expansion team). Vandy is a distant side story in its own city, and there may be a day where the school needs to reassess its commitment to fielding competitive teams. The answer may be to leave the SEC and emulate Villanova, Wichita State, and Butler rather than try to be Alabama, Florida, and Tennessee.