Coaches often look for any sort of material as a means to motivate their respective team. Motivation can stem from the opposing team, and it can also hail from the media.

USA TODAY published an article in which it previewed the upcoming SEC season. It ranked each division, and also offered a ranking for each team as it pertains to the rest of the country.

Vanderbilt was ranked as the last-place team within the SEC East. It also held the standing as the No. 113 team in the entire nation.

While a coach’s spiel against these sort of articles often happens behind closed doors, Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason didn’t hesitate to offer his opinions publicly (to The Tennesseean) on the matter:

 “With that USA TODAY article, we’re mad. We’ve got a chip on our shoulder — offensively, defensively, special teams. That’s a slap in the face and a kick in the mouth.”

Cornerback Torren McGaster echoed these sentiments.

“They want to rank us 113th? Just like (Mason) said, it’s a punch in the mouth to our whole team. Of course, we hear all that. But our offense is going to prove the nation wrong. Our defense is going to prove the nation wrong.”

Vanderbilt opens its 2016 season against South Carolina on Thursday, Sep. 1.