They were either the second or third worse team in the league last year. And Derek Mason remains on the hot seat. But, as we keep saying, these SEC Power Rankings are solely based on the way a team has played throughout this year. And with one game on the resume, the Vanderbilt Commodores looked more impressive than most.
Nobody else below Vandy beat an FBS team with a winning record. Mason’s team, meanwhile, blew out Rick Stockstill’s team, which has enjoyed three straight winning season. Winning 35-7 was impressive, and it’s enough for these guys to be up here in these rankings.
Vanderbilt showed its balance with Kyle Shurmur leading the way at quarterback. Even though he only had 170 yards passing, he had two touchdowns and no interceptions. The team had 346 yards overall on offense.
The defense, though, was the real story. Forcing two turnovers, scoring a defensive touchdown and holding MTSU to under 300 yards of offense, maybe Mason’s unit finally has an identity. For right now, at least, this team’s win is impressive enough to keep it in the top third of these rankings.
Given how bad things went last year in the middle of the season for these guys, that’s pretty good. With a home game against the Nevada Wolf Pack and then a road game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish coming up, we’ll fond out soon enough if these guys belong here. And that’s before conference play begins against the South Carolina Gamecocks.