Vanderbilt Commodores 2023 College Football Preview
July 31, 2023
Record – 5-7
ATS – 5-7
The Commodores took some BABY STEPS in year two of the Clark Lea experience as they won five games after posting a putrid 2-10 mark in 2021. It was a ROCKING CHAIR winner for MEGALOCKS SEASON WIN TOTAL CLUB members as they hit the over by the end of September. Vanderbilt had an ugly five-game skid during the season but they played some good competition during that stretch. They won a pair of November SEC games (!) (Florida, Kentucky) and fell just one game short of a bowl bid.
Vanderbilt Commodores 2023 Outlook
Vanderbilt showed improvement LY as they went from averaging 15.8 PPG in 2021 (last SEC) to a somewhat-respectable 24.6 PPG in 2022 (#12). That marked the first time since 2018 that the Commodores averaged more than 20 PPG. Losing mobile QB Mike Wright (Miss St) stings quite a bit but AJ Swann did some good work in limited action LY (58%, 10-2 TD to INT). The OL is yuuuge and boasts four returning starters but the RB room looks really sketchy and there doesn’t appear to be much talent to take advantage of the big boys up front. Who knows? We’ll see how things play out. Vandy brings back their top-three WRs which is nice bonus but they’re very thin at the TE position. This is still one of the weaker offenses in the conference but having a quality OL is a nice bonus.
It’s been quite a while since the Commodores have played actual “defense”. They’ve allowed 35+ PPG in three consecutive seasons, yielded 5.0+ YPC six straight times, and posted fewer than 20 sacks in each of the last three campaigns (17,9,14). Eight starters are back on this side of the football but they’ll be without #1 tackler and team leader LB Anfernee Orji. The DL appears to lack PENETRATORS but they’ve got lots of experience on board and three returning starters. The LB unit looks a bit thin but #2 tackler CJ Taylor (7 TFL, 5 PBU) is back in the mix, and the strength of the defense might be the safety tandem of Jaylen Mahoney (#4 tackler, 7 TFL) and De’Rickey Wright (#3 tackler, 7 PBU). We project a little improvement this year but still worry a lot about their ability to get to the QB.
The Commodores have a lot of continuity to rely upon but they’ll need to introduce a new PK. That’s probably a good thing as PK Joseph Bulovas was just 7-12 on FG attempts LY and he hit more slices than a sober JOHN DALY.
Overall – We are intrigued again! The first half of the schedule is CHOCK FULL of winnable games but the second half of the docket is flat out nasty.
Potential ATS Trouble Spot – Nothing overly-spooky is noted.
Season Win Total
Market consensus July 31
Over 3.5 -170
Under 3.5 +140
They’ve got a great shot at bagging three or four wins by the middle of October.
HC Clark Lea has been a good bet so far in the role of road dog (7-3 ATS) but it’s been all aboard the FADE TRAIN when he’s been a home dog (3-7 ATS). Those are small sample sizes to be sure but just keep that in the back of your mind for now.
Nashville is quickly becoming a NATIONAL TREASURE and it’s one of the few major US cities that’s still worth visiting. Many concerned citizens in the area have told us in confidence that they don’t want any more Communist, godless, child-grooming, criminal FILTH to move to Nashville from the urban hellholes in California, Illinois, and New York. We’re just the messenger, so take that for what you will.
Vanderbilt is showing some GREEN SHOOTS of growth but they’re still just starting their journey on the road to respectability. They’ll be improved on both lines this season and appear to have a QB to build around so we expect them to exceed their projected win total. It doesn’t appear as though they’ve got enough talent to make a bowl game but you never know. Good luck, Vanderbilt!