Out of conference opponents for Vandy

Out of conference opponents for Vandy

With the SEC now mandating that every team in the conference play a school from one of the other four power conferences it opens up a world of possibility for the ‘Dores. This rule, which comes into effect in 2016, instantly boosts the Vanderbilt non-conference slate, a slate which was run into basically nothing under the scheduling policy of James Franklin.

Note that I am not blaming Franklin for this, Bill Snyder built an empire at Kansas State while constantly playing one of the worst out of conference schedules in the country.

So the question now becomes what will Vanderbilt try to do with this new scheduling tweak?

As far as I can see there are two options. Firstly the powers that be could continue the scheduling technique that has been running for the last few seasons. This would mean the schedule would contain the bottom end of the Big Ten, Big 12, ACC, or Pac 12, the likes of Iowa State and Rutgers if you will. Alternatively athletic direct David Williams and his staff could get another marquee game for the fans in Nashville each year. This is the route they should go, and if they do here are five teams that should be contacted immediately.

Stanford

This one seems like a no brainer, which probably means it will never happen. Two highly academic schools who are experiencing massive levels of success on the football field on opposite sides of the country so there is no animosity over battling for recruits. Throw in the connection with head coach (and former Stanford defensive coordinator) Derek Mason and you would seem to have a tantalizing game which would benefit both teams involved.

Northwestern

This is another game which would pit Vanderbilt against another school with high level entry requirements for their players. Vandy finished 0-2 in the most recent series with the Wildcats but we all remember what happened in 2010 with Big Ten officials in charge. This is a series which was supposed to continue, until the previous administration cancelled it because of scheduling conflicts. The drop in the win column which Northwestern had last season, they were 1-7 in Big Ten play (though five of those losses were by ten points or less), is a bit of a worry though and should be monitored before any long ranging series is agreed to.

Penn State

This script writes itself as James Franklin and a host of former Vanderbilt recruits are now settled down in Happy Valley.

Syracuse

This one came on the radar recently as there is apparently some discussion between the schools regarding a series. This is another peer institution who recruits well and who Vanderbilt would have every chance of beating if they were on the schedule. It would be a great fit for both schools.

Texas

It would be fun to get a Big 12 team on the schedule as most schools in the conference play an exciting and aggressive form of offensive football. If you are going to schedule a Big 12 school you may as well shoot for the moon and try to get something going with the richest school in the conference, if not the country. Plus a battle between two of the music capitals of the world should create a festive and party atmosphere, which is what this game we love should be all about in the first place.

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