This game will fit on the slate along with the previously announced clashes with Middle Tennessee State and Western Kentucky. The game against the Cougars of the American Athletic Conference gives some meat to a non-con slate which was looking a little light in the final year where SEC schools have free reign to schedule whomever they wish. From 2016 onward at least one of the non-conference games must be played against a power conference school (the AAC is not considered a power conference at this point).
The game is a good pick up for Vanderbilt for a number of reasons. The Houston area is one of the largest alumni areas for Vanderbilt grads, so getting a game down there should see similar fan support as the game at Rice did in 2009. The Houston area also has the potential to be a big recruiting area for the ‘Dores and a game like this will help the staff get their foot in the door in an area which is rich in top and middle tier high school football talent.
This trip to the state of the art (and soon to open) TDECU Stadium, which is on the University of Houston Campus, will be just the second meeting between the two programs. The first meeting of course was the last game that the ‘Dores played, a 41-24 win in the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham, Alabama. That game was one of the strangest of the year for Vanderbilt who seemed to be almost sleepwalking through it at times before turning it on for a comfortable win.
Strangely after playing each other twice in a short span Houston will be waiting for a while for the second part of this home and home in Nashville. The game is not scheduled to take place until 2021, or seven years from now. Why exactly this is has not been mentioned, but you have to wonder if the ‘Dores are hoping that by that time the AAC will have established itself as a viable conference nationally to the point that this game would count as the power conference game per the SEC mandate.