..

Vanderbilt: Are They for Real?

Written by:
Tony George
Published on:
Oct/02/2008
Vanderbilt

Steven Merrill of SportsAudioShows.com asks the million dollar question: Is Vanderbilt for real? With a record of 4-0, they play Auburn on Saturday as a +4 home dog at BetUS.com. The public doesn't quite believe yet as more than 70 percent of the betting action was going Auburn's way on Thursday.

----

The Southeastern Conference is the strongest college football conference and by the third week of the season they became the first conference to ever have five teams ranked in the Top 10. The league is extremely deep from top to bottom and this was evident last weekend when Florida lost outright as a 22-point home favorite versus Mississippi.

While the media has been focusing on powerhouses such as Florida, LSU, Alabama, Georgia, and Auburn, there has been another SEC school that has quietly worked its way into the Top 25.

Vanderbilt debut in the Top 25 last week with a #21 ranking and it was the first national ranking for the Commodores in the past 24 years. To say Vanderbilt has overachieved this season would be a massive understatement as the Commodores returned just nine total starters, including just three offensive starters, and most oddsmakers had Vanderbilt slated for just 3 total wins this year.

The Commodores have already surpassed this projection with a surprising 4-0 SU/ATS start, including three outright underdog wins, but the question [WINDOWS-1252?]remains... is Vanderbilt for real?

The Commodores opened the season with a 34-13 win at Miami-Ohio as a 3½-point underdog. They dominated the ground game with a 269-96 rushing advantage. There was nothing misleading about that win, but Miami has turned out to be weaker than expected with a 1-3 SU record, including 0-3 SU versus division I-A opponents.

Vanderbilt's next win was at home on national TV when they upset South Carolina, 24-17, as a 9½-point underdog. Vandy once again held an edge on the ground with a 135-92 rushing advantage, but the overall total yardage was dead even, 225-225. This was still an impressive performance by Vanderbilt, although they were helped by a +2 turnover advantage.

Vanderbilt then defeated Rice 38-21 as a 9½-point home favorite and held a dominating 273-108 rushing advantage. It was a potential letdown spot for the Commodores after their big national TV win over South Carolina and they once again benefited from a +2 turnover advantage.

Vanderbilt then went on the road on September 20th and pulled another upset with a 23-17 win as a 6½-point underdog at Mississippi. This was a misleading result as Mississippi held a 383-202 total yard edge, but was done in by a 6-2 turnover deficit.

The bottom line is that Vanderbilt is 4-0 SU and is definitely better than the 3-9 SU prediction most experts had back in August. Realistically, Vanderbilt is still probably just a .500 team at best and could easily be just 2-2 or 3-1 SU this season had they not benefited from a positive turnover margin in every game played (+9 for the season).

The Commodores have a solid rushing attack that is averaging 202 yards per game on the ground and 4.6 yards per carry (versus opponents that allow just 143 yards and 4.0 ypr). Vanderbilt also has a solid defense that permits just 17.0 points per game and 5.3 yards per play (versus opponents that average 28.0 ppg and 5.4 yppl). This has allowed them to keep games close and pull a few upsets.

However, Vanderbilt has an extremely weak passing attack that averages just 57.9% completions and a terrible 5.7 yards per pass this year (versus opponents that allow 63.1% and 6.8 ypp this season). Vanderbilt has not played from behind all year, so they have been able to rely on their solid rushing attack, but now that the heart of their SEC schedule is approaching, the Commodores will be forced to throw the ball more, especially when playing from behind. This lack of a passing attack will be the downfall for Vanderbilt versus quality opponents, especially on the road, and Vandy might prove to be a bit overrated during the second half of the season.

-----

Check out 12 year veteran STEVE MERRILL at www.sportsaudioshows.com - Amercia's premier sports handicapping site. Offerings of 16 of the top cappers in the USA, loads of Free Plays and tons of content and guaranteed winners.

Sports News

Golf Crowns Two New Stars at the Masters: Top the 2022 Odds

Golf Crowns Two New Stars at the Masters: Top the 2022 Odds

Few countries love their sports stars more than Japan, and few sports are as loved in Japan as golf. And that has Hideki Matsuyama as the most famous man in the nation this week after he became the first Japanese male to win one of golf’s four majors.

Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren Payout Odds, Prop Bets

Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren Payout Odds, Prop Bets: Blood, Masks and For Shizzle

It's the social media Fight of the Century with Jake Paul a -150 favorite versus an actual UFC fighter Ben Askren.

What to Look Forward to in This Season of the India Premier League

What to Look Forward to in This Season of the India Premier League

The Vivo IPL 2021 begins on April 9 in Chennai with defending champions Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore. The first match will be held at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. Aside from Chennai, other IPL matches of the season will also be held in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru, and Ahmedabad.

UFC 261 Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal Fight Odds

UFC 261 Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal Fight Odds

Kamaru Usman is a big -400 favorite versus Jorge Masvidal for UFC 261 and despite this looking like a lopsided affair, this should be a heavily watched and bet on fight. 

Hideki Matsuyama Pays $5000 with First Masters Win for Japan

Hideki Matsuyama Pays $5000 with First Masters Win for Japan

Matsuyama held on after knocking one in the water at the 15th, shooting a 1-over 73 to win the Masters by one stroke.

Syndicate