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2012 Vanderbilt Commodores College Gambling Odds | Predictions

2012-13 Football Previews – (SEC) – Vanderbilt Commodores

The Vanderbilt football program has a similar – though more emphasized – problem that Notre Dame and Stanford encounters; its high academic standards put it out of the contest on some top recruits.

2012-13 Football Previews – Southeastern Conference (SEC): Vanderbilt Commodores
Coach: James Franklin
Record: 6-7
Vanderbilt Gambling Odds to win BCS:
Vanderbilt Team Page – Players Stats – Roster – 2012 Schedule –>

What exacerbates this problem at Vandy is that the Commodores don’t have the same program prestige that the Irish or the Cardinal enjoy. Hence, Vandy is more often than not at the bottom of the heap in the SEC.

The Commodores have a couple of players, and second-year head coach James Franklin has done a good job guiding his team to a 6-7 record in his maiden voyage wearing the headset. Still, Vanderbilt must perennially adjust its expectations in a conference where there is almost never an easy contest.

Vandy’s 6-7 record in 2011 may have been partially due to opponents not taking the squad seriously. Most other SEC teams crush the Commodores in terms of roster depth and top-tier talent, but games are not played on paper. If the Commodores are to improve upon their record last year, they must get significant offensive production from their skill position players. Running back Zac Stacy must duplicate his excellent ’11 campaign (1,193 yards, 14 TDs, 5.9 yards per clip) and the WR duo of Jordan Matthews and Chris Boyd must continue to build. Last year, QB Jordan Rodgers split reps with then-senior Larry Smith; Rodgers should have the snaps entirely to himself this year. If he continues to improve, the Vandy offense could make some noise with Stacy, Matthews and Boyd being directed by the senior pivot.

On defense, Vanderbilt has a lot of returning experience in the front seven. The defensive line will be led by the senior interior lineman, DTs Rob Lohr and Colt Nichter. Lohr, especially, had five sacks and 6.5 TFLs (Tackles for Loss) a year ago and has potential to be disruptive. At linebacker, junior Chase Garnham and senior Archibald Barnes need to be making the lion’s share of the tackles. Both have high motors and nice size to make stops against SEC opposition. The only new starter at LB is senior Tristan Strong, he was impressive in special teams duty last season. In the secondary, Vandy must break in new starters at CB and strong safety. Free safety Kenny Ladler will have to show some leadership in this unit. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

On special teams, Vanderbilt will be just fine with seniors at K and P; Ryan Fowler and Richard Kent, respectively. Andre Hal, one of this season’s starting CBs, handled the kick-return duties last year and did a hell of a job. The punt returning left something to be desired. Backup RB Warren Norman was redshirting last year, but he should handle those specialist duties in 2012. He is quick and dangerous, and was the SEC’s Freshman Player of the Year in 2009-10. Needless to say, this should be an upgrade.

2012-13 Vanderbilt Football Prediction: 5-8

As I said earlier, the Commodores played above their heads last year, (for instance, they nearly upset Arkansas, lost in OT to Tennessee and rallied to nearly come back versus Florida) which is a testament to Franklin’s coaching and leadership. Yet, it should be tough to re-create that magic in 2012.

Yes, I realize that it’s a rather sorry situation when a sub-.500 season without a bowl appearance is ‘magical’; such is the landscape for Vandy in the SEC.

If everyone played up to expectations and everything else broke right for the Commodores, they could be bowl eligible in 2012.

However, it is a rare season when everything goes perfectly according to plan. Expect Vandy to be pesky, but not threatening in the grand scheme of things.

2012 Schedule

8/30/12 7:00 PM ET SOCAR
9/8/12 8:00 PM ET @NWEST
9/15/12 12:30 PM ET PRES
9/22/12 TBD @GEO
10/6/12 TBD @MISOU
10/13/12 TBD FLA
10/20/12 TBD AUB
10/27/12 TBD MASS
11/3/12 TBD @KENTY
11/10/12 TBD @MISS
11/17/12 TBD TENN
11/24/12 TBD @WFRST

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