Florida just got mauled by Tennessee, could Vanderbilt unexpectedly do the same? Let’s consider ‘what if Vandy actually wins’ this game. Let me start by saying that Vanderbilt would be a nice landing spot for ex-LSU coach Les Miles.
It would be the perfect job. Coach Miles needs a job (well, not really he just landed a HUGE buy out) and Vandy needs respectability. Think about it, Les Miles could stay in the SEC, excise his demons and claim ultimate revenge by taking the worst team in the SEC and turning them into a powerhouse!
Florida is now 3-1 (1-1) which is ranked equal with Georgia and just below Tennessee who is 4-0 (1-0). Vanderbilt is 2-2 (0-1); however, if Vandy somehow manages to trip the Gators up they would be 3-2 (1-1) while Florida would drop to 3-2 (1-2)!
Given the way I saw Florida play against an overrated Tennessee team (who claims a spotless 4-0 record from only playing a single SEC team, big deal) I think the possibility exists for the Commodores to take it to them at home.
Florida is such an emotionally-based head team. It’s kind of hard to watch them play at times because they have so much talent yet are their own worst enemies on the field. When they’re hot, they’re hot; when they get discouraged, they can fall right off the cliff into oblivion.
Florida should have beaten Tennessee, there’s no doubt in my mind but they got inside their own heads.
Jim McElwain is one of the best coaches in college football and for me to even be considering that Vanderbilt can beat Florida is like seeing a blood moon. I’ve never liked Derek Mason but this game isn’t about him, it’s about seeing what the Gators are made of.
Everything is on the line in the SEC East with the Tennessee-Georgia game this weekend. All the cookies are on the table. Depending on who wins that game, Florida and the loser will be fighting for crumbs!
Florida plays LSU and Missouri (who play each other this weekend) right after Vandy which is interesting because both Tiger teams are in flux right now both on and off the field. LSU just fired Les Miles and Mizzou needs a conference win under its belt.
Vanderbilt’s defense is something that is shaping up and one has to wonder if they will put on a show against Florida’s pass and run game. We saw Tennessee strip through the Florida defense which was scary considering they have always been the premier defense in the NCAA.
The strategy is easy. Adversity and Conditioning.
Vanderbilt needs to create stressors for Florida; create and disrupt their momentum which will get inside their heads. Make the 1st half about breaking Florida’s will by breaking them down mentally. The Vanderbilt home crowd will definitely be able to help with this.
The 2nd half should be about conditioning. If Vandy manages to create any sort of momentum their way in this game, they need to follow through by being able to out play Florida. No easy task, mind you; however, conditioning will win games.
This is the Alabama way of doing things: you may come close to beating us but we will always be in better shape than you are!
This is the only long shot that Vanderbilt has in creating a disruption in the SEC East standings. In all reality, while this scenario was fun to explore, more than likely Florida will beat the brakes off of the Commodores.
Who knows, maybe the Vanderbilt AD will stop coddling Derek Mason and bring in a coach that will have some effect for a team that right now is not living up to its blessed position in the college football-sphere as member of the best conference in college football, the SEC.