Fresh off the school's second national championship, Vanderbilt University is looking for more. Athletic director David Williams recently sat down with The Associated Press to talk about his plans to win the next natty -- plans that include the Commodores football team.
The Commodores lost head coach James Franklin to Penn State in January, but feel they've found a capable replacement in Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason. The program has made a significant investment in upgrading its facilities, completing construction on a new indoor practice facility last last year as well as new training rooms, currently under construction.
Williams also has plans to toughen up the 'Dores non-conference schedule. This season, Vanderbilt will face Temple, Massachusetts, Charleston Southern and Old Dominion zzzzzzzzzz. While only one of those opponents is an FCS outfit, three were competing at the Football Championship Subdivision level as recently as the 2011 season. And the fourth program is, well, Temple.
"We are trying to make the schedule a little bit more competitive if you like, and that does require us to change some of the teams we've looked at and start to deal with more with home and home as opposed to buy-in games," Williams said.
Of interest to Eagles fans, Williams said they are talking with several Power Five conference programs, including Boston College. In addition to BC, Vandy has talked with Stanford, Indiana, Wake Forest, N.C. State, Duke, Kansas State, California, Syracuse and Virginia.
While this isn't anything concrete, it's good to see BC talking to a program like Vanderbilt as a home-and-home series between the Eagles and Commodores would be mutually beneficial for both programs. That's because starting in 2016 (SEC) and 2017 (ACC), programs will be required to play at least one non-conference game against a team from a Power Five conference -- ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC or Pac-12, or Notre Dame.
To meet that requirement, Boston College has only a future home-and-home series with Ohio State in 2023 and 2024 on the books, to go along with the ACC's scheduling agreement with Notre Dame that will ensure the BC-ND Holy War is played at least one every three years. Vandy is in even worse shape than BC, with a 2016 game at Georgia Tech the only current scheduling obligation against a Power Five opponent.
Of all the programs on that list, BC is one of the few to own a winning record vs. the 'Dores (2-1) after winning a pair of games in a home-and-home in the 1960s. Of course it's Vandy that had the last laugh, though ...
/ self-flagged as inappropriate.
As many long-time readers know, I've long pushed for BC to schedule "smart" -- inking non-conference home-and-home deals with like-academic schools for the recruiting and alumni benefits that come from facing off against peer schools in major markets. While they're no BAMA, scheduling Vanderbilt would play nicely into that strategy. A BC-Vandy series would be Brad Bates' first real non-conference scheduling move and, given his ties to the university, probably makes sense on multiple fronts.
HT: Reader Coley