Vanderbilt football is awful. Again. It has always been mostly awful, but then for a while it wasn’t. And now it is again.
That is the legacy of Derek Mason. He returned Vandy to being a doormat. He should be gone for it.
Entering 2020 Mason’s record was 27–47 overall through six seasons. That included a 10–38 mark in the SEC. Even in a Corona-impacted offseason which saw the ‘Dores affected more than maybe any other Power Five school, the team is now 0-3 on the season and just suffered through a 41-7 loss to South Carolina.
The Commodores have lost the most players in the SEC to Covid opt-out, including offensive linemen Cole Clemens, Bryce Bailey, Jonathan Stewart and Stephen Spanellis.
The team listed FOUR players as ‘or’ at quarterback to open the season: Junior college transfers Danny Clark and Jeremy Moussa as well as freshmen Ken Seals and Mike Wright.
It came out and battled against Texas A&M. Since then it was a 41-7 loss to LSU — which just lost to Missouri — and the aforementioned drubbing to the Gamecocks.
James Franklin, a known recruiter, showed what was possible at Vanderbilt.
Maybe the Franklin years are the ceiling. Mason has settled back to the floor.
He is making close to $4M per year and came with a solid reputation from Stanford but it has not translated. Not even a little.
Mason now has a new boss, Candice Storey Lee. She is an alum and has been on staff since 2004, seeing both Bobby Johnson try to scrape and claw as well as Franklin soar. This is a reminder of the former.
It is unlikely to get better. Vandy is at the bottom of the recruiting class. Again. Too.
For the Commodores to get back to where Franklin had it, the work on the recruiting trail has to be done.
The team is unlikely to be favored in any of its games the remainder of the season. It is equally unlikely to win any of them. Without soft non-conference games to put anything in the win column it is now inexcusable.
Mason has had plenty of time to show what he can, and cannot do. It is time for him to go.