Vanderbilt vs. Hawaii, 10:30 ET
In games that are played in Hawaii, I find that they are a bit harder to predict than others. Are the kids out enjoying the beaches? Is the time zone difference still a factor at all? There are just added wrinkles into the game that make things difficult to me. That doesn’t mean we can’t find an edge, just means there is more to consider.
Hawaii didn’t have a very good season, and it only got worse in the offseason as rumors of mistreatment of players ended up costing Todd Graham his job. That treatment, or something else entirely I suppose, also caused a number of Hawaii players to transfer. They lost a ton of players including their best three offensive players. Overall, they ended the season 6-7 and didn’t play in a bowl game that they did have scheduled. This year will be a brutal season for Hawaii unless literally everything clicks for the new coach, new roster, and new team. It is certainly possible, but it is extremely unlikely.
On the other side, Vanderbilt is not a very good football team but does have a bit more continuity that should make them more successful than Hawaii, at least in the first game. Will Vanderbilt win many games on the season? Absolutely not. I think they probably are going to go maybe 3-9 on the season. That is still an improvement, but their schedule is very tough, especially at the end of September and the first couple of games in October where they play, Alabama, Ole Miss, and Georgia in three consecutive weeks. Still, the focus is just on this week. The team has turned to Mike Wright at quarterback and has let him be the lead for most of the summer workouts. If it doesn’t work out there, they still have Ken Seals returning from last year. In addition, Rocko Griffin, the running back for Vanderbilt should have a nice game against a team that allowed over 150 yards on the ground to opponents last year.
This is a game between two bad teams, and this win could legitimately be one of the few wins on either team’s schedule. I think Vanderbilt is further along as a program right now. Let’s take Vanderbilt -8.5 at -110 for the game.
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