Vanderbilt football preview

2011 was a great year to be a Commodore fan. Under the leadership of new head coach James Franklin, Vanderbilt cruised to a 6-6 season and bowl eligibility. Against Cincinnati in the Liberty Bowl, the Commodores came up a bit short. But, last year raised the confidence level significantly in Nashville.

Like last year, I think defense will be Vanderbilt’s strength in 2012. But, remember that Franklin is an offensively oriented coach, so expect the offense to be improved and new wrinkles to be added. I think leadership at the quarterback position will have a direct impact on the Commodore’s success.

2012 Forecast:  I like Vanderbilt to have another very competitive year in the SEC. Getting to Atlanta for the SEC Championship is still a hill too tall for the Commodores at this point, but a season well over .500 is not.

Offensive player to watch:  #2 Zac Stacy – SR – running back

Defensive player to watch:  #15 Archibald Barnes – SR – linebacker

Aug. 30 – South Carolina (Nashville) – Loss 27-20

Sept. 8 – Northwestern (Evanston, IL) – Win 30-20

Sept. 15 – Presbyterian (Nashville) – Win 41-7

Sept. 22 – Georgia (Athens) – Loss 18-14

Sept. 29 – Off

Oct. 6 – Missouri (Columbia) – Win 34-28

Oct. 13 – Florida (Nashville) – Loss 24-17

Oct. 20 – Auburn (Nashville) – Loss 26-14

Oct. 27 – Massachusetts (Nashville) – Win 42-6

Nov. 3 – Kentucky (Lexington) – Win 21-17

Nov. 10 – Ole Miss (Oxford) – Win 28-10

Nov. 17 – Tennessee (Nashville) – Win 24-13

Nov. 24 – Wake Forest (Winston Salem) – Win 21-20

Projected record: 8-4 (4-4)

I never thought I would be writing a prediction about Vanderbilt football achieving a record of 8-4 overall and 4-4 in the SEC. After last year’s success, I think the Commodores will have the confidence needed to have an even better season. I also think the team will finish with a five-game winning streak.

*Home games are in BOLD

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