When you think of football in the state of Tennessee, the first team that comes to mind is the Tennessee Volunteers. However, while the Volunteers have been struggling to cope with such high-expectations year after year, another university in the state of Tennessee has slowly overtaken Tennessee as the best team – the Vanderbilt Commodores.
The Commodores have improved exponentially under James Franklin. He has taken Vanderbilt to consecutive bowl games, including a huge win over the North Carolina State Wolfpack in the Music City Bowl last season. The Commodores have benefited greatly from the Volunteers’ bowl drought allowing them to steal recruits and build up their roster.
Vanderbilt has an opportunity during the 2013 season to surprise the country in the SEC East. The Commodores’ roster is filled with “no name” players, but they play as a team rather than relying on one player to bring them victory. Vanderbilt is the type of team that can upset some of the other SEC East teams like the Georgia Bulldogs or the South Carolina Gamecocks. If Vanderbilt can stay healthy and play together, they have the opportunity to do some amazing things this year.
The Commodores will be the team to watch this season from the state of Tennessee. If they can keep their momentum, they have a chance to make themselves known at a national level. Vanderbilt will be the lesser known team pulling off great upsets and should easily make it to a bowl game at the end of the 2013 season.