Putting Vanderbilt's Football Season in Perspective
- Vandy won its first bowl game in over 50 years.
- Vandy completed its first winning season since 1982.
- Vandy defeated three teams that were ranked at the time (South Carolina, Auburn, and Boston College) and two teams that were ranked in the final BCS standings (Mississippi and Boston College).
- Five of Vandy's seven wins came against teams that played (or will play) in bowl games (South Carolina, Rice, Mississippi, Kentucky, Boston College).
On the other hand:
- Vandy lost six of its last seven regular season games.
- Vandy lost to two teams (three if you count Tennessee) that it had no business losing to (Mississippi State and Duke).
- Vandy needed a shady roughing-the-passer penalty to edge out a Boston College team whose starting lineup was more banged up than the furniture in my house.
Back on the first hand:
- No one who doesn't live or work on West End Avenue expected Vandy to win more than three or four games this season, especially with all new starters on the offensive line. I just Googled "2008 SEC football predictions" and have reviewed several preseason projections. Every single one projected Vandy to finish sixth in the SEC East. (The 'Dores finished third.) Vandy was supposed to be competitive in 2010 (or maybe 2009), not in 2008.
- Had Vandy started 0–5 then won six of its last seven, the Commodores' season would have been hailed as the best stories in college football. But, either way, their record would be the same.
Conclusion: Though Vandy appeared to choke its season away and needed some lucky breaks to win its bowl game, the Commodores—by any measure—overachieved this season, and Bobby Johnson, the players, and the coaching staff deserve a lot of credit.