Every Power Five Conference has its top dogs — such as Oklahoma in the Big 12, Ohio State in the Big Ten and Clemson in the Atlantic Coast Conference — that are favorites to not only win their respective conference but to also compete for national championships.
Then there are the teams in the middle of the conference — such as Minnesota in the Big Ten, Washington State in the Pac-12 and Pittsburgh of the ACC — that usually finish with around seven to eight wins but occasionally exceed expectations with a 10-win season or just fall short of those expectations with a losing season from time to time.
Then you have the teams at the bottom of the totem pole in the Power Five conferences that, nine times out of 10, meet their expectations of finishing dead last in the conference. And there might not be a team among those that has it worse off than the Vanderbilt Commodores of the Southeastern Conference.
For those who do not know about the Commodores, here is a quick history:
- Seven winning seasons since 1960.
- Three bowl wins in eight appearances since 1960.
- Zero 10-win seasons.
Aside from a three-year stint with James Franklin as their head coach — during which Vanderbilt had three straight bowl appearances, had two nine-win seasons and finished in the AP Top 25 in back-to-back seasons — there has not been much to cheer about for the Commodores.
And just when Vanderbilt thought things could not get any worse, it has become the joke of the SEC once again with the recent images released on Twitter of the renovation construction of FirstBank Stadium. The only problem with that is their first home game is less than two weeks away.
Now, this is not the first time that a team in college football has had construction ongoing during the football season. But as you can see in the pictures below, it is not only weird to have construction so close to the end zone, it is wild to have it so close to both of the end zones at the same time.
I have been informed the photos below are outdated and this is what Vanderbilt's stadium now looks like.
— Jim Weber (@JimMWeber) August 14, 2023
And, if you don't believe the pictures, just take a look at the live streams on YouTube straight from Vanderbilt Athletics' account:
According to a report by the Nashville Post, "the renovation is all part of the Vandy United initiative, a $300 million investment the school is making in its student-athletes and athletics program. It's designed to elevate each sport at Vanderbilt, supporting major facilities and operational enhancements."
Vandy United began construction earlier this year, and it is said that construction will continue throughout the duration of the season and that any season ticket holders in those sections will be relocated to accommodate them for the inconvenience. For more information on the project, click here.
The team held a scrimmage Sunday that was originally supposed to be open to the public, but the school later announced it was reversing that decision due to ongoing stadium renovations.
"After further evaluation, we will be unable to open tomorrow's scrimmage to the public," the program said in a statement to The Tennessean. "While we were excited to give our fans this opportunity, there were a few final steps to open to the public we have yet to clear, none of which impact our home opener on Aug. 26. We apologize for the inconvenience and we can't wait to engage with the Commodore faithful next week at Dore Jam."
Improving your student-athlete facilities can help with recruiting and improving your athletic programs, and Vanderbilt's football program could benefit from this almost more than anyone else among the teams in the Power Five conferences.
But it just seems that maybe there could have been a different approach rather than having both end zones just feet away from ongoing construction at the same time. It's gonna be real awkward when Vandy quarterback Ken Seals throws one deep and it sails over the end zone and doinks off a bulldozer.
Never change, Vandy.
Want More Sports News?
Get the biggest and best sports news sent directly to your inbox.