Although Vanderbilt and Stanford are nearly 2,300 miles apart, the two schools have a lot of similarities. They each boast exceptional academics and successful athletics programs in power five conferences.
Moreover, new Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason was an assistant coach at Stanford from 2010 through 2013.
Now that Mason is in Nashville, it’s only fitting that the Commodores and Cardinal get together on the gridiron. That’s never happened before, but could in the near future.
“We’re in the process, right now of scheduling that game,” Mason said on WJOX radio in Birmingham. “Listen, we understand the two schools have similar brands, but they don’t fear anybody, and we don’t either. We’ll get a chance to get after Stanford, and they’ll get a chance to get after us at some point in time, hopefully in the near future. We are still the best conference in the whole United States. If they want to come and get us, come and get us.”
If the game or games are scheduled, it would give Stanford head coach David Shaw a chance to back up his heated words from earlier this month.
Speaking on a Pac-12 teleconference, Shaw said that the SEC shouldn’t “back down from playing your own conference.” Shaw also said last year that the SEC plays “cupcakes” in November.
Shaw’s words followed the announcement that the SEC was sticking with an 8-game scheduling format. However, the SEC added a strength of schedule stipulation that require each team to play a power five non-conference game each season beginning in 2016.
Vanderbilt, which improved under then head coach James Franklin, has only played one Pac-12 team in their history. The Commodores fell to UCLA 28-21 in 1961 in Los Angeles.
Stanford has faced current Southeastern Conference members a bit more. The Cardinal are 4-2-1 all-time vs. the SEC, going 0-1-1 vs. Alabama, 1-0 vs. Arkansas, Georgia, LSU, and Missouri, and 0-1 vs. Texas A&M.
Barring a postponement or cancellation, it looks like 2018 or later will be the first chance for Vanderbilt and Stanford to meet in the regular-season. Stanford’s future schedules are filled through 2017, while Vanderbilt currently has future schedule openings beginning in 2015.