Vanderbilt Season Predictions: Wins, Losses, Marquee Games, and More for Every Commodores Game in 2023

College Football Network's analysts predicted every SEC game this season, including each Commodores' game in our Vanderbilt season predictions

The Vanderbilt Commodores are accustomed to finding themselves at the bottom of the SEC standings, but head coach Clark Lea and company seem to be gaining some momentum. Vegas has set the team’s win total at 3.5, and our staff will take a game-by-game look at the Commodores’ schedule.

Vanderbilt Season Predictions: Predicting the Game-by-Game Results

Using groupthink, College Football Network analysts have painstakingly gone through every game for every team in the SEC and across the country.

Picking these games straight up with a projected score using the rosters as up-to-date as the last spring practice, the Vanderbilt season predictions indicate what fans can possibly expect for the Commodores in 2023.

Week 0 — Vanderbilt vs. Hawaii: Win, 36-17 (1-0)

The Commodores will open a week earlier than most of the country with a home matchup against the Rainbow Warriors of Hawai’i. The Commodores return a strong offense, led by sophomore quarterback AJ Swann and a talented receiving corps.

Hawai’i struggled against the pass last year more than the basic stats suggest. Opponents ran the ball late in games against the Rainbow Warriors, but Hawai’i’s biggest weakness really was the secondary. Will Sheppard should have a quick start to the season in a game all three of our experts agree the Commodores should win handily.

Week 1 — Vanderbilt vs. Alabama A&M: Win, 36-12 (2-0)

The Commodores play only nine games this season against Power Five opponents and have a nice opportunity to start off 2-0 against two lesser opponents. Our experts unanimously picked the Commodores here.

Alabama A&M finished fifth in a decent SWAC East division last season but just doesn’t have the firepower to hang with the Commodores on the road. I’ll be interested to see if the Commodores can get out to a lead and successfully run the ball in this one, given that the running back situation is a bit of a question mark.

Week 2 — Vanderbilt @ Wake Forest: Loss, 22-32 (2-1)

All of our analysts have the Commodores dropping this one, though CFN’s Cam Mellor has this as a 1-point affair. Wake Forest’s biggest question mark is whether Mitch Griffis can come out firing at quarterback.

I personally don’t think Vanderbilt has the pass rush to disrupt the mesh point and take the Demon Deacon offense out of rhythm, though I think the Commodore offense should be able to move the ball effectively.

Week 3 — Vanderbilt @ UNLV: Win, 33-25 (3-1)

The Commodores are fortunate to get the Rebels so early in the season, in my opinion. Though we all agree on a win here, Lea’s defensive mind will be tested by UNLV’s new “Go-Go” offense.

Vanderbilt’s linebackers will have to be disciplined, and the Commodores will need to score early and often in this one. If they let the Rebels hang around, it could be an upset in Las Vegas.

Week 4 — Vanderbilt vs. Kentucky: Loss, 19-31 (3-2, 0-1 SEC)

Kentucky’s defense has historically given Vanderbilt fits, and our experts are in agreement that should continue this season. None of us have the Commodores scoring more than 21 points in this game.

Devin Leary adds a new layer to the Kentucky offense. However, the offensive line still isn’t up to SEC standards. If the Commodores can find some pass rush from an extremely young defensive front, they’ll have a chance in this one; it’ll probably just have to be in a low-scoring affair.

Week 5 — Vanderbilt vs. Missouri: Win, 22-21 (4-2, 1-1)

Here’s the first game on Vanderbilt’s schedule to split our analysts. Mellor and Oliver Hodgkinson each have the Commodores squeaking out a win, while I think Missouri’s defense will hold the Commodores at bay.

I’ll personally have a better feeling about this game when I see what kind of progress AJ Swann has made. The Tigers’ run defense is stout, so Swann is the key here.

Last year, he was not a player who could go out and win a game with his arm. If he’s progressed significantly, this is the type of game the Commodores will start winning more consistently.

Week 6 — Vanderbilt @ Florida: Loss, 23-25 (4-3, 1-2)

If this game were at home, I think we’d predict a different result. I’m very low on Florida this year, but a year after losing to the Commodores, I expect the Gators to secure a win—albeit a close one.

All three of our analysts are in agreement that this should be a close game, although I think it’ll be low-scoring, and Hodgkinson thinks we’ll see some points. Florida’s quarterback situation is a storyline to monitor throughout the season, and a home loss to Vanderbilt could doom the Gators’ season.

Week 7 — Vanderbilt @ Georgia: Loss, 13-46 (4-4, 1-3)

Unsurprisingly, we’re in agreement that the Commodores are in trouble when they face the Bulldogs between the hedges. That says more about the Bulldogs than the Commodores, as Georgia is the favorite to win the national championship for the third year in a row.

It likely won’t matter who ultimately wins the starting quarterback job for Georgia when these teams meet in late October, and we can pencil (or pen) this in as a loss for the Commodores.

Week 9 — Vanderbilt @ Ole Miss: Loss, 21-34 (4-5, 1-4)

Vanderbilt travels to the Grove off a bye but still in the midst of a brutal streak of three straight SEC road games. The Rebels should have their quarterback situation figured out by this point in the season, and Lane Kiffin and company are always difficult to beat in Oxford.

All three of us have this as a loss for the Commodores, but if the Rebels struggle offensively, a few timely turnovers could turn the tide.

Week 10 — Vanderbilt vs. Auburn: Loss, 25-26 (4-6, 1-5)

Here, I’m the one that’s different. While Hodgkinson and Mellor have this as a close loss, I have the Commodores pulling off the upset against the Tigers.

I think Hugh Freeze will be successful on the Plains. However, it should take more than a year to undo the damage done in the Bryan Harsin era. This once again comes down to quarterback play. Swann will need to be better than Payton Thorne or Robbie Ashford for the Commodores to pull this one off.

Week 11 — Vanderbilt @ South Carolina: Loss, 17-35 (4-7, 1-6)

Vanderbilt has struggled for years to beat South Carolina, and our predictions reflect that. For whatever reason, even through some very bad years of football, the Gamecocks have beaten the Commodores 14 straight times.

Spencer Rattler should have a big game in this one as the Gamecocks will look to throw the ball a lot. The Gamecocks have some holes in the run defense, so Vanderbilt may be able to exploit that. Overall, this will be a difficult one for the Commodores.

Week 13 — Vanderbilt @ Tennessee: Loss, 15-43 (4-8, 1-7)

The benefit of playing a Week 0 game is that the Commodores get a second bye week at the end of the year. Unfortunately, the Commodores face Tennessee in the season finale.

Joe Milton has all the tools to be the next great Josh Heupel quarterback, and the Tennessee offense should put up a lot of points in this one. It will be tough to pull off an upset over the Volunteers at Neyland Stadium.