|Northwestern beat Vanderbilt 23-13 earlier this season. (US Presswire)|
I hope you enjoyed the Academic Bowl in Evanston earlier this season because there's no telling when you'll see it again.
Vanderbilt officials made the decision without so much as a phone call to NU officials, according to the source. The timing of the move is apparently related to the Thursday afternoon release of the 2013 SEC schedule, which will feature changes to cross-division rivalries.
Vanderbilt recently agreed to a four-game deal with UMass, which left the Commodores with five nonconference games on their schedule in upcoming seasons. Obviously, Northwestern was the team Vanderbilt has decided to cut loose.
Ohio State also announced Thursday that Vanderbilt backed out of its game with the Buckeyes. The two teams had been scheduled to open the 2013 season in Columbus.
Northwestern has always been a Big Ten school that hasn't shied away from a tough nonconference schedule. This season alone the Wildcats played Syracuse and Boston College along with Vanderbilt, and they have games scheduled against Cal and Notre Dame as well in the next few seasons. The same can be said for Ohio State, which has always been an aggressive scheduler.
However, with such short notice, it's hard to imagine either Northwestern or Ohio State will be able to replace Vanderbilt with a similar opponent for the next two years.