Derek Mason takes aim at critics with passionate remarks after Vanderbilt upsets No. 22 Missouri
Mason has been the subject of hot seat chatter after the Commodores' bad start
In one fell swoop, Vanderbilt staved off hot seat chatter for coach Derek Mason while throwing the SEC East further into ACC Coastal-levels of weirdness. The Commodores, 1-5 coming into Saturday, shocked Missouri 21-14. That means there are no more SEC East teams undefeated in conference play exiting Week 8.
We'll peel back that silliness in a minute, but for now, this is a huge moment for Mason. The embattled coach has heard plenty of calls for his job after his team's rough start. This is a team that, just last week, lost to UNLV 34-10. The Dores have been blown away by Georgia, Purdue, LSU, and Ole Miss; their only win this season came against Northern Illinois.
That's a lot of frustration for a coach to manage. So when things finally do go right, it's understandable that Mason would spout off a bit about anyone who doubts his ability to win.
"A lot of people want this job. So they think," Mason said. "But I'm the man that's built for this job. Every day, man, we grind. We grind. Don't question us. Don't question who we are, what we do or how we play. We're Vanderbilt men!"
Mason's emotion can be seen below:
I don't think there's any doubt Mason's players would run through a wall for him. But the fact remains Vandy has to win four of its final five games to reach bowl eligibility. Otherwise, it will be guaranteed to finish with a losing record for all six of Mason's seasons in Nashville. Granted, Vanderbilt is a tough place to win and Mason has taken them to a couple of bowl games, but this has been a particularly tough year.
As for the SEC East, this division is nearing football salad-levels of weird. Missouri is still technically in the running to head to Atlanta, but the Tigers have now lost games to Wyoming and Vanderbilt. Georgia was upset by South Carolina, who nearly beat Florida on Saturday, and is struggling with Kentucky. The truth is, no one's really sure how this division is going to shake out over the final six weeks of the year.
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