Know Your Foe: Vanderbilt

Less than three days before Michigan takes the field in an attempt to get their 850th all-time victory, which is, of course, a record. Ann Arbor will welcome the SEC into the city limits for the first time since a 1980 visit by South Carolina. As you well know, Michigan is no stranger to the teams of the SEC, as the Big Ten-SEC bowl contracts seem to arrange for a holiday matchup nearly every year. Simply put, if you are in the Big Ten and you don't make the BCS, chances are you'll be staring across the field at an SEC opponent. Come to think of it, sometimes you'll see the SEC even when you are in the BCS.

This will be the 28th time that Michigan has faced an SEC opponent, and the 11th time they have faced Vanderbilt, compiling a 21-5-1 and 9-0-1 record respectively. The Wolverines last squared off against the Commodores in the 1969 season opener...the first game for Michigan under Bo Schembechler, in a season that would see round one of Woody vs. Bo.

The University

The Long Past:

  • Vanderbilt is 538-526-50 all time.

  • Vanderbilt was 352-140-31 through 1950. That's right, a pre-WWII powerhouse. However...

  • With a 186-386-19 record since 1950, Vanderbilt finds itself dead last in winning percentage in all of college football for that period.

  • Last winning season was in 1982

  • Most wins in a season: 9 (1904, 1915)

The Recent past

  • Finished 2005 with a 5-6 record

  • Had big wins at Tennessee and at Arkansas, though Tennessee and Arkansas both had horrible years.

  • Had an embarrassing loss to Middle Tennessee State

  • Lost QB Jake Cutler in the first round of the 2005 NFL draft

Player to watch:

  • Sophomore WR Earl Bennett
    • Freshman Team All-American in 2005

    • Preseason all-SEC

    • Preseason Biletnikoff Candidate

    • 42 catches for 545 yards and 9 touchdowns in the final five games of 2005.

Fun Facts:

  • Vanderbilt's head coach from 1995-2001 was Woody Widenhofer, who grew up in Riverview, Michigan and was childhood friends with Lloyd Carr and Bill McCartney.

  • Vandy QB Richard Kovalcheck and Michigan QB Jason Forcier played for the same high school in San Diego.

On the Line:

  • Michigan's 7-game home opening winning streak. Last loss in a home opener came at the hands of McNabb's Orangemen back in 1998.

  • Michigan's two-game losing streak, their last win coming against Indiana on November 12th. Hurts, doesn't it?

  • Michigan's 28-2 home record under Coach Carr in the month of September.

  • Michigan's home streak of 193 games with 100,000 or more fans in attendance.

  • Lloyd's job?

  • My sanity