Questions and more questions but no answers

Marvin Westwestwords

Josh Heupel had a Monday “press availability.”

The first question was about linebacker Jeremy Banks: Did he have an altercation with a teammate, was he suspended for the South Carolina game, will he play against Vanderbilt?

The coach started his response at the end instead of the beginning of the question.

Jeremy Banks

“We anticipate Jeremy being with us here this week. As far as what transpired and those type of things, at the end of the day, he wasn’t available this past Saturday.”

Heupel has not yet gotten around to what happened last week. He does not have to explain. There is no transparency rule. Generations of fans think the Volunteers belong to them. Sorry about the confusion. This is his team. The unbelievable 63-38 defeat and residual damage go on his record.

If that mess belongs to Banks and certain defensive friends, I favor assigning ownership. If that makes a bad situation worse, so be it.

Other than an outright boycott, I don’t see how it can get much worse. No way the Gamecocks could score 63 if all the Vols were really trying.

Recruit, recruit, recruit.


Vanderbilt has developed into a totally different problem. The Commodores have actually improved as their season has gone along.

The Southeastern Conference losing streak stretched to 26 before a miracle happened. Vandy won at Kentucky. After that, it defeated Florida. Now, it is looking forward to Tennessee and bowl eligibility.

Be sure the Commodores will be motivated. No way to tell about the Vols until Saturday night.

The Vandy victory over Kentucky triggered a rant from Wildcat coach Mark Stoops about the evils of NIL and free agency. Vandy needed a translator. It was a year and a half late in starting a collective.

The Vandy victory over Florida sent some of us scurrying to the record book to find when was the previous time the Commodores stormed the field in celebration and got fined for the violation?


There was nothing new in the Vanderbilt losing streak. The school has long been recognized as the basement tenant of the SEC. It has often been suggested that the Commodores go away, to the Atlantic Coast Conference or even the Ohio Valley.

Why would they go? Even if almost all fans give up, TV money is sustaining.

Second-year coach Clark Lea lost 13 conference games before he achieved success.

His predecessor, Derek Mason, was reluctantly terminated with a 27-55 record, on the Sunday following a 41-0 loss at Missouri.

As logical as that was, Mason was the sixth-winningest coach in Vanderbilt football history and only the second to lead the Commodores to two bowl games.

Tennessee will determine whether Coach Lea takes his team bowling this year.

Marvin West invites reader comments or questions. His address is [email protected].

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