Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason’s first press conference was a success, by all accounts.

Why? He wasn’t afraid to say something out-of-line with the dullness that you usually get around SEC Media Days time, so when he hit the podium – nattily clad in a bow tie – on the Monday of sessions in Hoover, AL, he came as a relief at the end of a long day which included SEC Commissioner Mike Silve comparing the conference to Ali. You know….apart from earlier this year against Florida State.

Anyways, here are some of things he said.

He started with: “The great thing is I’m undefeated, so I’m feeling real good about where we’re at.”

About Vanderbilt competing for a SEC title and winning: “I think our opportunity to compete for an SEC East title is now….My expectation is to push the envelope and move past the idea of playing for nine wins. Why have nine when we could have 10? Why have 10 when we could have 11?”

On competition: “My job is to compete. My team has to be competitive. I need to be competitive from a recruiting standpoint, from a coaching standpoint, from selling of our program, our city. Those things are what I’ve been charged with to do. I really embrace that from the standpoint of here is the opportunity, let’s go.”

On the QB race: “Patton Robinette has a ‘leg up’ in the QB race’….but all six QBs will compete for the spot. I don’t want to have a two-QB system….I want to play a starter.”

On the Tennessee rivalry: “We hope to continue to play as well as we can play in this rivalry. Butch Jones and I faced each other several years ago… we both have a common ally in the state of Tennessee.”


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