Derek Mason is slowly but surely getting the Vanderbilt football program back to where it was under James Franklin.
In his third season on the job, Mason got the Commodores back to a bowl game thanks to two late-season wins over Ole Miss and Tennessee. Vanderbilt ultimately lost in its bowl game to NC State in the Independence B owl to finish the season at 6-7.
Vanderbilt and Mason weren’t able to turn their on-field success into recruiting wins, as the Commodores had the worst-rated 2017 recruiting class among the SEC teams. But there is hope for the 2018 class, as 4-star quarterback Allan Waters is committed to the Vanderbilt. Waters is the No. 11 pro-style quarterback recruit in the country.
Vanderbilt won’t have a spring game and will hold a non-televised scrimmage instead.
Mason seems to have the support of the Vanderbilt fan base, but he still has plenty of room to grow. In the first SEC Country approval rating poll, Mason had a 75.6 percent approval rating. That left him ranked ninth among the SEC coaches, just above Missouri’s Barry Odom.
In his three seasons at Vanderbilt, Mason is 13-24 overall and 5-19 in SEC games. Franklin, meanwhile, led Penn State to a Big Ten championship and a Rose Bowl appearance this year.
Mason reportedly earned a little more than $2.5 million in 2016. The Commodores open the 2017 season on the road at Middle Tennessee on Sept. 2.
Vote on Derek Mason’s approval rating
The SEC Country approval rating poll is designed to give an indication of fan happiness over a period of time.
Our formula is based on the percentage of respondents that select each answer. We multiply that percentage by the following factors: 1 (strongly approve), 0.67 (approve), 0.33 (disapprove) and 0.0 (strongly disapprove). In other words, if 50 percent of respondents select “strongly approve” and 50 percent select “approve,” the formula would be (50 x 1) + (50 x 0.67) = 83.5% approval rating.