SEC can pay Vanderbilt to become an independent

Vanderbilt v Purdue
Vanderbilt v Purdue / Michael Hickey/GettyImages

Longtime college football analyst and radio host Greg Swaim claimed that the SEC and the television networks that carry the conference can pay Vanderbilt to become an independent in football due to the program's lack of earning power as a brand.

"Since Vandy is sadly already grandfathered into the SEC, and obviously only in it for the money at this point, perhaps the SEC can pay them to go (and stay) independent? There are behind-the-scenes talks with
, FoxSports
, the B1G and SEC reps about how to dump those schools that bring nothing to the TV table," Swaim posted on X.

This isn't the first time a pundit has taken aim at the Nashville-based afterthought. ESPN's Bill Connelly said that both Vanderbilt and Mississippi State are still in the SEC solely because they were founding members; not the results on the football field.

"Vanderbilt and Mississippi State are not in the Southeastern Conference because they have two of the 14 (soon to be 16) best athletic departments or football programs in the Southeast," Connelly prefaced before saying, "They're there because they've always been there."

Vanderbilt mocked for being only good at women's bowling and academics

USA Today's Blake Toppmeyer
and John Adams
ruthlessly roasted Vanderbilt back in August 2023, claiming that they -- along with Mizzou, Kentucky, and South Carolina -- should be relegated from the SEC and joking that the Commodores are only good for women's bowling and their academics.

"The SEC would miss touting Vanderbilt’s academics and its women’s bowling prowess," Toppmeyer and Adams prefaced before saying, "Alas, the SEC would soldier on. The Tennessee Vols would retain the SEC’s foothold in Nashville, and Vanderbilt football wouldn't be missed – except by opposing SEC coaches."

Nashville has it all, but what it doesn't have, and seemingly will never have, is a relevant Power Conference football team. What it does have is a program that writers can't help but clown, and may not be a part of the sport's future if it shifts to super conferences.

Which it looks like it will.