CFB Roundup: New Vanderbilt coach predicts SEC title

By The Sports Xchange
POSTED: 06:39 PM CST Jan 18, 2014    UPDATED: 06:39 PM CST Jan 18, 2014 

New Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason made it clear that he immediately wants to win a division title during his introductory press conference Saturday in Nashville.

"SEC East title, here we come," Mason said. "Make no bones about it. You've got to talk about it to make it happen."

The former Stanford defensive coordinator was named James Franklin's replacement on Friday. Franklin left Vanderbilt a week ago to take the head coaching job at Penn State.

Mason was hired right after his second interview. The 44-year-old spent four seasons at Stanford, including the past two as co-defensive coordinator and associate head coach under coach David Shaw.

Vanderbilt, a program on the rise, is 16-4 in its last 20 games. The Commodores finished No. 24 in the final rankings after their second consecutive bowl victory.

Vanderbilt interviewed Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton earlier in the week, but he withdrew his name from consideration. The school also considered Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris.

Offensive line coach Herb Hand interviewed for the Vanderbilt job. He may remain a part of the new coaching staff or follow Franklin to Penn State.

--- Clemson coach Dabo Swinney agreed to an eight-year contract that will keep him at the school through the 2021 season.

Financial details were not released but the Post and Courier newspaper reported Swinney will make about $3.4 million per year. He made $2.2 million in 2013.

In six years under Swinney, the Tigers are 51-23 overall and 33-12 in the ACC. Clemson is 22-4 over the past two seasons.

Clemson defeated Ohio State in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 3.