Someday, we might see David Shaw take on Jim Harbaugh in the NFL. But I'd much prefer to see Derek Mason versus his former boss.
The new Vanderbilt head coach said he's doing everything he can to make that happen, telling a Nashville radio station that he's trying to set up a series between the Commodores and the Cardinal.
"We're in the process right now of scheduling that game," Mason said on WJOX radio. "We understand that the two schools have similar brands, but you know what? They don't fear anybody and we don't either. We'll get a chance to get after Stanford and they'll get a chance to get after us at some point in time, hopefully in the near future. We are still the best conference in the whole United States. If they want to come and get us, come and get us."
Quite frankly, I'm surprised that this series hasn't happened before now, but I'm excited about the prospect of this occurring. [I also enjoyed seeing how quickly Mason has gotten in lock-step with the SEC dictum of being the "best conference in America." I won't argue about conference superiority, because that is generally a waste of time practiced by the criminally bored or the criminally deranged.]
Personally, I'd love to see a home-and-home series between Stanford and Vanderbilt, even if it might have to wait until 2018 (Stanford's out-of-conference schedule is pretty booked until then). Stanford has played only five games against SEC competition in school history, and the Cardinal hasn't played an SEC team since the 1978 Bluebonnet Bowl, when head coach Bill Walsh led the Cardinal to a 25-22 victory over Georgia. I'd say it's about time we saw the Card tangle with Florida or LSU or Ole Miss in the regular season, right?
I'm a native southerner, so my desire to see this might be strictly regional. There have been a few Pac vs SEC games in the BCS era - Washington-LSU, Oregon-Tennessee, Arizona State-Georgia, USC-Arkansas and USC-Auburn are a few that spring to mind - and unfortunately there haven't been many good games. Oregon against LSU in Dallas in 2011 was the best South vs West game I can recall.
But given the Pac-12's new deal with Levi's Stadium to host the conference championship game, I also wouldn't be surprised if we on the West Coast got the opportunity to see a few more of those matchups in the future.
Perhaps the Pac-12 can establish Levi's and the Bay Area as a western competitor to JerryWorld or the Georgia Dome for some high-profile, early-season nonconference matchups. Maybe Larry Scott could establish a little yearly bidding war with teams across the country to play in the Bay. Ohio State traveled well to Cal last year, so maybe it can become a yearly thing for a few teams in the heartland or south.
Who wouldn't have wanted to see Johnny Manziel against a Pac-12 team at least once in his career?
And if not, i'll happily settle for David Shaw versus Derek Mason.