Vanderbilt officially announced its 2013 football schedule on Thursday in conjunction with the Southeastern Conference releasing its 8-game schedule for next season.
The Commodores will host seven home games inside Vanderbilt Stadium, and receive a pair of byes during a season for the first time since 2008.
Vanderbilt will host Ole Miss on August 31 to open the season, marking the first time the two schools have met on the opening weekend since 2003. The game will also serve as the SEC season opener.
The Commodores will later host three SEC Eastern Division rivals including annual opponents Georgia and Kentucky as well as new member Missouri. The Tigers trip to Nashville will be the first for the program since the 1957 season.
Vanderbilt will also welcome in three non-conference opponents during the course of the season, including Ohio Valley Conference member Austin Peay on September 7. Separated by just a little over 50 miles, the game will mark VU's first-ever meeting with Governors on the football field.
Conference USA member University of Alabama-Birmingham will visit on September 28th, marking just the second-ever meeting by the two programs. Vanderbilt defeated the Blazers 31-15 in 1996.
The Commodores will close out the season on November 30 with its annual series against ACC member Wake Forest.
"Opening next year with an SEC team like Ole Miss will be a tremendous challenge for our players and coaches right out of the gate," Vanderbilt coach James Franklin said in a press release on Thursday. "I like the way our home schedule lines up for our team and fans, including our first home game against Missouri since 1957. The road schedule also presents plenty of opportunities for our squad."
While the home schedule seems favorable, the Commodores will face numerous challenges on the road. Vanderbilt will continue its familiar slate of road games at Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee, but will also add new SEC Western Division member Texas A&M on October 26th. It will mark the Commodores first-ever trip to Kyle Field.
Vanderbilt will also face new Mid-American Conference member Massachusetts on September 21st inside Foxboro's Gillette Stadium.
Vanderbilt will receive byes following its home game against Missouri on October 5th and following its road game against Texas A&M on October 26th.
The Commodores were originally slated to face Big Ten members Northwestern and Ohio State for the 2013 season, but both games had to be discontinued by the school, according to Vanderbilt Vice Chancellor and Athletic Director David Williams.
"I'm pleased to participate in the announcement of next year's schedule, and very happy with it," Williams said. "This concludes a complex process that required a great deal of time. I would personally like to thank Mark Womack and Larry Templeton of the Southeastern Conference along with the league's other 13 athletic directors for their dedicated efforts in seeing this process to a successful conclusion.
"The new schedule has meant that we needed to reshape our non-conference schedule since there are now league conflicts with several of our prior 2013 arrangements," Williams added.
2013 Vanderbilt Football Schedule
Aug. 31 Ole Miss
Sept. 7 Austin Peay
Sept. 14 at South Carolina
Sept. 21 at U-Mass
Sept. 28 UAB
Oct. 5 Missouri
Oct. 19 Georgia
Oct. 26 at Texas A&M
Nov. 9 at Florida
Nov. 16 Kentucky
Nov. 23 at Tennessee
Nov. 30 Wake Forest