Vanderbilt will play its first two football games of the 2008 on Thursday nights and will host six of 12 opponents at Vanderbilt Stadium, school officials announced Tuesday.
Release of the schedule was delayed until early February to allow Vanderbilt to negotiate with Rice University to move the game between both schools up six weeks earlier than previously scheduled. They will play Sept. 13 in Nashville instead of the previous Nov. 1 date.
The Commodores will open the 2008 season with a road trip to Miami (Ohio) University on Thursday, Aug. 28. Vanderbilt's six-game home schedule will start Thursday, Sept. 4 against South Carolina.
By rescheduling the Rice game to early in the season, VU officials secured a second off week for the Commodores.
"I couldn't be happier with the 2008 schedule and how it sets up for our squad," Vanderbilt coach Bobby Johnson said. "The positioning of our off weeks should go a long way to keeping our team as fresh as possible as the regular season develops, especially late in the year."
VU's schedule includes seven opponents that made postseason bowl appearances in 2007: Auburn, Mississippi State, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee and Wake Forest.
"It looks like a difficult schedule, but it's no different from any other year. It's always going to be that way in the Southeastern Conference," Johnson said. "We're excited about the challenge ahead, and looking forward to getting started early next month with spring practice."
2008 Vanderbilt football schedule
Aug. 28 at Miami (Ohio)
Sept. 4 South Carolina
Sept. 13 Rice
Sept. 20 at Ole Miss
Oct. 4 Auburn
Oct. 11 at Miss. State
Oct. 18 at Georgia
Oct. 25 Duke
Nov. 8 Florida
Nov. 15 at Kentucky
Nov. 22 Tennessee
Nov. 29 at Wake Forest