Thursday, August 30, 2007

Naval Intelligence: Apparently we're in the deep end

The Commodores' new-found depth across positions, like we had at quarterback last year, is one of the reasons the pundits think we have a chance.
The Commodores' new-found depth across positions, like we had at quarterback last year, is one of the reasons the pundits think we have a chance. Photo by Neil Brake, Vanderbilt University.

Coverage of Vanderbilt football today could be summed up in one word: depth.

Kicking off with the mainstream media, Maurice Patton has three articles in The Tennessean: practice notes with tidbits about Jonathan Goff wearing the KD1 patch, yes we do have an all-senior offensive line, and some VU-Richmond connections; a we-want-to-have-a-winning-record article that includes a really weird picture involving Jonathan Goff and some gears (I think); and a piece detaling our fortuitous spring-and-fall that resulted in very few injuries across the board (especially as compared with past years under Coach Johnson).

The sports staff at The Tennessean also has some fun picking the "bests" and "worsts" of the SEC -- and we don't fare that bad (and the Vawls also get some on 'em, so fair enough).

Brett Hait has a piece in the City Paper that explains how our program has finally grown to the point where we have some youth to fill some depth spots.

In the non-Vanderfolks mainstream media department, the Richmond Times-Dispatch has a couple of Spider-perspective articles on this weekend's game, including notes on their defense and a practice notes piece.

Online, both the Sporting News and Lindy's have SEC preview articles that briefly mention Vanderbilt. Honestly, though, neither are tremendously insightful; I think it's hilarious (and telling) that in their so-called SEC Notebook, Sporting News talks about how bad our special teams are going to be despite the fact that we had a whole series of articles on, The Tennessean, and the City Paper talking about how everyone expects Bryant Hahnfeldt to be back to form this season.

Lindy's is a bit nicer to the Dores, but no less generic: their wisdom consists of picking us over Kentucky as this year's so-called "sleeper" team. Which, to me, raises the question, if everyone picks us as a sleeper, can we actually be one? Wouldn't that make us just (as Mark argues below) what we are: a middle-of-the-pack SEC team?

Who's the sleeper: Kentucky or Vanderbilt?  With Andre Woodson and Earl Bennett, I'd say neither.
Who's the sleeper: Kentucky or Vanderbilt? With Andre Woodson and Earl Bennett, the answer is probably neither. Photo by Neil Brake, Vanderbilt University.

Waaaay out in Tacoma, Washington, the News Tribune gives Earl props for his pending SEC all-time record. That raises two questions: (1) where is Tacoma (and yes, I know it's in Washington, this is a rhetorical question, people); and (2) how in the world can the freakin' Southern media miss writing on Earl when people all the way in two or three time zones away can see what an awesome player he is?! Ahem.

On VandyMania, Nik Rodewald starts what looks to be a weekly feature on his "Commodore Keys" against Richmond. He perdicts a 24-point win for the Black-and-Gold. Over on the VM message boards, Brent's Thursday's stories post is up, including a link to some VM premium content about VU-Richmond head-to-head. There are a couple of funny posts that show that Vandyfans really are smart (after all, how many SEC message boards would have a thread writing team-related poetry).

Our friends at VandySports have discovered S&S, but some of them seem a bit testy for some reason; otherwise, there's a neat post on Vandy football trivia.

Finally, after some long, hard research (i.e., some well-timed Googling), I found, and found this perspective on the upcoming contest from our friends in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

In non-Vanderbilt related fun-times, our SEC brethren are all astir about the so-called "Jerrell Powe situation," and their blogging about it like it's their business. Best of the SEC Blogs has a condensed summary to help you avoid the more obnoxious drivel.

Looks like that's it for today. Get excited, though, folks. Tonight is the first night of College Football 2007... I never thought I'd be so excited to hear Hail State!


festivus said...

Diezba, Tacoma is just south of Seattle, its traffic sucks, and it smells bad.

Jake said...

to be fair, I think the Sporting News article you linked was really just describing how bad we were on special teams *last* year, and that we need to improve this year. I think they're right on that point.

Great links and commentary though. Keep it up.

Mark said...

So, in the Tennessean today Chris Williams mentions that we were 16 plays from a 9-3 season. Do you think the coaches actually identified those 16 plays on films? Or was he speaking more generally...

I have a feeling that our coaches really did find those plays, and I think it's an awesome motivational technique. It's a brave new world in sports -- like those ProTrade reports on where you can take each derivative play and assign a win probability to it. Cool stuff.

Will said...

I can't really blame the VandySports people for being wary of your claim of being a longtime member while only have 22 posts on the Rivals network. Couple that with all of the problems that have occurred (VS premium content showing up on VM boards and people being banned for mentioning VS on VM) and it's not hard to see why some people were skeptical. That said, the blog is a great read and I have added it to my RSS list.