As we approach this Saturday, it seems that both Vanderbilt and Alabama fans are really looking forward to the game, if for different reasons.
For Commodore Nation, this weekend is an opportunity to get another quality win like our Arkansas, Tennessee, and Georgia wins over the past couple of seasons.
For those with detergent and toilet paper on their heads, this weekend is a chance for them to see just how much they purchased with their $4 million.
Regardless of the reason its intensity and vehemence, the crimson-and-white-and-black-and-gold whirlwind that is descending on Nashville this weekend (and perhaps even as we speak) is going to be huge. And the coverage reflects that.
In the Tennessean, Maurice Patton talks about Bobby Johnson's worries about our defensive game -- and frankly, if I'd only seen the first half of the Richmond game, I'd agree. Maurice also puts out another game notes piece that discusses Coach Johnson's perspective on drawing Nick Saban in his first SEC game with the 'Tide.
Brett Hait's City Paper VU Notebook focuses in on Reshard Langford's excitement to get back in the game against 'Bama after his injury this past Saturday against the Spiders.
From the Yellow Hammer perspective, the Huntsville Times seems to find it difficult to grasp the concept that Vanderbilt has already obtained some "big wins," and appreciates Coach Johnson's willingness to remind the media that "We've had some pretty big wins the last couple of years" (also check out Coach Saban's very generous compliments to Vanderbilt about half-way down).
The folks at the Birmingham News decided to hop on the Nickson-Walker-Brundidge connection that seemed to dominate lower Alabama yesterday with their piece on Brundidge's big day. And I mean, it really is cool that the mayor chartered buses to bring basically the whole town to Nashville (and it's also cool that, at least according to Mr. Walker, most of them will be pulling for the Black-and-Gold).
The Decatur Daily up in north Alabama also takes the Nickson-Walker-Brundidge angle as the theme for their VU-Bama preview article.
Down in Mobile, the Press-Register has a piece on how important communication is for Sabana's 2007 Crimson Tide.
Finally, in the mainstream media at least, the Commodores are gaining recognition for what Coach Johnson and his 'Dores are doing on West End: in their Inside Slant analysis, USA Today talks about why they think VU is close -- and will lose by 5 to the 'Tide.
Elsewhere on the web, Rivals.com has ranked our own Earl Bennett as the number one wide receiver in college football after his performance against Richmond. Apparently, this "Earl-for-Heisman" business is legit.
The folks at VUCommodores.com continue their excellent job at putting out well-done, well-written, and timely online content with their Things to Know About Alabama.
On VandyMania, the CollegeFootballNews.com folks have apparently allowed VM to link to their SEC Predictions for this week. They pick the 'Tide by 5, but they give us a lot of respect. Up front on VM, Blake Lovell reviews the Richmond game and previews the Tide -- and he's really excited about the game, to say the least.
The VM boards are hopping as Commodores and Tiders alike get in the spirit of things. Brent has his daily news post up that includes a nice piece about former VU head coach Watson Brown. Both Vanderbilt and 'Bama people are arguing over how the Tide will handle Vanderbilt's offense.
In one of the most interesting VM posts in a while, fellow Vanderfolks are imitating the Alabama tradition of comparing opposing players' team photos with other famous folks. As I said, they got the idea from one of the 'Bama boards, who has their comparisons of Vanderbilt players up as well. It's all in good fun, and I don't think anyone is legitimately trying to disparage the young men on either side.
Some of the VM folks are more than a little upset that on the 'Bama boards, people are predicting blow outs (though, to their credit, most of the Bammers on our boards are predicting the close contest that Vegas seems to think will emerge). With that said, there are some Vanderbilt fans who are contemplating what a VU win over the 'Tide would mean for our team, our coach, and our program.
In somewhat unrelated news, a VM fellow found a post by a Tulane alum living in Nashville who came to the VU-Richmond game last week and had very nice things to say about our game-day atmosphere -- and, though I admittedly see things through golden-colored lenses, I have to agree that there has been quite a general improvement, in fact, tremendous improvement, over the past three or four years in our gameday experience on West End (Mark would seem to agree).
Over on VandySports, there's premium content galore, and the message boards are equally hot. Some legitimate smack talk is going down on the VS board, with one Bammer predicting a 45-13 Alabama win (I mean, sometimes you've got to wake up and smell the Dreamland Barbeque, people -- it's not going to be a blowout). There's a hilarious post by a VS guy in his open letter to Alabama fans. VS poster "ChillnDore" decides to review Vanderbilt-Alabama football history and draws some conclusions to the annoyance of several Bammers.
Our fellow bloggers at RollBamaRoll.com have a nice Cursory Look at the Vanderbilt offense (though their reliance upon statistics alone somewhat detracts from the totality of their analysis, since they conclude that Chris Nickson-to-Earl Bennett is really our only offensive weapon).
Elsewhere in the blogosphere, we're delighted to see that our fellow Vanderbloggers at Who Ya With? and Vanderbilt Sports Line are back from their respective hiatuses (and yes, that is a word, I looked it up because it didn't sound right) with some great posts.
On WYW, Jesus (Hay-soose, I'm guessing) Quintana is peeved that Earl Bennett isn't getting a little more respect. They've also got a nice Richmond recap by Marv.
On VSL, they've got a game week post that's riding the Crimson wave. They also had the opportunity to vote in the SEC Power Rankings, and their distribution of the SEC football teams is close-but-not-exactly like I'd put it.
Last, but certainly not least, it seems that S&S is getting a little attention from folks around the Vanderworld. Very generous and kind posters on both VM and VS are saying nice things about us (thanks for the encouragement!), and Best of the SEC has Mark's series on Earl Bennett as their lead story.
Thanks for your continued support; keep spreading the word about us, and we'll keep doing our best to provide you with a quality, Vanderbilt-worthy product.