Thursday, September 20, 2007

Naval Intelligence: Loose lips sink ships, unless your mascot is naval in origin

Coach Bobby Johnson isn't worried about spies at practice -- he's concentrating on the enemy on the field. Photo by Stan Jones, VandyMania.com.
As off-week wanes, so does coverage of the Vanderworld. With an ESPN GameDay match-up between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Alabama Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa, the co-leader of the East travelling to Baton Rouge to test the Tigers, and the upstart Kentucky Wildcats seeing how far they can stretch their winning streak against the Hogs, it's understandable that our coverage is a little lighter than normal.

But there is still some interesting stuff this week, and we want to make sure you find it.

Perhaps the most intriguing story today comes from Brett Hait in the City Paper. Brett writes that with Coach Mark Richt closing the Georgia Bulldogs practice to the media this week, Vanderbilt is now the only SEC football team to allow media at its practices in the week prior to a game. Coach Richt, who believes his 'Dawgs have been victims of grid-iron espionage, said it aptly: "I believe the saying is 'loose lips can sink ships.'"

Only if you're not captained by a Commodore, Coach. Bobby Johnson tells Brett that "he thinks there are few secrets in the football world and that game outcomes still boil down to blocking, tackling and execution." You know, say what you will about Coach Johnson, but the man is imperturbable.

In the Tennessean, Maurice describes the relationship between Earl Bennett and George Smith as one of hero and sidekick. Yikes -- sort of harsh to George, isn't it? I think I'd prefer an analogy that didn't seem to disrespect George, who's developed into a pretty competent receiver in his own right.

Over in the Vanderbilt Hustler (and I do try to remember not to call it just the "Hustler," since that is the title of a certain magazine of ill repute -- but it's hard, because that's what I've called it ever since my first days as a freshman roaming the ivy-clad grounds of dear ol' VU), Will Gibbons has posted his SEC Power Rankinsg, along with some editorial comment about our favorite twelve teams.

On VUCommodores.com, Brandon Barca has an interview with Cleveland Indians pitcher Jensen Lewis, who (you'll recall) got his first win in the Big Leagues this week.

Also in baseball news, Dominic de la Osa answers questions submitted to VUCommodores.com by fans in the "Ask a Dore" feature.

Finally, on VandySports.com, Kendall Rogers writes about the prospects for the 2008 baseball season, and whether Vanderbilt can make it to Omaha this year. He believes that despite question marks in the bullpen, the Commodores have another great shot at making it to Nebraska.

It's been a light week, but things will start picking up next Monday, when Vanderbilt gets ready for Eastern Michigan (and because I couldn't wait, I've now played Eastern-Michigan-at-Vanderbilt on NCAA '08 about 4 times, to see how we'll do -- don't worry, we do just fine).

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