Football at Vanderbilt, as you may know by now, is enjoying their one off-week of the year, and that means that we get a chance to recap some of the non-football news that's been piling up in our inbox that we haven't had an opportunity to highlight. First, though, let's see what is out there in the way of football news.
Over on VandyMania, Blake Lovell has a well-written piece that argues that for this year's Vanderbilt team, bye week came at the right time. VM also has a nice photo gallery from Saturday's win.
Our friends at Vanderbilt Sports Line have a nice post-game reaction piece whose title appropriately reflects the feelings of many in Commodore Country: that's more like it. VSL also voted in this week's SEC Power Ranking Poll (and the Commodores finally get some respect from our conference brethren; we come in at 9 of 12 -- hopefully that ranking will continue to move up after our trip to the Plains in three weeks).
At the Vanderbilt Tailgate, Senn SM was happy about our win and gloating to the Vawls' fans about their slaughtering at the hands of the Florida Gators. I'd join in, but I'm too busy worrying about what the score of our game in the Swamp is going to be...
On Who Ya With, Marv also reacts to the Ole Miss win and argues that "this was the team he's been waiting three weeks to see." He also sees the War Eagling Tigers as vulnerable in two weeks. I agree, but let's not overlook those pesky-- err, umm... what's the Eastern Michigan mascot again?
Our buddy at Save the Shield has a whole host of nifty posts, including some Sunday press review, Joe Biddle-bashing, and a humorous joke at Phil Fulmer's expense.
That's it for football, today, but there's still a goodly amount of Vandernews we want to talk about, and a lot of it isn't football related. In fact, a lot of the non-football news has to do with something that in recent years wasn't necessarily something about which Vanderbilt fans could boast: Commodores succeeding in highly visible, professional sports.
First up is, as you might expect, Jay Cutler. Jay engineered a dramatic come-from-behind win (sound familiar?) that even a passing Vanderbilt fan would have recognized as one of his trademarks from his 2005 senior year. Certainly the maturity that Jay has in the NFL could arguably have been developed before 104,000 "arnge"-clad fans in Knoxville.
Next is Hunter Hillenmeyer, the 2002 Vanderbilt graduate, who starts at linebacker for the Chicago Bears. In his article spotlighting the former Commodore, Al Hamnik calls him "dependably consistent." Definitely an apt description.
Elsewhere in pro sports, former Vanderbilt pitcher Jeremy Sowers will probably be starting for the Cleveland Indians in their September 26 doubleheader against Seattle. Sowers, of course, precedes-in-time recent number 1 Major League draft pick David Price (who received a well-deserved, resounding and standing ovation when he presented the Distinguished Faculty Award at the Ole Miss game this past Saturday).
Finally, in the Commodores-in-the-pros department, Brandon Barca got a great picture of Brandt Snedeker back at McGugin Center with men's golf coach Tom Shaw and his assistant Justin Emil. Brandt, as most in Commodore Country know, has received national acclaim after he finished 20th in the FedEx Cup standings and won the Wyndham Championship back in August.
Ours, it seems, is a program on the rise. I did not mention, of course, Derrick Byars, the 2006-2007 SEC Player of the Year, who will be playing for the Philadephia 76ers.
Including Derrick, there are four Commodores in four different sports achieving great success that have been recognized by national media in just the past few weeks. When is the last time that a similar report could be given about Vanderbilt athletics? It's been quite a while (if ever?), but it doesn't look like we're going to be hurting for future stars in the pros any time soon.
Elsewhere in non-football news, VandySports.com is reporting that Tim Corbin landed yet another amazing baseball recruit from the Diamond Dores. Looks like that number-one overall draft pick and 15-week national ranking are still paying off for our 2007 regular- and SEC tournament-champions (and yes, I fully intend to say that as much as possible until baseball season starts again).
So it's a slow news day, but that's okay by me. I feel sort of like there's that feeling, in Commodore Country right now, that one gets after Thanksgiving dinner: a since of relaxed, sated fullness. Don't like that analogy? That's fine by me, too, because Mark will have his Ole Mis reaction up soon (I promise, I've seen the draft of it, and it's worth the wait), and you won't have to listen to my analogies until tomorrow...
Until then, ladies and gentlemen, the Commodores are 2-1 (1-1) -- making us third in the East. Enjoy it.