It's curious how today's articles -- across the board -- on the Vanderbilt-Alabama game are focused in on how Alabama's glory will affect Vanderbilt: either all their fans coming into Nashville or the potential that Nick Saban brings with him like an aura. I can't really argue, I suppose, with the proposition that beating 'Bama would raise our profile quite a bit. Let's just hope that we can get it done (even with 20,000 Tiders in the stand).
The Vanderbilt beat writers are taking a break after their prolific writing this past weekend and this week. Maurice Patton, in the Tennessean gives a rather general account of how Nick Saban is opening his SEC career, part deux, in Nashville. In the City Paper, Brett Hait notes the impact that Jeff Jennings had against the Spiders.
That's it, as far as football goes, for our boys Maurice and Brett (of course, they also had some stuff about women's basketball, which released its schedule yesterday -- see below).
The Yellowhammer State continues to produce a veritable publishing house of news about the upcoming contest, and the Decatur Daily gets us started with the prototypical "[number] people from [opponent] are from Alabama" (RollTide.com also does their story on the same subject, picking up on the Nickson-Walker-Brudidge story that people have been talking about all week).
The Tuscaloosa News gives an apology for Crimson Tide recruiting, arguing that they let Chris Nickson and Earl Bennett leave the State (this, of course, is in contrast with the article from the Mobile Press-Register, which earlier this week seemed to take a subtle swipe at both Auburn and Alabama for letting Chris and Earl make it to VU).
Speaking of the Press-Register, they have a good "human interest" article about Alabama kicker Leigh Tiffin, and his ups-and-downs. The Press-Register also has some game notes that does leave room for hope for the superstitious Commodore fans out there: Alabama is 2-3, all time, in games played on September 8. Go figure.
In the Birmingham News, we get some wonderful (sarcasm) comments from people in the Vanderbilt ticket office, about how our season ticket boomlet is the result of Alabama fans' crazed ticket-buying binge.
In the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (out of Columbus, Ga.), Creg Stephenson writes about what he thinks Vanderbilt's game plan is. In two words, his answer is "Earl Bennett." One can hope that the Alabama coaching staff will approach us that one-dimensionally, but I doubt it. Saban is being paid $4 million for a reason.
Other non-Nashville-and-non-Alabama media are taking note of this game: the Sporting News has a couple of pieces about our game, including (betcha can't guess) yet another Nickson-Walker-Brundidge story. Good grief, people: what's the appeal of this story? I mean, we've read essentially the same thing (by my count) eight times in three days? Sporting News also talks Vanderbilt in their SEC notebook, giving some props to Jeff Jennings for his return to form against Richmond.
On VandyMania, there's a bit of new stuff in the premium content section, but it's the message boards were things continue to be continuously updated.
On the VM message boards, Brent has his daily post on Vanderbilt news stories (and you've gotta love his category for Bama-sources: "Elephant Droppings"). VM poster LeoOshKosh posts a fairy tale-style prediction about all the King's horses that has some funny responses from some clever (and religious?) Bammers.
VM poster "Vuiscool" starts a discussion about what sort of attack plan Alabama will bring against the Commodores. "AlbertCamus" talks smack about 'Bama and draws some rejoinders. "DallasDore" hopes (as I did above) that 'Bama's coaches will be thinking as one-dimensionally as their fans are on the Alabama message boards. "Benwa" (does anyone else note the similarity of that screenname to the proper pronunciation of "Bennoist" -- there are players on the boards, I guess) wonders how many Bammers will be at Vanderbilt Stadium come Saturday.
On the more audacious side of things, "Vuiscool" predicts that the Tide won't be able to stop Earl Bennett and that John Parker Wilson will not shred Vanderbilt's secondary. "GoldenHammer" starts a hilarious thread about how utterly awesome Nick Saban is.
On VandySports, the premium content continues to flow, and the message boards continue to rack up the posts. There's a smack-esque post by BGZatUA about Alabama's new offense. "BamaJD88" lets us know about Coach Saban's respect for Coach Johnson and the 'Dores. A Georgia fan let's us know that he thinks Bama is going down against the Dores. Another Bama fan starts a predict-the-score thread.
Elsewhere in the not-official-but-not-quite-a-blog realm of things, the Alabama Scout site puts up an interesting article entitled "Bama has no hope."
Now, on to the blogosphere. The guys at Vanderbilt Sports Line have their Alabama prediction post up with some great nuts-and-bolts analysis, and they take the Commodores by the spread: VU 20, UA 17.
Over on Save the Shield, there are some very nice things about us (thank you for the props, good sir), and a post about ticket demand for the game this weekend.
Finally, in the world of football, Who Ya With? has their questions for the Alabama-Vanderbilt game along with their predictions for the week, including non-Vanderbilt games.
So. That's the Vanderbilt football stuff for today's Naval Intelligence, but that's not all the Vanderbilt sports stuff for today. Indeed, there's big news out of McGugin Center (or would that be coming out of Memorial Gym, now, since the basketball offices are there?), with the release of our women's basketball schedule.
The Commodores (for the neophytes, we're all Commodores, none of this silly "lady" business), start their season with 10 home games, and Mike Organ has the scoop (and so does the Staff at the City Paper).
Last, but not least, there are two different articles in the Denver Post about our own Jay Cutler, and how he's taking charge over the Bronco's.
One more day, then it's game time in Nashville. Stay tuned: Mark's 'Bama preview is coming tomorrow.