Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Naval Intelligence: Vandy 'getting back to work'

Will Cassen Jackson-Garrison be able to open up against Eastern Michigan the way he did against Ole Miss? Photo by Neil Brake, Vanderbilt University.
One of the great things about this blog is that we have readers who are engaging us to make sure that we keep on our toes. Thanks to yesterday's commenters, who made sure we got our facts right (more on that, later).

With all that said, we are in full football mode here at S&S. I want to go to the game this Saturday, but honestly, I think I may have to stay home so that I can afford to (maybe) go to the Auburn game next week. That could be a bad sign; if people like me (somewhat of a die-hard fan) are going to miss this game, it might mean bad news for attendance this Saturday.

Then again, I could be wrong.

We'll start things off, today, with a great summary-review of all that's happened in the past 8 or 9 days in Commodore football, in a piece from the Vanderbilt Hustler. If you can only read one article today (to get a sense of what's going on), this would be a nice summary.

The Hustler also has some nice things to say about the 'Dores in their SEC round-up piece.

Elsewhere, there's some great (and fairly in-depth) analysis on our match-up with the Eagles in the San Luis Obispo Tribune (talk about a mouth-full). Who knew the Californians cared so much (hat-tip to Mark)? The folks make a prediction, and pick the Black-and-Gold by more than 20.

Did you know that EMU athletics staff have ties to Vanderbilt? Well, you do now, thanks to Maurice Patton's game notes piece getting us ready for Saturday. Turns out their A.D. is a former four-year football letterman for the Commodores.

I think it's nice that so many of our former alums are so pumped about bringing their schools over to play us (for example, Richmond). Just goes to show, Vandy grads just can't get enough of West End.

At the City Paper, Brett Hait lets us know that while "Josh Eames isn't Vanderbilt's biggest, fastest, or strongest offensive lineman," he's still known to the team as "Old Reliable." Well that was a nice way to start an article. Or not. What's the deal with our home-press insulting our players in order to compliment them? Both Maurice and Brett are good writers; gents, if you're reading, try to take it a little easier on 'em until they deserve some bad press (for instance, after the 'Bama game).

I dug up some Vanderstuff from the Alabama papers (thank you AL.com), including the Auburn notebook from the Mobile Press-Register, the College Beat from The Birmingham News, and some SEC thoughts from the Laurel, Miss. Leader-Call (and no, that last one is not from Alabama, but still).

There is one more Alabama piece that I want to draw your attention to, though, and it's this: Auburn's stud running back will be ready to go against the 'Dores. Turns out the NCAA cleared him for some mysterious "academic irregularities" just in time to try to help the Tigers bag their first SEC win (unless, of course, they beat Florida this week).

Sounds fishy to me, but what else is new. Moving on.

In officialdom, both VUCommodores.com and SECSports.com have previews of our upcoming game against the Michiganders (didn't think I remembered, did you).

The Spirit of Gold Marching Band is hoping to get to play "Dynamite!" a lot this week. Photo by Neil Brake, Vanderbilt University.
On VandyMania, Nik Rodewald (whose last name I always have to double-check to spell correctly; of course, it's no where near as difficult as spelling Ypsilanti right) has his weekly Commodore Keys post up. He takes the 'Dores and believes we'll have a shot to get some younger players in whilst enjoying some NCAA-2008-esque Earl Bennett catches (like we saw against Richmond). I hope he's right.

There's some new stuff up on VandySports, but guess who can't get to it. You can, if you can afford it.

On to the blogs. And to our little misstep yesterday. You'll recall we took issue with the South Carolina people putting us at 11th in the SEC Power Rankings.

Well, to be perfectly honest, we were quite upset that it was the conference vote-tally that put us there. One of our eagle-eyed regulars spotted the error on our part (i.e., that it was the South Carolina people, not the Conference in aggregate, who ranked us 11th), and so we humbly retract our general derision of the Conference as a whole; instead, we redirect it solely at the Carolina blogs ('cause they were the culprits who put us in at 11th).

So what did the rest of the conference think after we held Idle to no points, no yards? See for yourself.

We're tied at 9th with Mississippi State. Honestly, that doesn't upset me too much. We have not yet really proven that we're better than them, and most folks still think we're better than Auburn and Ole Miss, since they put us ahead of them (and that does answer my cry of injustice from yesterday, when I thought our combined Conference brethren had put us below Ole Miss).

I guess we'll settle all of this business in two weeks (of course, we are not going to look past Eastern Michigan in doing so -- we really aren't -- no way -- gotta concentrate, gotta concentrate -- gotta get, gotta get, get'cha head in the game).

Alright, on to the rest of the blogosphere.

I wasn't that surprised when no one said anything about my "tantrum" against MTSU on Monday. I mean, it was a rant against a Sun Belt team, and it was on the day after the huge overtime Georgia-'Bama game. No big deal, right? Well, it turns out that when I thought no one noticed, I just wasn't looking hard enough.

Our buddy over at Best of the SEC Blogs included my declaration of hatred of the Blue Raiders in his "funniest, scariest, angry, poignant, powerful, classy, insightful or just plain pathetic posts and most quotable quotes" from the SEC blogs.

Let's just hope that my quote was "angry" or "quotable," and not "pathetic" (but hey, if he'd had to lose to MTSU in his very first game as a Kentucky fan, something tells me he might hate them, too).

Anyway. Back to today's Naval Intelligence briefing.

Vanderbilt Sports Line took a break from Civ Pro to tell us about what's news in Commodore Country today. They also had a scoop on our newest Commodore Hoopster, the four-star commit Tchiengang (and that rhymes with "cha-ching," VSL tells us).

Jesus Quintana, over at Who Ya With, also celebrates our new basketball commit with a little imagination about what the cheers in Memorial Gym will be when he's "raining down 3s from 25th Avenue."

I can't really decide how to end these briefings. Maybe I could end the way 'Bama begins: "THIS... IS.... [VANDERBILT] FOOTBALL!!!"

Nah. Gimme the Foghorn any day.

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