Coming from a Coach who’s only 1-1 against the Vanderbilt Commodores, Houston Nutt’s comment, "Vanderbilt is not a homecoming team anymore," may not seem like much.
Considering that even the SEC’s mid-tier programs have long used phrases like "doormat," "traditional underdog," and "Commode-dores," the respect from smashmouth footballers like Nutt is more than just game-week talking up your opponent.
And while a lot of people don’t seem to think that the Commodores are ready to defeat a team like the Rebels, don’t count Houston Nutt among them.
As we prepare for our bi-annual trip to the Grove, here’s what’s making news in Commodore Country (with a lot of parentheticals, today, for some reason):
Jimmy Morris has a preview over on VandyMania.com.
David Brandt makes me ask if it’s my momma’s Vanderbilt?
Brett Hait warns that we haven’t faced a rushing team yet, and Ole Miss is definitely going to run (to be honest, it sure did feel like Rice was doing plenty of running during that ugly first half).
Blair Kerkhoff sees the Commodores rising, but doesn’t think it’ll last past this week (has any one else noticed that the sportswriters are starting to exhibit some of that "existential angst" PhilipVU94 was talking about yesterday?).
Kevin Brockway questions the meaning of life since one of his guidestars, "death, taxes, and Vanderbilt losing," is on the verge of collapse (sounds like someone needs to find something else with which to guide his star, thanks).
Nik Rodewald gives us his Keys to defeating the Ole Miss Rebels: balance, mistake-free football, and Jared Hawkins.
Don Yates gives us the run-down on the coaches’ press conferences.
Robert Ferringo has gotten paid well by the Commodores winning against the spread (and he says we’ll beat it against Ole Miss, too).
Doc, of Doc Sports, says the Dores’ bubble bursts against the Rebels this week (I think his perscription – he, he – is wrong).
Chris Low has some bad news for the Vandy O-line, in that the Ole Miss Defensive Line is back to full strength (just in time for the Commodores).
Mr. Walsh, of the Tuscaloosa News, ranks Vanderbilt at no.6 in the SEC, after putting us at no. 8 for week 2 (wonder where he’ll stick us if we beat Ole Miss?).
Oddsmaker Benton Vale says the Dores will beat the spread, at least where it stands at 6.5.
Did you know Ole Miss once owned the Sugar Bowl? Neither did I. Didn’t we own the South at some point, like you know, when UT had to hire General Neyland to beat us, and all that.
Neal McCready reports that UM coaches are worried about handling Vanderbilt’s balanced offensive attack (I don’t know what game film he’s been watching, but us? balanced?).
Bobby O’Shea highlights the running game over on VSL (oh, and look for VSL’s blog-swap thing they’re doing with Hotty Toddy Blog (which raises another question: when is Vanderbilt going to have a nonsense talk cheer like Hotty Toddy and Auburn’s Weagle-Weagle?)).
Jesse Johnson has a preview of the Men’s Basketball Season, which, believe it or not, is just around the corner.
The Ole Miss Band’s blog (I think) says that Vanderbilt is all hype, and predicts a 3-point victory for the Rebs (I don’t know if we’re hype, but it’s hard to argue that his margin of victory is wrong).
John Royal ranks Vanderbilt at no. 20 in the country, and we appreciate it.
Christopher England thinks a win over VU would build the UM program, since the Rebs haven’t beaten an SEC team since November 2006.
The "Ghost of Jay Cutler" wants to put Vanderbilt back in its place, which to him is related to high SAT scores and a large endowment (are these supposed to be insults, little buddy? and really, we’ve won 2 out of the past 3 against y’all, I don’t think you have any room to talk about your place being on the gridiron (rolls eyes)).
Videos of Ryan Hamilton and Steven Stone in case you missed it over on Vucommodores.com.
Chris Low notices that speed powers the Vanderbilt defense, and I wish he’d pulled out that quote from the beginning of the season about being "the fastest defense in the SEC" (or not).
Despite saying nice things earlier, Chris Low picks Ole Miss to win by 3, saying that the ‘Dores can’t answer Jevan Snead (I don’t see how our defense wouldn’t be ready for a good quarterback after that Rice kid last week – now there was a good quarterback).
David Rutz takes a cue from S&S and talks about the close rivalry between Vanderbilt and Ole Miss (note the classy quote from Jared Hawkins while you’re there).
Maurice Patton highlights special teams and those "hidden yards" that have been so key to Vanderbilt’s fourth quarter resurgences.
Greg Viverito notices that Vegas is loving the Dores after our big 3-0 start against the spread.
Jarred Amato sits down to do TV and analyze the Dores (we’re gonna see this guy on ESPN at some point, I’d wager).
David Rutz interviews Jared Hawkins over at C&P.
The VSL blog exchange with Hotty Toddy Blog went up while I was writing this, so here it is – check it out.
VSL has issued a fatwa against the self-titled Worldwide Leader in Sports, and you may join the Prophet O’Shea in protesting ESPN's lack of Vandercoverage.
My good friend Patrick recaps Week 3, and predicts week 4 through "Big Arnge"-colored glasses over at Curveballs (and gives S&S some props while he’s at it).