Monday, September 15, 2008

Naval Intelligence: Knocking on the door of the top 25

Broderick Stewart and Ryan Hamilton bring down Rice's C.J. Ugokwe as Vanderbilt's defense held the Owls scoreless in the second half. With the Commodores' undefeated start, Vandy is moving up the polls and preparing for Ole Miss.AP Photo.
The Vanderbilt Commodores have their second 3-0 start since 2005, but Coach Bobby Johnson and his Men in Black (and Gold) continue to assert that they are all business, as they travel to face SEC West foe Mississippi. But if preparing for the next game means forgetting about what's gone before, it may be hard for the Commodores, who are continuing to drop school records every time they win.

Here's what's news today in Commodore Country (and remember that Mondays are press conference days at McGugin Center; we'll have Coach Johnson's comments in tomorrow's NI):

Mike DiRocco gives Player of the Week to Jared Hawkins for his 107-yard rushing performance against Rice (too bad he's only the Florida Times-Union's Florida beat reporter).

David Climer says the Commodores have some swagger after winning three straight, and doing so with calm, cool confidence in the Fourth Quarter.

David Rutz has bad news about Patrick Benoist, who'll be playing in a cast against Ole Miss (he also has some nice offensive statistics as well).

Brett Hait crowns Bryant Hahnfeldt and informs us the Commodores are No. 26 in the AP Poll (speaking of polls: I guess the West is back this year -- LSU, Auburn, and 'Bama in the Top 10?).

David Brandt scouts the 'Dores for Ole Miss and points out that the Rebels and Vanderbilt have split the past four games.

Robert Rousseau smarts off about 3-0 while calling the 3-2 Auburn win over Mississippi State "ridiculous."

Jeff Roberson says that some Election '08 press will be at the UM-VU game this Saturday (if an ESPN win was good for recruiting, what will international coverage by the world's media elite do for us?).

David Namm has some subject-verb agreement issues, but he's right on the money that the 'Dores have been a huge tease the past couple years.

T. Kyle King ranks the Commodores at No. 22, doubting our "staying power," but giving us props for "quality wins" over Rice, Spurrier, and Miami.

Paul Gattis ranks the 'Dores at No. 8 in the SEC, placing us behind UT and Ole Miss (I am not sure I agree with either of those, to be honest).

Ray Fittipaldo ranks the Commodores at No. 25, and apparently, he has some say in the matter, what with being an AP balloter and all.

Jess Nicholas says Ole Miss will win because of superior athleticism. Apparently, he's never actually watched a Vanderbilt-Ole Miss game (superior athleticism?!).

Cocknfire at Garnet and Black Attack ranks Vandy no. 17 ahead of no. 20 LSU in his weekly power rankings, justifying it based upon who we've beat and who they've beat (maybe he just wants to feel better about losing to us? I'm sorry, but we're probably not better than LSU).

Jarred Amato, the ace former-Hustler reporter who was ousted in a ridiculous coup last year, has renamed his blog and has a great summary-of-the-weekend post up (he's also joined SB Nation, whatever that is (one note to Jarred: love the new site layout, but let's work on that logo -- it's a bit bush league for your writing talent)).

Jarred double-dips with a Rice-game report card, and the team's GPA for the game is 3.38 (a solid B+, right?).

LawVol is "thoroughly impressed" with the Commodores' beating "three quality teams" (and he links to S&S -- so we'll give him some props, even if he is a Yew Tee fan).

Brandon Barca sees the most confident Commodores in his six years at McGugin in the post-game press conferences.

Brett Hait watches David Price soar to The Show on his NashvilleBallerz blog.

PhilipVU94 has some thoughts on various folks' rankings of the Commodores after Week 3; he also gives a shout-out to the Jay Cutler show in Denver.

Seamus O'Toole has VSL's take on the win and contrasts the AP's and the Coaches' rankings (26 v. 35).

Robert Caldwell has breaking news from the post-game reverse Star Walk (I think Mr. Caldwell might have gotten a bit carried away with his "monster" remark -- we'll see, I suppose).

J2M gives us his Stars of the Game, and you can probably guess who it is before you even click.

The second VM photo gallery is up from the Rice game.

Chip Cosby ranks the Commodores at No. 22, saying the Rice game is one past 'Dores teams would have blown.

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