Monday, October 6, 2008

Naval Intelligence: Dores just one win away from bowl eligibility

Vanderbilt is still basking in the afterglow of its historic win against the Auburn Tigers, going 5-0 for the first time since 1943. It's safe to say, however, that coach Bobby Johnson has Mackenzi Adams and the rest of the Commodores fully focused on their upcoming road trip to Mississippi State.AP Photo.
There's still an afterglow on the faces of the Vanderbilt faithful this morning, and with records falling faster than Phil Fulmer's job prospects, it's easy to understand why.

To say that Saturday night was historic is, well, more than just an understatement.

Because Bobby Johnson's victory over the Auburn Tigers will probably go down into the history books as the night that this Commodore program was brought back from the dead.

I'm still trying to comprehend what the win means for this coach, these players, this program, and our University, and suffice it to say, so are a lot of other people making news in Commodore Country:

Chris Low has complete coverage of the win and its implications on ESPN: rallying past Auburn in a rocking Vanderbilt Stadium; crediting Mackenzi Adams with coming in off the bench for the come-from-behind victory (and has anyone else noticed that 9 is just 6 upside down?); the gauntlet thrown down by George Smith (our senior leader says, "We do both here," referring to winning games and going to class); a nice one-liner from Bobby Johnson reflecting our current coach's understanding of Vanderbilt history, despite his contest refrain that "this is Vanderbilt football now, and we don't pay attention to the past" (show of hands: who thinks Woody knew who Dan McGugin was?); helmet stickers for Mackenzi Adams and "the Fightin' Bobby Johnsons" (he's a mascot, now, too?); huge props to the Vanderbilt coaching staff (which they fully deserve, in my opinion); ranked no. 5 in this week's SEC power rankings (behind Bama, LSU, UGA, and UF -- and you've got to love Chris' taunting the Auburn fans); and coverage of the SEC Players of the Week (this week, two Commodores are recognized).

Mackenzi Adams' touchdown pass in the second quarter has been nominated as a game-changing play of the week (this is Vanderbilt's second appearance in the popular weekly ESPN online fan poll).

David Rutz has the take from the student section in the lead story from The Vanderbilt Hustler (and he raises something we plan to talk about later today on S&S: yes, Auburn's offense was bad, but what about their defense? how did VU score 14?).

David Wunderlich explores some of the staggering historical possibilities that this Vanderbilt team can accomplish if they can manage to beat the Bulldogs in Starkville (if you thought 1943 was a long time ago, try 1928 -- as in, Dan McGugin -- yes, that McGugin).

Randy Moore can't help calling us geeks, even though we're No. 13/14 in the country (but, then again, he's a Yew Tee fan).

Kyle Veazey gives Mississippi State fans perspective on just who it is that's coming to Starkville this Saturday (the last time Mississippi State played a ranked Vanderbilt team was 1942 -- ).

Howie Beardsley is teaching the world who Dan McGugin is (and if you don't know, educate yourself).

Paul Gattis captures the Hollywood in Saturday night's win: "Biggest game since ever and the home team fell behind by two touchdowns before rallying with its backup quarterback for a one-point win. Look away, Auburn. You don't want to revisit this one again. Look down, Vanderbilt. That's the college football world at your feet."

Profane likes the geeks from West End, and their big win this Saturday (he does a nice job of playing "guess who" whilst describing dear ol' VU).

Jimmy Trodglen comapres Vanderbilt and Wake, noting (as our schedulers did) the ridiculous similarities between the two schools (and licking his chops at the prospects of the Dores and Deacs playing a game that matters on the grid iron).

The Birmingham News thinks it's buzzworthy that nobody stormed Dudley Field after Vanderbilt knocked off Auburn (quoth the News: "Beating ranked teams at home - even ending Auburn's 53-year winning streak - is getting old for the Commodores" -- it's like the Bear (Bryant) said: "Act like you've been there before").

Denny O'Brien sees the Vandersurgence adding to SEC power (as if, he asks, the SEC needed more strength).

Maurice Patton has details on Vanderbilt's no. 13 ranking in the AP Poll (and, thanks to his typically-thorough research, he also let's us know that the Commodores' past three weeks in the Top 25 tie its longest streak ever in the AP Poll -- if we win next week, folks, we really are going to be in McGugin-era territory).

Kyle Veazey struggles mightily to give the Mississippi State crowd reason to find meaning in their game against the Commodores (his worthy effort: State is "looking to mount a rally in the second half of its season").

Brett Hait welcomes "big-time college football" to Nashville in the no. 13/14 Vanderbilt Commodores (and what a great picture of Mackenzi Adams).

Nick Gallo grades the Dores' performance against Auburn (their GPA for this game: 3.07 -- imagine what a 4.0 would look like).

Maurice Patton also grades Vanderbilt, but his grades aren't as kind (GPA for this game: 2.93).

Jarred Amato has his red pen out, too, and he gives the Commodores a 3.27 GPA (so, combining all three GPAs for our meta-GPA for the Auburn game, we get 3.09, a solid B average).

Meghan Rose examines the Defense to see whether it was Auburn ineptness or Vanderbilt adjustments that shut out the Tigers in the second half (answer? a little of both: it was our adjustments that forced them off their first-quarter success in running and back into their dismal spread).

Matt Zemek teaches Commodore fans how to deal with their new-found success (what does he suggest?).

Folks in Fort Worth learned that Vanderbilt "is a player in the SEC" (hard to believe, isn't it?).

Jeff Hood gets a VU recruit's reaction to his first Vanderbilt home game after his commitment: "The atmosphere made it feel like a bowl game" (not so fast, my friend: the bowl game comes after next week).

Paul Gattis holds VU steady at no. 5 in the SEC (and notes that every single game has been a come-from-behind victory for the 'Dores this year).

Mark Wiedmar damns with faint praise as what starts out as a celebration of our success turns into a "wait 'til they wilt" column (with the bitter tone of a possibly Yew Tee fan?).

Jeffrey Fann joins the chorus predicting a Bobby Johnson departure after a 8- or 9-win season (apparently they missed the media reports about us holding on to supercoach Tim Corbin after all those no. 1 rankings and draft picks).

Photo by Whitney D.,
Mark Richt says VU is "pretty stinkin good" adding that the Commodores are getting "their just due" (is coach laying ground work for the possibility we upset them in Athens?).

Matt Burrowes moves the Commodores to no. 4 in the SEC (putting us ahead of Florida -- I'm not sure I get that).

The AP has a great, great article summarizing how important this win was for our program and its history (I'd like to know who's putting these AP reports together).

David Yeazell gets the stereotype, but I don't think he's ever actually met any Vanderbilt students (for those playing at home: Vanderbilt may be a smart school, but it's full of rich, preppy kids who love to party -- they also happen to get good grades).

David Gladow cheers on the "little program that could" (again reminding us why sportswriters love VU).

Ray Melick analyzes Vanderbilt's spread and compares it to the one Auburn's supposed to be running (and he finally gives our offense some credit).

Jeff Lockridge has a great recap of the GameDay experience over on the Commons (including some very flattering quotes from the "few Auburn fans" "sprinkled" among the Vanderthrong).

I never thought a Joe Biddle column would make me cry, but, (sob), this one did (I mean, put yourself in John Rich's shoes: "all I want before I die is a winning season").

Tom Kraeger has Vanderbilt potpourri, including great stats about night games, ESPN games, and come-from-behind games (we also evened up the series with Auburn, 20-20-1).

Olin Buchanan wraps up his summary of the game with a great stat: "Vanderbilt is the first team to score a touchdown in the first half against Auburn this season. Auburn had allowed just three field goals in the first half this season" (without that touchdown, Auburn wins 13-7 -- a score many were predicting among the sane Auburnites).

Anthony Salter polishes our glass slipper as he ponders how we'll finish out our season (and while he thinks it's a stretch, he doesn't rule out a trip to Atlanta for the SEC Championship).

Stewart Mandel learned that Vanderbilt could win the SEC East, no matter how ridiculous that sounds (even to us!).

Robert Rousseau also thinks the 'Dores could wind up in Atlanta, even though that "might sound like blasphemy" (just who are we blaspheming? Jesus, after all, was considered an underdog at one point...).

You know you've made it when Southern Living writes an article about your team.

An Auburn fan tells about his weekend with what he calls a "below-average photo essay" (and he says the best part of the weekend was after the game -- Nashville really is the SEC's best city).

Desmond Howard was seen cheering on the Dores after their big win over Auburn.

David Rutz liveblogged the game, and you've got to love 5:22 p.m. ("Auburn is decimating the Commodores").

Jarred Amato is one of the hardest-working guys in Vandersports, and he gets quotes from 5 key Commodores (impressive stuff, in my opinion).

Rod Williams captures the sheer rapture that many of us Commodore fans felt (and I'll be honest: as I stood there watching the aftermath of victory, I, too, lost it and started crying for joy).

Jarred Amato also learned at least five things this weekend, and they include: Vandy fans care about football; Mac Adams is a baller; VU can win the East; BoJo (as people have taken to calling him affectionately) is the man; and that these Commodores "are on a mission" (Jarred has a list of his favorite signs from GameDay, but he also has a list of his favorite Facebook statuses (if you don't get it, don't worry) -- and we, here at S&S, do appreciate the shout-out, Jarred).

Seamus O'Toole wonders whether this is the biggest win in school history, and it's hard to argue that it's not (not impossible, but difficult).

Stanimal urges the Commodores back to work to avoid getting hit with a let-down game (like UT and Northern Illinois? or maybe Ole Miss and South Carolina?).

Commodore fans keep watch behind the ESPN GameDay set as it broadcast live from the Lower Quadrangle of the Commons, on Vanderbilt's Peabody campus.Photo by Whitney D.,
It's hard to beat this sign.

PhilipVU94 looks at ypg v. ypp and asks whether 2008 > 2005 -- oh, and he also gives some huge love to S&S (don't worry Philip, we managed to get our law degree, eat, and drink, and still post our Naval Intelligence feature -- it's all about time management).

Philip had some perspective from an Auburn fan, and it's interesting to note that the Auburnite in question ranked us no. 8 (in the country, not the SEC).

It seems Yew Tee fans are up in arms that the Nashville media is excited about VU's 5-0 start. Well what in the name of Fred Russell do they think it's been like for us for the past 75 years? You know, having to live through the UTennessean! I say, scorched-Earth policy. Now where did I put my "Phil Fulmer ate my other sign" sign at?

Philip also has some analysis of all those fans we welcome to the Vanderbilt bandwagon this weekend (you know, the ones who were "rocking 'the Dud'," as one of our football players said).

Philip is on a roll, arguing that it wasn't that Auburn had a bad offense, it was more than Vanderbilt made some stellar defensive adjustments -- and when you take into account that Vanderbilt has held ALL it's opponent's scoreless (except for 10 points in 5 games) in the second half, that starts to sound plausible).

Finally, Philip notes that our offense out-paced Auburn's, despite Auburn's supposedly SEC-leading defense (of course, maybe they are SEC-leading, and our offense, under Mac Adams, is that good).

Cocknfire has more on our offense and how it performed against the Tigers (no more smoke and mirrors, they say).

1 comment:

Jarred Amato said...

Had to give you props for the status. Definitely one of the most original.

And how much fun is to write about the Dores these days? Keep up the great work!