With the biggest sporting event in America (you know, the one that takes place every four years) now in the books, the good folks at S&S (whose Electoral College is tied 1-1 between Diezba and Mark) are finally ready to get back in the game.
The thing is, there wasn't a whole lot of excitement to get back to writing about the football game scheduled for a seven o'clock start on Dudley Field and ESPN2.
Yes, the Commodores are still poised to get the evil number between 5 and 7, and yes, the Commodores are still (in November?!) fighting for a piece of first place in the SEC East, but everybody "knows" that we're going to get killed this weekend.
To say the least (see our weekly "Pick 'em tally" below), expectations are low for the Black and Gold this week.
But despite abominable play in two out of the last three games (Mississippi State and Duke being the abominable games), the Commodores have a chance to win (not just achieve a "moral victory" of avoiding blowout) if they play to their potential and catch some breaks here and there.
Whether the grid-iron Commodores miraculously acquire a win against the Gators, there's a great chance to see Black and Gold victory in Memorial Gym this Saturday, as Kevin Stallings takes his 2008-09 Commodore team out for a test-drive against Alabama-Huntsville.
And all that's what's making news in Commodore Country:
Ray Glier gives George Smith national exposure in the big Grey Lady (it's hard not to feel a connection with George's story, isn't it?).
David Wunderlich explores Vanderbilt's chances to beat Florida through orange-and-blue glasses (but he is fair, and it's a good read).
Jeremy Fowler has a quick look at the match-up between the Gators and Commodores (and helpfully suggests that we do not allow the Gators to score first).
Raymond Gilstrap previews the UAH-VU hoops match-up in the hilariously named Alabama-Huntsville student newspaper, The Exponent (wouldn't guess this was a NASA town at all, would you).
Apparently the AP is dissing Mac Adams with their short-'n-sweet Commodore report article (that's the only story line they could come up with? really?).
Maurice Patton has noticed that our early season luck has run out, with the lede about "everything going right" then and everything going wrong now (and you know, when our turnover margin that everybody was talking about flips from a key asset to a key concern, it's to argue with his logic).
Michael DiRocco raises the spectre of that number, which I'm officially refusing to say for the rest of football season unless and until we attain it (you know, the one that's > 5 & < 7).
David Boclair has definitely noticed our improving defense, but I'm afraid he's focusing on it mainly because of our offensive woes (and they sure have been woeful).
Christopher Yazber reminds us that even tourist-hyped Floridians can get excited for the Music City (he also picks UF 17-42).
Joseph Goodman joins Mr. Yazber in calling this one for the Gators, but why in the world do these Florida people keep calling this our "biggest game of the year"? I'm sorry folks, but that's just not the case -- we don't have anything to lose against y'all, and a whole heap to gain.
The Bull Gator picks the Orange and Blue by a score of either 10-63 or 24-38 (depending on whether we do well and whether Florida does poorly -- either way, he sees a Gator win).
Dimon Kendrick-Holmes calls our offense offensive, and with the stats he looks at, I agree (wholeharted agreement -- Ted Cain, please do something, or we're going to have to restructure the Offense -- ask Todd Turner about how that'll turn out for you).
Dimon also notices that Urban Meyer is pulling a Spurrier and talking up his opponent (does anybody in the world really believe that Urban doesn't think that Florida won't walk all over Vanderbilt?).
Dimon takes a look at why D.J. Moore is getting national recognition from the Jim Thorpe Award people (you know, the people who pick the best defensive back -- and he joins four other SEC backs out of 13 total).
Dimon agrees with Reshard that he should stop talking and start playing (me three, Dimon).
PhilipVU94 keeps breaking his self-imposed exile to rank the SEC in football (he drops the Dores to no. 7).
Peter LeTarte has a great naval allusion in his Gator-Commodore preview piece for the Hustler (I guess Jarred and company were watching election returns like I was).
David Shochat showcases Chris Marve, the hero of the Ole Miss game who stripped the ball to save the win (he's a redshirt freshman for those playing at home).
The Hustler power rankings keep VU no. 6, in the category, "We should be going to a bowl..." (all I can say is, "Shoulda, woulda, coulda").
Aram H has a great recap of VU baseball players in the major leagues (topping his list, of course, is the first Commodore I can remember playing in the World Series, Mr. David Price).
Matt Zemek has some election references of his own in his preview of the game.
Nik Rodewald tell us the keys to the game, and they're not that big of a surprise (hint: 28 points by us, special teams rebound, defense remain steady).
Pete Fox sees more offensive offense when he picks UF 3-38 (not an unrealistic score, to my mind).
Seamus O'Toole thinks we have a shot, and he identifies four factors (in what clearly demonstrates that Seamus is in law school): turnovers, Ted Cain/Mac Adams, special teams, and red zone battle (interesting stat of the day: Florida is no. 1 in the USA for red zone offense; VU is no. 1 in the USA for red zone defense -- who knew?).
Bobby O'Shea has Vandereaction to Phil Fulmer's
Jim Butler starts looking at Basketball since football may not be that enjoyable this week (I, myself, can't wait to get into Memorial again).
David Boclair has a round-up of the news on VU hoops' men's and women's teams return to the hardwood (women play today at 7 pm, men play Sunday at 4 pm; both in Memorial Gym).
Women's hoops is back in the Top 15, ranked no. 12 in the first pre-season poll of the year (Yew Tee is no. 6, the SEC's highest-ranked team).
Erik Brady has a typical Stallings quote in his USA Today article about the upcoming men's basketball season (you just know that "no joke, Sherlock" line got edited before being printed, didn't it).
PICK 'EM TALLY (football): Vanderbilt to win, 0; Florida to win, 4.