Wednesday, August 20, 2008


As we head into another college football season, seemingly every expert and fan in America is assuming that every SEC team on Vanderbilt's schedule will get an automatic victory against the Commodores. And I can see why. Consider that Vanderbilt has:

- No starting quarterback six days before its season opener.

- A pedestrian bunch of running backs led by a guy who looks like Harry Potter.

- An untested group of wide receivers... and no Earl Bennett, who now plays for Da Bears.

- No returning starters on the offensive line.

- Only one returning starter on defense who isn't a defensive back.

- A talented, deep, experienced defensive backfield. Which means teams will run the ball.

- An inexperienced defensive line with little depth.

- Some talented linebackers who've never played a college game.

- Oh, and a starting kicker who missed the game-winner against Tennessee and is looking over his shoulder at a freshman.

Not exactly awe-inspiring. But there are an awful lot of redshirt freshmen and third-year sophomores who can play football. Unquestionably, Bobby Johnson has dramatically improved the Commodores' talent and depth and discipline over the past six seasons. That doesn't mean they'll beat Auburn or Tennessee or Georgia or Florida -- or even Ole Miss or Wake Forest -- this season, but it does mean those other teams shouldn't assume a victory just yet.

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