Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Vanderbilt's four top sports programs built on hope

Well, the Commodores just lost to Louisville 5-3. Got to say that I don't feel the same despair I do after we lose in football or, on a smaller scale, men's basketball.

Anyway, thought I'd recap how our four marquee teams performed this season. All our men's teams were very young, green and not expected to do anything. Football, of course, was the biggest surprise, men's baseball had the strongest finish, and men's basketball alternatively built and dashed everybody's hopes. And women's basketball tasted the most success, as expected.

Preseason outlook: SEC's worst talent and a very weak offense
Predicted finish: Dead last
Regular season: An unbelievable start and a middle-of-the-pack finish in the SEC
Postseason: A rousing victory in the Music City Bowl
Early forecast for next season: Hopeful, with so many returning starters

Preseason outlook: One of the nation's youngest teams
Predicted finish: Toward bottom of SEC, possible NIT bid
Regular season: Won some we shouldn't have, but lost a lot we could have won; bottom third of SEC
Postseason: Typical miserable performance in the SEC tourney, no post-season invitations
Early forecast for next season: Hopeful, with so much young talent and one of the top recruits in the nation

Preseason outlook: One of the nation's top teams, with two star seniors
Predicted finish: Top of SEC, Final Four
Regular season: Injuries contributed to some bumps in the road, but finished strong
Postseason: SEC tournament win, nice run deep into the NCAAs
Early forecast for next season: A contender, but won't reach last year's heights

Preseason outlook: Huge losses to pro baseball, a talented but young and green team
Predicted finish: Middle of the pack
Regular season: Barely made SEC tournament
Postseason: Surprising trip to SEC finals, NCAA tourney with a decent showing
Early forecast for next season: Even with possible loss of Mike Minor to draft, should be even better next season

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