Thursday, July 16, 2009

The best Vanderbilt football team hasn't played yet

You know what some Vandy fans are talking about over at

The greatest Vanderbilt teams of all time.

Here's one guy's list, in order of greatness: 1897, 1910, 1921, 1922 and 1915.

Good Lord. Are we really harkening back to Commodore teams from 100 years ago?

Here's my vote: How ’bout the Vanderbilt team of 2009? That's the only one I care about right now.

Speaking of living for today, JC Shurburtt over at ESPN has a great article about why the Commodores are putting together such a great recruiting class.

His reasons:

1. Vandy players have a chance to be heroes instead of waiting in line. Listen to Kyle Woestmann, the DT from Marietta who turned down an offer from Georgia: "I am not saying that I could not have played at Georgia. I've grown up in Atlanta and I love Georgia to death, but I feel like I have a chance to come in and play as a true freshman, if I don't have to redshirt and get bigger. If I do redshirt, I can be a four-year starter there."

2. Bobby Johnson is a great coach and he's got great assistant coaches. Woestmann says Johnson and his coaches "are some of the finest in the nation." Logan Stewart, an offensive lineman from South Carolina who turned down an offer to be a Gamecock, says he chose Vanderbilt because Robbie Caldwell "is one of the best offensive line coaches."

3. Nashville is an actual city that has more to offer than, say, the Loveliest Village on the Plains. "The city of Nashville is a great city," says linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator Warren Belin. "It's a dynamic and progressive city, but it never loses that hometown feel."

4. Oh yeah, kids can get a good education at Vanderbilt. "Vanderbilt as a university speaks for itself," Belin says. "It's a top 20-ranked school. The academics are a little tougher, but we've had guys go on to the NFL from here who have also left with a Vanderbilt degree."

5. While at Furman, Johnson and assistant coach Ted Cain and Johnson gained valuable experience recruiting scholar-athletes in the Atlanta area for Furman. So far this season, Cain has gotten verbal commitments for Vandy from five Atlanta kids.

6. While following UGA, prospects from the state of Georgia have watched Vanderbilt challenge the Bulldogs and become more competitive in the SEC. "The student-athletes in that state get to see a program that's on the rise in the Southeastern Conference," Belin says. "As a staff, we do a great job there, and will continue to do a great job there."

That should be enough reasons to stop talking about the stellar Commodore Eleven of 1897. Right?


Bob Loblaw said...

I think the topic is a tough call. It's certainly easy to pick the teams with the best records as "the best ever", but if those teams never played in the era where a forward pass was legal, it's hard to make them stand up. I'm conflicted.

History is history, though, and if you've got a doughnut in the loss column, that's a great season.


I say if somebody saw the team of 1897 play and he's posting about it, then I'll defer to him, in addition to being impressed with his mastery of technology at such an old age.

Bob Loblaw said...

True, but I'm pretty sure "ever" includes 1897.


You, my friend, sound like a student of history. And semantics. I'm just not sure those guys were actually playing football. The goal posts on the goal line were cool, though.

1050 lb. said...

Apples and oranges. Think about the competition the 1897 team had to play. My guess is that none of those schools had athletic budgets to speak of. From my perspective, anything in the pre-Bear Bryant era doesn't even belong in the same conversation as the college football that's been played for the past 40 or 50 years. And don't even think about head-to-head matchups. Even the sainted 1982 Commodore team of my era would get their brains beaten in by any Vandy team of the past 10 years. OK, maybe they'd beat one of Woody's teams after Woody tried a failed fake punt late in the game...