Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bad sign for the Commodores: They're favored to win

Quick! How many games was Vanderbilt favored to win last season?

Answer: Two.

I'm not kidding. The Commodores were actually underdogs to Rice and Miami-Ohio, but they were favored to beat Duke and Tennessee. We know how both those games came out.

Last season, Vandy was 5-0 and fans and players were confident they'd go down to Starkville and beat the Bulldogs, but the opening line was pick ’em. It was an ugly, disheartening game. I know because I was there and the cowbells are still ringing in my ears.

I don't know about you, but it always makes me nervous when Vandy is favored to win. Case in point: MTSU during Jay Cutler's final year.

Right now, Vegas has the Commodores anywhere between an 8.5- and 10-point favorite. That's bulletin board material for the Bulldogs, whose defense manhandled the Dores last year.

I think the game will be much closer than that. The Bulldogs still have big, fast, strong players. Maybe not as big, fast and strong as Auburn or LSU, but bigger, faster and stronger than the Commodores.

Hopefully we have the advantage because of our system, our coaches, our experience and the overall strength of our program. But we've still got to play well to win. As everybody knows by now, our receivers need to improve dramatically and we've got some depth issues in the secondary. As always, we've got to have the mentality of an underdog and play with a chip on our shoulder.

When we think we deserve to win, we rarely do. On Saturday, we must remember what happened last year in Starkville.


Anonymous said...

Weren't we favored to beat Miami (OH) last year?



even more anonymous said...

I can remember when MSU used to beat us by 42-0. As the song says, "Things have changed."


Yes, I remember that too. I was at the 1999 game when we were 3-1 and came out wearing gold jerseys and Jared McGrath fumbled on the first play. We lost 42-14. Woody, in fact, lost twice to Miss State and gave up 42 points each time. Bobby has given up 60 points to the Bulldogs in three contests, and is 1-2 against them.