Thursday, September 1, 2011

Calm down, people: Let's just beat Elon and move on

Apparently, Elon coach Jason Swepson told a North Carolina television station that "the good thing is that Elon knows how win games and Vanderbilt is still trying to figure that out."

I've read some online comments from Vanderbilt fans who've responded with incredulity ("How dare they say we don't know how to win!"), insults ("Have you seen how unathletic the Elon players look on film?") and plans of vengeance ("No score is too high, let's make them pay!").

Good grief. If our team needs a little bulletin board material, so be it. But our experience as perennial underdogs should teach our fans to be gracious to other underdogs, before and after we whip them. True, Vandy has struggled to win, and yes, Elon has a nice FCS program. We are an SEC team and SEC teams are always expected to beat FCS programs. I applaud the Phoenix or the Fighting Christians or whatever they are these days for believing they can win.

We prove absolutely nothing by beating Elon by 10 touchdowns. Hammering those guys won't make games with Ole Miss or UConn or any of our remaining opponents any easier.

Two years ago, we destroyed Western Carolina in our season opener. Remember that? We had two true freshmen, Warren Norman and Zac Stacy, who rushed for more than 100 yards and another true freshman, Eric Samuels, looked like a superstar. We won 1 of our next 11 games.

Oh, and last year, remember the Eastern Michigan game? We destroyed another FBS team. John Cole looked like Jerry Rice. We didn't win another game for the rest of the year, and finished with yet another 2-win season.

Yes, I want our starters to play well, put the game away early in the second half, and get our young guys some experience. Franklin has said himself that he hopes he can play a lot of freshmen in this game because he believes it'll help them next season when they're full-time players.

That's why I want to jump on Elon early. Not so I can gloat about a victory over somebody we should beat handily.

What does it say about a team that beats a team with considerably less talent and then jumps around like they've just won the Super Bowl? I don't want to root for a team like that.

We're an SEC team. SEC teams take care of business against FCS teams, and then they move on to the really challenging opponents on their schedule.

Do we really need motivation to play Elon?

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