Saturday, November 1, 2008


Hey, did you realize that today each of Vanderbilt's four remaining opponents play a team the Commodores have already faced this season?

I know, I know, your team's not necessarily gonna beat a team that lost to a team you beat — or lose to a team that beat a team that lost to a team you beat, or whatever.

But it could mean something. And anyway, it's kind of interesting. So here we go:

GEORGIA (7-1, 4-1 SEC) VS. FLORIDA (6-1, 4-1 SEC)
We know what happened in Athens. The Commodores played fairly well but the Bulldogs had the superior talent. None of that will mean anything today. Richt plays it close to the vest against teams he knows he can overpower. Expect him to unleash his Dawgs with lots of offensive fireworks, defensive trickery, some sort of unusual uniforms, a team celebration... wait that's already been done. Meanwhile, the Gators like to take weaker teams to the woodshed (63-5, anyone?).

KENTUCKY (5-3, 1-3 SEC) AT MISS STATE (3-5, 1-3 SEC)
Now this should be interesting. The Bulldogs outslugged Vanderbilt in Starkville but haven't done much since then except beat MTSU and now they're taking the wraps (and the redshirt) off a freshman playmaker. Meanwhile, the Wildcats are smarting from the 63-5 smackdown by the Gators and are benching their starting quarterback and handing the keys to the offense to a rookie wide receiver. If the Bulldogs can take down the Cats, it should at least make Dores fans feel better about going to Lexington. If not...

DUKE (4-3, 1-2 ACC) AT WAKE FOREST (4-3, 2-2 ACC)
Another very interesting matchup. The Blue Devils visited some fellow scholars with a supposedly better team (that would be us) and won. Now they're visiting some more fellow scholars with a supposedly better team, and one that's accomplished what they aspire to, an ACC championship. If Duke wins, it'll ease a bit of the pain from last week's homecoming debacle and make us feel better about the upcoming game with the Demon Deacs (what's with all the devils?). If Wake Forest wins, it'll give all those internet chatters who've supposedly gone to Dudley Field for 97 years straight years but are giving up the Commodores cold-turkey something else to steam about.

With the last three losses, Commodore fans are starting to wonder whether their team can actually take the boys in orange. But the Vols keep losing and keep giving us hope. Meanwhile, the Gamecocks have looked pretty good and are back to beating the teams they're supposed to, and they're supposed to beat UT. But if UT upsets the Gamecocks in Columbia, it would just increase the sense of impending doom Commodores fans have had since last weekend.

Here's another one, too, between teams Vanderbilt has already played and beaten:

AUBURN (4-4, 2-3 SEC) AT OLE MISS (4-4, 2-3 SEC)
Vanderbilt barely beat both of these teams. And I mean barely. So the Commodores look fine even if one of these teams opens up a can of you-know-what on the other. If Auburn loses, though, it's bowl hopes are likely crushed and Vanderbilt's victory in Nashville has even less of the luster it once did. On the other hand, if Ole Miss can blow the Tigers out of Oxford, it makes the Rebels' huge upset in Gainesville look like less of a fluke.

No comments: