Sunday, October 11, 2009

Commodores about to turn this ship around

Look at the above picture. Warren Norman's diving into the end zone in overtime to give the Commodores their first lead of the game — seven precious points, which the cadets would have had a tough time matching against the Vandy defense.

Wait! Look more closely. It's the ghost of Doc Blanchard, whose number had been retired about 90 minutes earlier. See him? No. 35? He's standing at attention. And he's creating an intergalactic force field around the end zone. And yes, the ball has popped into the air and in two seconds it will have rolled out of the back of the end zone for a touchback to set up Army's victory field goal.

I'm not going to analyze this game anymore. It was freaking Armed Forces Day at West Point. You take away any one of about 15 wacky plays and judgment calls and the Commodores win by a couple of touchdowns.

Sure, we had questionable playcalling and woeful offensive line play and 12 penalties for 99 yards and were minus 2 in turnover margin. We also had superior talent.

You play that game 10 more times and we win at least nine of them.

Which brings me to last year's Ole Miss game. The Rebels had far superior talent, including eventual first-round draft picks at left tackle and defensive tackle and way better offensive skill players and one of the top quarterbacks in the nation. They moved the ball up and down the field but lost the turnover battle and the red zone scoring battle and the battle for fewest penalties.

And so the Rebels lost. The fans were livid. Houston Nutt was a chump, etc. And look what happened the next week. Ole Miss beat Florida and went on to have a fantastic season.

I'm not suggesting you buy Cotton Bowl tickets, or make any bowl plans. But I think we're going to turn this around. We're going to be competitive here on out. How, I have no idea. But I believe it will happen.


even more anonymous said...

Nobody had better take this team for granted, starting with Georgia. Don't forget, we lost a couple of games we should have won last year!


I agree with you. Hopefully teams will take us for granted. The pressure is really on Mark Richt right now; losing to Vanderbilt has been the last straw for many an embattled SEC coach.

1050 lb. said...

I wish I shared the optimism that I've seen from the commenters on this site, but this stretch is far too reminiscent of the Watson Brown era. 2-12 looks like a very real possibility. It is my 25-year Vandy reunion this weekend, but since I live in Nashville, I have options. I'm going to my class party, but Saturday morning my church is hosting a speaker on Celtic spirituality. I figure if I go with Celtic spirituality instead of Vanderbilt football, there's a way better chance that I don't leave the building seething with anger, despondency and the Sisyphean sameness that comes with being a Vanderbilt football fan.


And chances are, when you're leaving the lecture on Celtic spirituality, that you won't be surrounded by a bunch of drunks yelling "Go Dawgs, sic'em...woof, woof, woof!"

As for the Sisyphean sameness, the boulder just keeps getting bigger — when Watson was coach the SEC was smaller and Vandy only played seven conference games instead of eight.