Kinda wish the field on the Star-V was black, buttoner than that there's not much to dislike here.
I hate to repeat my comment from the last QB article, but how on earth do you justify a QB with a 97.5 Total QB rating, a 76.1 completion percentage, and 0 interceptions thrown as anything less than fifth in this conference? By any measure, Shurmur’s clearly one of the best in the conference right now based on statistics. MTSU is a good team (just beat Syracuse on the road), and he carved them up like a Thanksgiving turkey in Game 1. He was even better in Game 2 (but against much weaker competition). To me, a fair ranking of QBs based on productivity and wins going into Week 3 would look like this: Patterson, Fitzgerald, Hurts, Shurmur, Bentley, Lock, Allen, Fromm, Stidham, Johnson, Etling, Dormady, UF rotation, A&M rotation.
It's frustrating. I know Vandy has a small fanbase and all, but that's all the more reason that the writers here should work hard to make sure they're as accurate and fair to each team as possible, and work hard to ensure that fans of other schools know what's going on at the smaller schools. I'd bet a decent chunk of change that no regular visitor to the site would have guessed Shurmur has the #1 QBR rating in the country through week two… but once you told them, I'm sure they'd wonder why you then rated that quarterback at 11/14 in the conference. I would expect to see that stat pushed pretty hard on an SEC Football site given how relatively weak QBs have been in this conference over the years compared to other Power 5 schools to help fight that narrative, but oh well.
How on earth do you justify a QB with a 217 QB rating, a 76.1 completion percentage, and 0 interceptions thrown as 11th in this conference? What have Johnson, Stidham, and Lock done this year to show they deserve to be higher? He's clearly one of the best in the conference right now, based on all we have to go on: statistics. MTSU is a good team (just beat Syracuse on the road), and he carved them up like a Thanksgiving turkey. You work pretty hard to justify him being 11th while also showing him leading the SEC in stats that actually matter. You can't use bad performances from last year to try and justify his low ranking—that wasn't done for any of the other QBs on the list. Sure we'll see how the next four weeks go, but at this point in the season I don't see how he isn't at minimum in the top five.
No mention of Kentucky or Vandy's Quarterbacks? Not even a name drop of either school? that seems very...odd. I can't get a good picture of what the East has to offer when you leave out 2/7 of the teams. I know that for Vandy, Kyle Shurmur returns after ending the season playing with much more confidence, having thrown for over 300 yards in the Ole Miss and Tennessee games last year. I don't know what UK's situation is, but that would have been useful insight.
Great article, but a few side comments detract from the article. 1. "and it was an important win for the Commodores, which faced the prospect of a 1-11 season with a loss." Why add this comment? It doesn't add anything, and just shows that you don't think we'll win any games this year. Clearly preseason projections don't mean anything (Hi, Auburn!), so there's no need to have this in here. 2. To answer "Why is this not a yearly rivalry?": Because Vanderbilt has more to lose by playing this game. MTSU isn't going to want to play in Nashville every year as a Group of 5 school. Given that Vanderbilt wants to get the top midstate recruits, risking a loss against another big school in the midstate is not the key to success. 3. This comment struck me as odd and unnecessary: "Besides, after the game, Vandy reacted in the locker room as if it had just beaten Tennessee or Florida." I would think most teams that win their first road game in two years and had a come-from-behind win in the fourth quarter would be celebrating like that after a win, regardless of the name of the other team. Other than that, some good stuff in here.
We turn those Red Zone INTs into TDs, and we're at worst 1-1, and possibly 2-0. We're getting there. It's just a tough schedule this year.
I didn't see the Demon Deacon, but Mr. C is present in the background. Is that who you were referring to?
The games selected for this is pretty lopsided. including series like Ark–Vandy, Mizzou–Ole Miss and UF–Ark that have 10 or less games played hardly qualifies for an important game to either fanbase. There are far more games between teams with a greater history that have a gap of greater than say, the 5 game difference between Arkansas and Vandy.
No… just no.
As a Vandy fan that was there, I can't believe it wasn't on that list either. Same with Jordan Matthew's amazing 4th and 18 catch against Wake Forest.
Doesn't really matter, as we don't play LSU this year.
I'm of mixed feelings about this—I think this was the worst possible outcome. For most of the East teams, this means nothing. For the West, we may see a minor bump up in games played, but most of them will most likely lead to the same subpar matchups as Alabama vs West Virginia as a neutral site game rather than an Alabama–Oregon home-and-home series. If it was mandated that two games had to be "Big 5" and that they had to be home-and-home, I'd feel much better about it. On the other hand, as a Vandy fan, I'm pleased with the short-term nature of the decision—we still have some team building to do, and the current setup allows us to continue to do that. For us, we would hardly be regularly favored in any SEC matchup that we don't already play annually other than maybe Mississippi State. Overall, bad decision. I think that a 6–1–1+2 (Big 5)would be best. That would still mean Vandy could schedule a team like Kansas, Duke, or Wake Forest while Georgia continues with Georgia Tech and Clemson (kudos to them, I think they did a really good job with that—everyone else follow their example!) etc. We'll see how this goes once we see how the Playoff committee handles things.
The fact that Jordan Matthews isn't on this list is unbelievable and unacceptable.
I see you're not bullish on Vandy this season, Jon. Which out of the three toss-ups do you think the 'Dores have the highest chance of dropping (and, as a corollary, highest chance for an upset)?
Not too shabby. But there are a few too many stripes for my taste.
As a diehard Commodore, I must commend you guys on the uniform update. These are well done, UT. I appreciate the texture around the numbers, as well as how the font of the numbers matches the stylization of the Power T. Unfortunately, it's not going to help you guys beat us this year. But at least you'll look good in the process. #AnchorDown
I think that the most winnable game out of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Texas A&M for us Commodores is definitely that Georgia game at home. Given how close the game was in 2011 and the drubbing we got in 2012, we'll be itching for some revenge at home. #AnchorDown!
I wholeheartedly agree with you, as a Commodore. Even though Ole Miss and Vanderbilt don't have the national name-brand recognition that the Big 6 (7 with TAMU) in the SEC have, this game is really going to define both of our seasons—one way or another. It's great for both of our programs that it's the season opener on ESPN. Thankfully, it's a home game, which means more exposure for our Commodores. Let's hope it's a competitive game (that ends in a Commodore victory)!
After the 'Dores obliterated the Vols in 2012 and the close loss at home back in 2011, the game this year is going to be really good this year. Too bad there's no trophy or name for the state rivalry.
I disagree. AJ McCarron to TJ Yeldon was a pretty good toss, but not the best offensive play. I'd remove it, and put this play in its place: Chris Boyd's catch for Vanderbilt against Tennessee (and the ESPN #1 play of the week):
I wouldn't put the Florida vs. LSU in the #5 slot. While it's always a good, even game, I wouldn't put it at the top. Looking purely at talent equality and "revenge" for the past couple of years, the Tennessee–Vanderbilt rivalry has heated up in the past couple years since James Franklin started coaching at Vanderbilt. Given Vandy's domination of the game in Nashville in 2012 and close loss in Knoxville in 2011, look for the Battle for Tennessee to be a real fight this year for both teams, especially as Butch Jones tries to prove himself in his inaugural year.
There's no way you can have an "SEC 5 hardest hits" list without including Commodore punter Carey Spear leveling the Volunteer returner: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCmL4JvetG8
Oh yeah, and Vanderbilt getting 9 wins for the first time in 100 years.