Recent Comments
I love the concept. Duke didn't completely melt-down in the first round and beat up on Oral Roberts so now, they're a favorite. Oral Roberts didn't beat a tourney team this year and got run off the court to the tune of 40 points by Houston, early. I know Abmas had a hell of a tournament two years ago, but they aren't an impressive team. Duke got the worst of the 12 seeds and weren't going to be surprised by the under-sized Abmas. For my money, I would take Purdue (who destroyed them in the OOC), Memphis, Marquette, and Tennessee (if they actually get some decent shooting) over Duke... And that's just in the East. The ACC was bad this year. Full stop.
Wouldn't say Southern Miss is much worse than Drake. It was also the second game of the season. State lost by 34 @ Tennessee. Road losses in conference play happen all the time. Arkansas lost to LSU, doesn't matter at all, and they're still living off their OOC results. Again, the resume does have a few bad losses I'm not saying State should be out, moreso that if State is in, we should be in ahead of them given the easiest of comparisons: head-to-head and conference record. Conference record should be one of THE most important factors in getting an at-large. In-conference games are big-boy basketball.
I think the NET can be useful in evaluating teams with similar records from different conferences, but an over-reliance on metrics clouds something completely transparent with a quick look at the SEC results. Vandy beat State head-to-head, finished three games ahead of them in SEC-play, had a tougher SEC-slate playing Kentucky twice instead of Missouri and Florida twice instead of Ole Miss. And Vandy made it further in the SEC Tournament. The conference slate isn't close. State has no legitimate argument to be in over Vanderbilt. I don't care what happened in December. Further, Rutgers got in over TAMU (42 NET) and other bubble teams last year. Rutgers basically had the exact same NET as Vanderbilt.
Stackhouse had the same conference record with less talent. Vanderbilt was picked below Missouri with the same conference record. Vandy was left for dead after getting eviscerated by Alabama only to win eight of their last nine. He won at Kentucky and against Mississippi State to end his season without Robbins (who was also injured during the middle of conference play as well). What am I missing?
"A humble 5-3." Well, look at the schedule. Nobody in the SEC has played anything close to the schedule Vanderbilt has thus far. TCU/Okie State/Texas in opening week. A three-game set with top-20 UCLA (which they won) last week. Mid-week losses happen to everybody, so I'm willing to overlook the loss to UCA (where they threw their Friday guy to close out a one-run win). Give us a weekend series with Charleston Southern, Western Michigan, or Delaware, and the offensive numbers would likely look a bit better. Offense will be the weak point for the Vandyboys (granted, we've eclipsed 10 runs in four of our first nine games, twice against legit NCAA-T teams), but giving up 4 total runs over the weekend to a potent UCLA offense demonstrates how dominant the arms, especially the starting rotation, can be. Maldonado, back in his late-game role, looks like one of the filthiest high-leverage/closers in the NCAA.
Oats won't suspend Miller, why would he? He's one of the few guys on the team Oats can trust to come through in a shoot-out.
Vastine showed some good ability with the bat accounting for almost all of the team's real offense, but the rest of the line-up... Ugh. The pitching staff is way too deep and too talented to be giving up eleven runs, as well. Some of that is on the coaching staff for leaving Hliboki in too long. Enrique Bradfield has to find a way to get on base for the 2-3-4 guys. Dude changes games and he was 0-fer with no free passes (even the RBI was a blooper just deep enough to score from third). I'll chalk it up to opening the season against a team good enough to make it to Omaha in what's essentially a game in their back-yard. Vandy could very well not win a game this weekend and lose it's week two set against UCLA and still develop enough to be a top-end team in the SEC. Going to have to find some offense. Granted, four runs most Fridays with a projected first-rounder in 2024 is supposed to be good enough. Hopeful to see a better performance all-around against the Pokes.
Which begs the question... Why, in this day and age of instantly available information, video feeds/camera work that rival what can be seen on the field by the naked eye, and the multi-billion dollar enterprise that is the NFL, can't officials just get these plays right with replay? That incompletion changes the entire complexion of the game. Fourth down, turnover on downs, San Francisco not immediately chasing the lead. If no official had a good enough visual to not rule this a definitive catch (which if somebody did, they should be fired), then you slow up play for 1-2 minutes, allow a replay official to review the play, and make the correct call. I'm aware of the rules, and the officials were simply following the rules, but it's almost like the NFL and other sports leagues like the NBA (where coaches get one challenge whether it's successful or not) don't want the RIGHT calls to be made, rather they want the illusion that things are being called correctly. The whole human-error in officiating is just nuts in a league worth 132 billion dollars. It's not like making games an extra 5-10 minutes longer is really changing anything. Just run more adds for Lays and Bud Light.
While the Robbins foul obviously set him over the edge, the officiating all night was horrendous. VCU basically fouling on every possession and no call. The technical foul was ludicrous by itself, but if the officials had been marginally cromulent at some time during the evening, I doubt Stack loses his mind at the call. I would not want to anger Stackhouse. I'm reminded of the Eddie Murphy line, 'he don't look like he can't fight, he look like he can whip some ass.'
This logic would work if you weren't looking at a bunch of one-loss teams. By that logic, the loser of OSU/UM shouldn't get in; okay, I agree with that. But then who does join the winner of OSU/UM, UGA, and TCU (assuming they all win out). Well, it's got to be a one-loss team. Do we put in Clemson with a horrible loss to Notre Dame? Do we put in USC who lost to Utah (cough, Florida) and haven't beaten anybody else of note? Or Tennessee whose one loss was to the best team in the country, on the road, and has two top-ten wins? I'll let you decide that one.
Okay, you do remember UT beat LSU by 27 in Baton Rouge? That performance is starting to look like the second or third-best win any team has this year behind UGA's wins over UT and Oregon.
The ACC must have been on the phone to those officials in the Clemson game at half-time yesterday. The "late-hit" on Klubnik was a ridiculous decision that really altered the game and gave Clemson life. The fact that Dino Babers wasn't losing his mind on the sidelines after that call was, well, odd. And it likely hurt his team because on the ensuing drive Shrader gets hit out of bounds (really not bad in most cases, but just as bad as the previous drive) and no call. He should have been in the officials faces telling them how bad it was and how anything close on his QB better be called. Oh, and the PI on the last Clemson drive on 3rd and 11. Basically no contact, definitely not enough on a hope-and-a-prayer pass, and Clemson awarded 3 points. I completely agree that Clemson doesn't belong anywhere near the play-off, and if they get in by running through the garbage that is the ACC and end up playing one of the two SEC teams, they'll get crucified.
Tennessee beat Bama without their best WR and really did so convincingly. Hooker's weird inability to hit wide-open guys is still a massive head-scratcher. Bama's secondary couldn't contain the Tennessee wide-outs. Hyatt was a complete terror. UT should have run the ball more, in my opinion, but I get it... Use Hooker and his RPO abilities. Tennessee/UGA is now the game, but I don't think it really matters as long as UT looks cromulent. Vols lose a close one, they're better than USC or Michigan. Tennessee is in the CFP as long as they're 11-1 or 12-1. Vols are a top-3 team. I'd put them number one after the last two weeks. That's a Vandy grad saying that.
"A suspiciously high percentage" went to one receiver. I think the fact that AJ Swann only has one SEC-calibre WR, minimal TE help, a bogus OL, and one decent running back to help him makes his performance against NIU better not worse.
At least Penn State has played and beaten two power-5 teams on the road. Gushing over Michigan at this point is ridiculous. They've beaten Colorado State, Hawaii, and UConn. Just for everyone's edification, those are three of the five teams Vanderbilt has beaten in the past two years (including that demolition of the Rainbow Warriors earlier this year). Ohio State, if you ask me, is getting the benefit of the name on the jersey. They've got some dudes, they always do, but they struggled with a bad Notre Dame team in the shoe and were giving up big chunk plays to Toledo last night. Bama may not be the elite team they've been in the past, and UGA looks like the best team by a mile. However, I'd take Bama over Ohio State or Michigan at this point. No way the Big 10 teams get into the Playoff. Have these guys been watching what the Big 10 has done in the Playoffs of late?
Serious question... When a team almost blocks two punts, does a head coach or a coordinator or the water-boy or somebody with a team-colored shirt tell the punter to get the ball out a little quicker? Or does the punter just have to use that organ in his skull to get the message himself.
I would say I get tired of these types of games, but Bama plays Tejas next week and UGA just molly-womped Oregon. First weeks are supposed to be full of great teams beating nothings and making us wonder who might have a chance. Utah State would pass that test in most years... However, I miss the days when somebody from outside the top-10 had the talent to beat the 'coaches' or the 'AP's' top-10. Bama and UGA and then a precipitous downturn to Ohio State... And then well, somebody save college football. It's supposed to be an escape from reality, not a 1% has everything and we're all f-c-d-. I'd kill for a Nebraska, Penn State, USC, or gulp (points gun in mouth) Tennessee revival. Just to shake up the powers of the last decade.
As much as I would love to look at this differently, this was a massive beatdown of a team that will likely be in competition for the worst team in the FBS. Obviously, we lost to an FCS team last year and nearly lost to one of the worst FBS teams in the country in UConn last year, so it's definitely an improvement. However, outside of Elon and possibly NIU, I don't see Vanderbilt's rushing attack being anywhere near this potent against the rest of the schedule. Incremental progress is great, and I think this shows that the coaching staff is decent, the kids on the program have been active in the weight room, and there's a general buy-in on the program right now; however, I'm not taking this as anything more than it should be... A win over a bad program. As a Vandy fan, I've been on the other side of these beat-downs. And it's not always the likes of the Bamas and Georgias. Take care of business against Elon and prove something against Wake Forest and at NIU... Then I might be willing to beat my chest a little bit.
Some seasons, these "regional" decisions just make no sense. Vanderbilt -> Blacksburg, Gonzaga -> Palo Alto, Texas State -> Corvallis. I'd say send Gonzaga to Corvallis, but they did play four times this year, already. It makes no sense to tell a team in Washington to travel to Virginia and a team in Tennessee to travel to Oregon when you have better match-ups that require far less travel. I get that sometimes you HAVE to send teams to geographically odd decisions, but sometimes it's just asinine. I don't hold out much hope regardless for my Dores, but this just seems like a decision that could have been avoided.
Vitello's comments were pretty funny, but it's also pretty funny that he's apparently so out of touch that he let a bunch of kids have illegal bats ready for tonight... Guarantee Corbin's ship is tighter. The dude will bench kids for not going to class or brushing their choppers. There's a reason Vandy's program has been the best over the last decade. At some point our luck this year will change. The Pokes and Carolina were, in large part, hard-luck series. Our line-up top-to-bottom is just begging to be elite. Tater and Carter at the bottom are elite batters waiting to break out. Tennessee deserved the win tonight, but between Carter Holton and Patrick Reilly starting in the next two days... I'm still very optimistic for a series win. Should be fun games the next two days.
Yeah, the dude who got housed by UNLV at home in 2019 and followed that up with a winless season is one of the better coaches in the entire conference. Can I buy whatever you're smoking?
Did you watch the regionals and supers? Kopps was the only pitcher on the staff Van Horn had any trust in. Kopps probably won't end up being a high-level professional, but he was a disgustingly filthy college pitcher, at least last year. His usage rate was ridiculous. Kopps won ya'll a ton of games. An absolute shut-down bullpen arm that can go multiple innings and just doesn't have bad outings doesn't exist in the college game from year-to-year.
Well, I can think of one pretty big reason why this is different... Stacy hasn't played in the NFL since 2015. Ray Rice, on the other hand, was still an active player who had made three pro-bowls and two all-pro teams, led the league in yards from scrimmage a few years prior. He was one of the more popular players in the NFL when he sucker-punched his fiancee and dragged her off an elevator. The general public doesn't really care about Zac Stacy.
Tennessee fans should feel disgusted by the behavior of the people who threw garbage on the field... But the SEC has to stop throwing its own garbage on the field as well... Marc Curles and his crew should not be allowed to continue officiating games. They are bad... Hell, the SEC has admitted Curly and company are bad when they suspended him almost 15 years ago for poor officiating... Gotta stop the old boys club and get rid of these cancerous officials... You know you're going to see some bad calls when you see his ugly face.
First win in two years, first road win since 2018, first win of the Clark Lea era. Last SEC team that went to Colorado State came home with a loss. Overcame a 14-0 deficit and a first 20 minutes that made Vanderbilt look hopelessly lost. I would say it's great for the kids in the program, but it was absolutely necessary for Lea. Sure, Vanderbilt still has UConn on the docket, and they're likely the worst program in FBS, but losing streaks are insidious. There was a distinct chance Lea might lose the locker room with a loss in Fort Collins as the next two games are Stanford and Georgia... No guarantee that Vanderbilt would even recover enough from the start to get the win against UConn. Long way to go and CSU may be a bad team, but ending an eleven game losing streak, getting a road win, and being able to make an in-game adjustment to turn a game around and gut out a win are all promising signs. A good win.
Look, I hate this for NC State, but as a guy who got COVID as a pretty young age (early 30s), I can tell you that for some, there are long-term ramifications beyond the symptoms of the flu... And yes, some people, even younger people, do end up in the hospital. I know somebody who died while dealing with COVID. It is serious, and at the end of the day, it's silly to on one hand say, "The NCAA is greedy and money-grubbing and doesn't care about it's student-athletes," while at the same time saying, "The NCAA is ridiculous to cancel a big-money game like this at the recommendation of local health officials because who cares if the kids get sick." That, as we say, is a savage hypocrisy.
Jennings is an immature thug. He also doesn't get the benefit of the doubt End of story. He bad-mouthed the previous coaching staff so ardently that he got kicked off the team (because his minutes were clearly dictated by the coaches lying to him and not his sense of entitlement or work ethic or his weed habit). All you have to do is look at the transcript of his rant back in 2017 to understand the attitude that provoked this outburst today. If Pruitt has any integrity, he just needs to boot that jamoke. He's a senior. You're not going to miss him at this juncture. He helped win you some games this year, but he seems to be a real POS. I feel like Jennings would be genuinely gutted to miss the Vols' bowl-game, so it's a real punishment. You can celebrate and talk trash all you want, but when you're savagely ripping a guys helmet off and directing a spike at his head, that's just ridiculous. I agree completely with DJ Shockley that it was one of the dirtiest and lowest things I've seen this year.
What the hell are you talking about? The past two coaches completely disrupt your stated timeline. Franklin was much improved in year one, improved in two, and sustained in three... He left. Mason failed in year one, improved in year two, and reached a bowl in year three. Fell off a cliff in year four before getting back to bowl elgibility in year 5. Year six is the edge of the cliff, and it's completely unexplainable with competent QB development and a head coach who isn't clueless when it comes to hiring an OC. I also think it's silly to call Vanderbilt the worst job in the Power-5. The expectations are so laughably low, that you can have five straight losing seasons (Mason), and get a contract extension that likely will have Vandy paying him 10 million dollars to leave. That does not sound like a bad job. In the end, I agree that we cannot get high-level candidates or keep them at Vanderbilt, but why would you continue to pay Derek Mason millions of dollars to run this circus. It's David Williams fault he's extended... But it would be same old Vanderbilt to just say, it's too expensive to buy him out now, who cares it's football. You go out and you try to find some young coach and you take a chance... If things aren't better in three years who cares... Can it get much worse than losing to UNLV at home and a likely 2/3-win season?