The James Franklin era of Vanderbilt Football (nickname op. -- I'm taking a cue from The Simpson's and going with "The Bloodening" -- your suggestions extremely welcome in the comments) opens with an initial target of Elon (Codename: Phoenices) of the FCS. This is an intelligence report of our current assignment.
Football specifics after the jump.
Most of this was taken straight from the Elon game notes. The information is theirs. We are just saving you from the PDF monsters.
- This is Elon's first ever football game against an SEC opponent. (This is read: "the money was right for this matchup to occur"). College Football 101: You pay opponents to take losses. Otherwise we're getting screwed.
- Jason Swepson is the 20th head coach in Elon football history. Elon is 11-8 in the debut game of the previous 19. Through deduction, we can conclude that none of those previous head coaches made their debut against an SEC opponent.
- This will be Elon's 4th ever game against an FBS opponent (South Florida in 2007, Wake Forest in 2009, Duke in 2010). There is no mention of victories or records against FBS opponents, so I presume they are 0-3 in those games. Futhermore, we can deduce that Elon has made steady improvement to its football program over the last half decade (and probably longer).
- Elon has had four consecutive winning seasons, which is their best run since they had nine straight from 1980-1988.
- Elon QB Tyler Smith transferred from Maryland last season. Presumably he left due to the coaching change circumstances and the fact that Maryland has two strong quarterbacks on its roster, including Danny O'Brien, a former freshman all-american and ACC "Rookie of the Year."
- Michael Hazel, VU's Director of Football Operations, is a former Phoenices football player. While there, he earned his bachelor's degree in 2001 and his MBA in 2004.
- Elon has played three times on September 3rd in its history. They have lost all three games (19-34 v. Winston-Salem St. in 1988, 24-29 at West Georgia in 1994, 10-17 v. Coastal Carolina in 2005).
- THERE IS ONLY ONE - "As there can only be one Phoenix at any time, please refer to the Phoenix in the singular." HOW DARE YOU COME INTO THIS OFFICE AND BARK AT ME LIKE SOME LITTLE JUNKYARD DOG. I WILL NOT. PHOENICES.
- Elon is not the University of Phoenix. It is, however, THE UNIVERSITY OF PHOENICES!
01 - The number of career starts by Phoenices QBs. (Thomas Wilson v. The Citadel in 2010)
40 / 48 - Elon's red zone scoring percentage last season.
+45 - Elon's cumulative first quarter scoring margin in 2010.
100.00 - Yards per game (YPG) average for WR Aaron Mellette in 2010, ranking him 6th in FCS; Mellette's 7.82 receptions per game (RPG) average put him 3rd overall in FCS.
1909 - The first year of Elon's football program.
477-392-18 - Elon's all-time record (0.548)
13 - Years at NCAA Division I
65-70 - NCAA Division I record (0.481)
09 - Years in the Southern Conference (SoCon)
43-48 - Overall record since joining SoCon (0.473)
27-33 - All-time SoCon record (0.450)
11,250 - Capacity at Rhodes Stadium
Very Brief Scouting
Elon runs multiple offensive sets and their basic defense is 4-3. They return six starters on offense and five on defense.
They have two players to watch -- wide receiver Aaron Mallette and defensive back Blake Thompson. Each was named to watch lists as the top player at their position by College Football Performance Awards prior to this season.
They are replacing their four-year starting quarterback Scott Riddle. Jr. Thomas Wilson will start the season under center. Over his career, he has appeared in 12 games, passing for 443 yards and two touchdowns.
Jr. DB David Wood has joined the team after spending two years on the Phoenices baseball team. He is also expected to return kicks.
31 - Kierre Brown = Kee-air
47 - Michael Crispi = Kriss-pee
49 - Jeremy Inglesi, Jr. = In-glay-see
61 - Brian Gerwig = Grr-wig
66 - Drew Ferkol = Fur-kul
69 - Mark Rehbein = Ray-bine
71 - Austin Sowell = Sowl
81 - Rasaun Rorie = Ruh-shawn Roar-ee
82 - David Goltz = Golts
88 - Andre Labinowicz = Luh-bin-o-wits
89 - Tario Hunter = Tair-ee-o
90 - Olufemi Lamikanra = Oh-lu-fehm-ee Lah-mah-kan-rah
OC - Chris Pincine = Pin-since
OL - Ron Mattes = Mat-us
Bulletin Board Material
Pay attention to the last minute or so... (H/T Golden Gov in this premium VandySports.com thread)