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Bold Prediction: Recent Struggles Will Make Vanderbilt Dangerous

Ok, I admit that line of thinking isn't really bold or even original. In the past, the teams that Stallings has coached that finished the best have had some sort of early- to mid-season struggles or deficiencies. Think about it: 2004's Sweet 16 season; 2007's Sweet 16 season.  Both of those teams struggled at times to the point where fans were ready to run Stallings out of town. These struggles seemed to galvanize them - to turn them from a collection of individuals into a cohesive team.

On the other hand, look at the 2008 team. They rattled off quite an impressive string of wins to begin the season and then fizzled at the end. Having never faced adversity earlier in the season, they were unprepared when it really counted.

This team needs toughness and intensity, not talent or skill. They need their heads and hearts in the game and the rest will follow suit. Thankfully, nothing's a better cure for poor effort and toughness quite like the bitter taste of defeat.

Expect the progress to be gradual at first. At some point, probably during SEC play, the team will have its moment of clarity when everything finally clicks and from where the team can build going forward.