Here I am, and the bye really came and went entirely too fast. This just might be my least enthusiastic AoG piece ever, so buckle down y'all.
Regardless, it's Saturday, so time for another Saturday Tailgate!
AoG WEEK IN REVIEW
There's simply nothing to be said. We've been repeating it all season, and frankly, it's getting tiresome to everyone to keep repeating the same things. After barely beating Charleston Southern, there doesn't seem like much positive that can be said about this season. Well, there is one - Johnny McCrary played quite well, coming off the bench and getting the anemic offense going. Whether he's staying or not I won't bother to address.
VandyImport really exemplifies our frustrations, but it's really just been a kind of morgue around AoG. Part of that is the bye, the other part is the reality of almost losing to a 1-AA team. This team basically makes us want to drink industrial solvents.
Luckily, the bye week gave us BOOZE WEEK! We gave you 8 YES, EIGHT! Glorious reviews of horse poison this week. CDA along with Gumbercules did four, followed by our staff edition where we did an additional four. No, Four Loko did not sponsor us.
It should be pointed out that some us are not so negative. VenerableSlinky made a mammoth of a post (and full of great examples) outlining reasons to have optimism. It's an argument I've heard from several AoG readers (but not commenters). As frustrating as it is to hear, we are running a system that pros find hard, with 18 year old kids with very little experience. The other fact is we don't even have senior leadership to rely on because... THE SYSTEM IS NEW! I completely agree (and share) the frustrations we all have. The simple fact of the matter is that you cannot fire this staff without another year.
One thing that's not football related, but I'd be remiss for not mentioning. AoG's Commodore Tom along with Grand Nagus CDA have been killing our basketball previews this week. From team previews to position breakdowns, you need to check it out. After all, basketball has always been our fun distraction to take our attentions away from the football team. Check it out at the basketball section of the site!
AROUND THE LEAGUE
I'm gonna level with y'all - I didn't watch much football last Saturday. If you know me personally, you know how insane that is for me. I was in the hospital (routine shit, don't worry) until early afternoon, and then I was drifting in and out of anesthesia-induced fatigue for much of the rest of the afternoon. Then I went and watched "Gone Girl" with my brother, and that movie is effed up y'all.
Luckily, football last week was pretty bad. Well, unless you count us being hilariously wrong about just about all the games. Aggie got stomped, Arky got stomped (although the score doesn't really show it), and LSU just destroyed Kentucky. Really, unless you're a filthy pac-12 fan trying to tell me that the UCLA-Cal game was worth watching, the only game I feel compelled to mention is...
#2 Florida State 31 - #5 Notre Dame 27. Remember what I said about a "team of destiny"? Florida State keeps proving it. This game was a slugfest back and forth the whole time. When Florida State went up 31-27 with half of the 4th quarter remaining, the only question was - would ND be able to get one more punch in before the game ended? Notre Dame certainly looked like it had what it took, when on a 4th and 18 from their own 43, ND QB Everett Golson barely gets off the first down pass before being drilled. ND kept marching and got a fresh set of downs at the FSU 7 yard line. In the play you've probably heard about all week, ND snapped the ball from the 2.5 yard line on 4th down... and Golson throws an easy out to Corey Robinson for the TD. Or was it too easy?? Turns out that ND cheated, blatantly. Notre Dame fans, being fans, denied and have mewled all week about it. Here's the fun part - NCAA has even addressed this and said it was absolutely the right call.
One thing all SEC fans should also be aware of - our emperor, Mike Slive, is retiring at the end of July. A recurrence of prostate cancer has been cited for the reason for his retirement. There's no denying the tremendous positive impact Slive has had on the conference in his tenure. I'd make my usual "SEC Jr." joke, but this season has stolen even that from me.
Finally, in case you want another reason to hate Tennessee fans, they want to checkerboard Vanderbilt Stadium. I am just resigned to it, and as DoreMD told me in a personal conversation, it's not like it's much more embarrassing than the stadium being all orange as it usually is.
THERE'S OTHER FOOTBAW
I once again must be honest. There are so few games that interest me this week I'm going to say something I never say during footbaw season - don't bother. Just go outside, take your mind off this season. I'm clearly bias, but the only game that's probably worth watching if you're a Vandy fan is #24 LSU hosting #3 Mississippi. Hint: LSU is going to lose. I've cried all season about how wrong I was about LSU during the preseason. Both Mississippi and State are friggin amazing teams and very likely the two SEC teams going to the playoff.
Your Pac-12 degenerate game of the week is the other top-25 matchup - #20 USC @ #18 Utah. I know nothing about how Utah is playing, and I've only bothered looking at USC to laugh at their endless tears of entitlement. Maybe another loss will humbahahahahahaahahahahahah.
Ok, seriously, CDA has your full schedule here. I will agree with him that #23 WVU @ Ok. State may be worth watching, but really most of the games are going to make up for a degree of "eh, it's the best game on". It's not so much that the games are meaningless (quite the opposite), but the large majority of them just don't catch my interest. I blame all three of my football teams being total and complete crap for making me so indifferent this weekend.
JUST QUAFF AN ENTIRE BOTTLE OF PGA, BECAUSE VU FOOTBAW
Patton Robinette has been cleared for play, but McCrary is getting the start (and likely the majority of play). One of the more interesting things about this game is that Darrius "take it to the house" Sims is listed as a RB. Finally, Paris Head is replaced by Taurean Ferguson after deciding that he doesn't want to play football anymore. Seriously.
We're playing Missouri this week, a team that stomped our heads in during homecoming last year (can we PLEASE stop scheduling homecoming against SEC teams?) It was decent vengeance for the Tigers, as we did beat them in their first year in the conference (but only because we injured James Franklin to do it). We do have a Q&A with them, and unless I'm just nuts, I don't see one we did with them, so I guess they don't do those. The only thing I learned in my brief stint over at their site is that they really don't like Memorial. The reasons are all the same reasons we've heard from losing teams before.
So yeah, I told you this was the least enthusiastic (and arguably worst) Saturday Tailgate. The spread is right now at 24 points, I don't know what to tell you.
Just a reminder - the audio feed is now FREE on VUCommodores.com (link below) and starts at 14:15 ET (13:15 CT)
GAMETIME: 16:00 ET (15:00 CT)
LOCATION: FAUROT FIELD, COLUMBIA MO
TV: SEC NETWORK+
RADIO: 1510 AM, 95.9 FM, 98.3 FM
GAMETRACKER: Click this link
AUDIO FEED (FREE): Click this link (VUCommodores, FREE!)
VIDEO FEED: ESPN3.com (cable agreement required)