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Saturday Tailgate: Auburn

It’s a trap!

NCAA Football: Tennessee State at Vanderbilt Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

AoG Week in Review

The last time I was with y’all in the tailgate, I said, “watch something else”. Can you blame me? We were going against Georgia in a game that seemed impossible. Georgia, at home, with a team far better than us.

Three weeks later, and we’re in a bit of a different spot in Vanderbilt football. Not only did Coach Mason get his first SEC victory on the road, he did it at Georgia. It was how you’d expect an underdog to beat a team like Georgia. We stuck with them, we capitalized on mistakes, and frankly, we deserved to win. Tom covers in depth how it wasn’t a gift win. It wasn’t like UMass or so many other games where it felt like we really lost.

Then, the following week, we had a very slow start against TSU. Uncomfortably slow. HOWEVER, for the first time I can remember Mason made on the fly changes and fixed things mid game. That is exactly what critics have been asked for! He saw something wasn’t working, and it was fixed. We won by three scores, which is satisfactory for a 1-AA opponent. I don’t care what the spread says, I don’t care what you think about the talent gap. We won by three scores. If you want to argue that we shouldn’t have started as flat as we did, fine. Fun fact - Coach Mason now has as many games with 500+ yards offense as James Franklin did (6)... and Mason has coached 7 less games.

Like many of you, I think the next four games decide the future of Coach Mason. I’d say he has to win one to make the majority of fans be comfortable with giving another year. Some would prefer two. I’d argue that it’s going to be a body of work here. These next four games are against some tough opponents, and how we perform overall is going to be Derek Mason’s best advertisement for keeping him.

Around the League

This is typically where I break down all the hilarious (and memorable) outcomes of the previous weekend. Well, as I haven’t done a tailgate in the last two weeks, I would either have to cover weeks I missed, or just do last weekend and pretend nothing happened. I respect y’all too much to do that. I clearly am not opting to not do a complete breakdown out of laziness, I promise.

As a peace offering, please enjoy these salty tears from the VAWLS, courtesy of RBR and this week’s meltdown thread.

NCAA Football: Tennessee at South Carolina
I can only assume Bentley was trying to be friendly and give UT a drink.
Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Almost as hilarious as the UGA posts when we beat ‘em.

Other Footbaw

If you don’t die of alcohol poisoning by the end of our game, there’s still a whole day of football ahead of you! Here’s what to keep an eye on:

  • #8 Wisconsin @ Northwestern, 12:00 ET (11:00 CT), ABC. This is the game to flip to if our game goes to hell. Wisconsin is a top ten team despite two losses, and they deserve it. Why? They’ve beaten THREE top five teams this year (LSU, Michigan State, Nebraska). Their two losses? Yeah. Ohio State and Michigan. They’re a phenomal football team. It would hardly seem to make sense that the 4-4 NWU Wildcats would pose any threat. But it does. NWU has lost only one of their last four games (Ohio State), and even then they almost beat them. NWU’s team is entirely different thanks some amazing courage and changes by the coaching staff. The way NWU loses is if Wisconsin uses their superior defense to demoralize a NWU o-line who’s made tremendous strides this last month.
  • #11 Florida @ Arkansas, 15:30 ET (14:30 CT), CBS. The CBS game this week is a biggie. Arkansas is furious after an embarrassing loss to Auburn. Florida is now sitting pretty, in the driver’s seat to win the East. They face two challenging games to do it (Arkansas, LSU) and a who the hell knows game against USC. Arkansas, on the other hand, has the same conference record as Vanderbilt. Arkansas however has had a tremendous season and are being quickly discounted after that loss. Arkansas is still playing for respect and a higher bowl... also to spoil Florida’s fun.
  • #1 Alabama @ #13 LSU, 20:00 ET (19:00 CT), CBS. As if there was any chance I wasn’t listing this game as the one to watch. Game of the week fellas. Alabama seems like an unstoppable juggernaut yet again and LSU has lost the last two games in Tiger Stadium to the Tide. Doesn’t matter. Nothing matters. This game is always impossible to predict and and always fun as hell. Watch it. GEAUX. TIGERS.
  • #5 Washington @ Cal, 22:30 ET (21:30 CT), ESPN. Your Pac-10 Degenerate game of the week! Take the rest of the night to relax and watch the over-matched Golden Bears get smashed into a fine paste by the vastly superior (and playoff bound) Huskies. What are you going to watch instead? Utah State @ Wyoming?

Get Ready For Possibly Footbaw

We’re playing the War TIger Eagles of Auburn. The only SEC team to have a losing record against us. It’s going to be hard to keep that going, especially with Auburn’s strong offense that will undoubtedly stick to a run game.

Prof. DotP is on leave this week, so no lessons in Vandy football for you.

In addition, no Q&A this week because frankly, we’re all lazy.

So instead cast your doomsaying prediction over here if you’ve not already.


4-4 (1-3)

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6-2 (4-1)