Hey y’all, I’m writing this on a Monday for the first time, well, ever. You see, by the time you read this, I’ll be munching on breakfast burritos in Baton Rouge. My first love is and always will be Vandy. However, I finally got a chance to see my first game in Death Valley since 2011, so I’ll be there to watch LSU struggle against Syracuse. So forgive me if I missed anything particularly hilarious in the week here or around the league. I cannot skip the tailgates as we’re undefeated with them this year, so darn it, we’re going to have one!
Week Day in Review
Wow. That was the best I’ve seen Vanderbilt play in person. It may be the best game I’ve ever seen them play. You may argue that we’ve had games which were more fun, like any victory over Tennessee. When I say this was the best game, I mean in the overall game itself. This game went the full fifteen rounds. Fifteen. Not that silly twelve round title fight stuff they do now. Boxing is still a rigged sham by the way*. That scorecard is inexcusable and it’s not even Byrd’s first really off scorecard.
Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said his team is at "square one again" at wide receiver after a dismal collective... https://t.co/GGC3gmQgOv— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) September 18, 2017
Don’t worry though y’all, the media hype train still ignores us! You see, it wasn’t our defense playing phenomenal football, it wasn’t our DBs playing out of their mind forcing drops and getting us coverage all night. It wasn’t Ludwig’s great play calling, or Kyle Shurmur emerging as the leader of this offense. It wasn’t Webb laying out some ridiculous blocks all night or our big guys sacrificing themselves every play. No, you see it was Kansas State beating themselves. Vanderbilt can never win, we’re just the lucky recipients of teams that lose.
It’s alright though, because our team, coaches, and fans know the truth. I was talking to several Vanderbilt fans during and after the game, and on into Sunday. We’re all in agreement here - there’s something special about this team. This team really believes in itself in a way rarely seen before (if ever). There’s countless times in that game where “same old Vandy” gives up. The Shurmur “fumble”, the Webb fumble, the blown PI, the failure to close it out and give the other team one last drive. There’s so many times during that game where SOV would have just gone into ‘woe is me’ mode and given up. This team never game up. Not once.
You can feel it on the sideline too. There’s a huge amount of energy and the players are lifting each other up if they’re not into it. This is a team that’s more of a family than anything. A team that is ready to slug it out until the end and not give up.
That is a formula for a team that can perform above and beyond. A team that can pull off great things, and maybe even the impossible. We’ve already matched my wildest expectations for this season. I figured we’d go 2-1, with maybe a breakdown second half against KSU. This team believes in itself now. Anything can happen, even the impossible.
Around the League
I know you may not remember regarding how amazing our game us, but there were some other games of note over the weekend.
- #23 Trash Collectors of Life 20 @ #24 Florida 26. You’ve undoubtedly seen the play all week already. Vanderbilt campus erupted in cheers to watch our friends to the East lose in one of the stupidest football games you’ll ever watch. A great ending, but outright terrible game. Still, it was the CBS SEC game, and allegedly decides the East, so you had to watch. Going into the Fourth quarter, Florida was only up 6-3. That score was not due to great defense either, but rather just terrible play all around. Florida was up 10 with only five minutes left, but gave the lead away. When Tennessee hit a FG with 50 seconds left, I expected another miracle come back from the Vawls. Sunsphere had other things in mind for the denizens of Knoxville. Florida took the time to get the ball up field only 12 yards to cap the finish and stun the Vawls.
- #12 LSU 7 @ CLANGA 37. CLANGA, CLANGA, CLANGA, CLANGA, CLANGA, CLANGA, CLANGA, CLANGA, CLANGA, CLANGA, CLANGA, CLANGA, CLANGA, CLANGA, CLANGA, CLANGA, CLANGA, CLANGA, CLANGA, CLANGA, CLANGA, CLANGA, CLANGA, CLANGA, CLANGA, CLANGA, CLANGA. LSU straight up gave up. Two targeting penalties. Nine total penalties for 112 yards. Don’t put all the blame on Orgeron here. LSU is young and there’s plenty of blame that needs to be thrown at Matt Canada and Dave Aranda (as well as O). Never let it be said I don’t feature my Tigers when we lose too. :(
- #3 Clemson 47 @ #14 Louisville 21. Hey, remember when I said that three points was a retarded spread for this game? Yeah (please ignore I also said that LSU -7 was hilarious too). Lamar Jackson and the Louisville offense wasn’t ready for Clemson’s defense. Clemson straight up outclassed Louisville for most of the game, preventing them from scoring for over 35 minutes straight. The Heisman trophy winner did manage almost 320 yards through the air and 64 yards on the ground, but Clemson’s defense confused their opponents all game. Time to start accepting that the NCG might be another Clemson-Alabama game.
- Texas 24 @ #4 Fake USC 27. Imagine my surprise getting out of the 21st street garage, turning on the radio, and finding out that this game was close. Did anyone expect this? Put your hand down, you did not. Unfortunately, while Texas shocked everyone in making this a ballgame, in the end they remembered they weren’t a good football team. Texas lost in 2OT. Still, let’s all laugh at how USC gets to keep a top five ranking despite needing 2OT to defeat a mediocre Texas team that lost to Maryland. Just goes to show brand name means more than anything in the top 25.
- #25 UCLA 45 @ Memphis 48. If you like shootouts, this was the game for you! 861 yards total through the air between Rosen and Ferguson. Disgusting. But that’s not all! Each team allowed over 160 yards on the ground as well. Each team managed two interceptions, and there were plenty of punts. But let’s be honest, this game was literally no defense at all. I don’t understand how people can watch games like this. I truly don’t.
- UL-Lafayette 21 @ Aggie 45. Well, I told y’all to put money on this game and it’s 24 point spread, so hopefully you went with someone who gives your money back on a push. Still, let me point out that ULL was up 21-14 at the half. Unfortunately, it would be the last time they put points on the board. Aggie dominated the second half, but just a reminder - Aggie is terrible.
Auburn’s former starting QB Sean White was dismissed from the team over the weekend... for public intoxication. You gotta be ridiculously drunk to get arrested for that, especially as an of age football player in a football town. White had already been suspended the first two weeks of the season “for undisclosed reasons”. I really hope he pulled the “do you know who I am?” on the police, just because they’d have laughed at him. Gus Bus probably just figured there was no reason to hold a scholarship for White, who’s not going to overtake Auburn’s current starting QB, Jarrett Stidham.
There’s Other Footbaw
We’re starting to get into the heart of the footbaw schedule! Here’s the slate for games to spend your Saturday with.
- Aggie @ Arkansas, 1100 CT (1200 ET) - ESPN. The most competitive game that’s going on at middday. Well, the most competitive game that y’all are going to care about. Unless you care about Tulsa - NMU for some reason. Bielema’s Razorbacks have had some good games with Aggie in recent years, but they’ve yet beat ‘em. This will be a good appetizer for the better games later in the day. Alternative: Take a nap.
- #16 TCU @ #6 Oklahoma State, 1430 CT (1530 CT) - ESPN. Should our game get out of hand and you just need to shut it off, this is the obvious go to game. The top25 match-up is likely to go to Oklahoma State, but TCU has a defense that is looking to prove it’s back against a classic Big12 air raid offense. See? I do pay attention to games that don’t have SEC teams or potential schadenfreude! Alternative-alternative: Fake USC - Cal (ABC).
- #20 Florida @ Kentucky, 1830 CT (1930 ET) - SECN. Good lord, who would have guessed this would have been a game to watch to start this season? Kentucky is over performing and Florida struggled against the life champions. Kentucky has a real chance to completely upend the East with a win. I don’t remember the last time a UF-UK game only had a three point spread, but it feels right. This is going to come down to late mistakes. Alternative: PSU - Iowa (ABC).
- Washington @ Colorado, 2100 CT (2200 ET) - FS1. Your Pac12 Degenerate game of the Week! Not by much though, none of the late games look too thrilling. It was a coin toss between this one and your alternative, UCLA-Stanford (ESPN). I have no reason to choose one or the other, but the Huskies have been fun to watch in recent years, so why not watch that?
Get Ready For Vanderball
This is the point where I’d usually link you to our Q&A s and the predictions threads. As I said above though, I’m writing this on a Monday and doubt I’ll get a chance to revisit it later in the week.
So I’m going to take the GIANT LEAP and assume most everyone here at AoG expects us to lose. The optimistic will call a close loss, the pessimistic will predict a crushing defeat with the second team out at the half. Bama fans are likely all expecting a solid win, with maybe a few pessimists calling it a trap game. Every fan base has that fan though. I might as well predict the moonrise.
3-0 (0-0, SEC)
GAMETIME: 15:30 ET (14:30 CT)
LOCATION: DUDLEY FIELD, NASHVILLE, TN
RADIO: 1510 AM, 95.9 FM, 98.3 FM
GAMETRACKER: Click this link
AUDIO FEED (FREE): Click this link (VUCommodores, All-Access)
VIDEO FEED: CBS Sports
3-0 (0-0, SEC)
Disclaimer: nothing I write on AoG ever should be seen as anything other than my opinion. I have no evidence to “prove” that boxing is rigged.