Good morning. And Happy New Year.
So what did Vanderbilt athletics do in 2018? Let’s review!
National title. Which some sports talk radio blowhards tell us we shouldn’t tell about, but Tennessee didn’t win any national titles in anything in 2018, did they?
Came up juuuuuuuuust short of Omaha, losing to Mississippi State in 11 innings in Game 3 of the super regional. That came on the heels of a mildly disappointing regular season, but Tim Corbin signed the #1 recruiting class in the country and Vanderbilt should be among the favorites to reach the College World Series in 2019.
Won six games, beat UT, went to a bowl game, and it says something about how much the bar has been raised that some people are unsatisfied by this.
Went 12-20 in 2017-18, which everyone quickly moved past because Darius Garland was arriving, and then he tore his meniscus in the fifth game of the season and probably won’t play for Vanderbilt again. Currently 9-3 entering SEC play. Signed two four-star recruits in the fall. Exciting and depressing at the same time.
Uhhhh... let’s not talk about this. Next.
Reached the NCAA Championship, and fell one stroke short of the match play playoff. A good season. Won the Tavistock Collegiate Invitational in October.
Made the NCAA Regionals; has risen as high as #3 in the country in the fall.
Reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament. That’s fine.
Swept the SEC regular-season and tournament titles, then narrowly lost to Stanford in the finals of the NCAA Tournament. A great season.
Went 8-9 this year. Ehhh. Moved from the Big East to the AAC, because the rest of the SEC can’t be bothered with lacrosse apparently.
Had a 16-match unbeaten streak and won the SEC, though they made a second-round exit from the NCAA Tournament. Not a great finish, but a good year any way you look at it.
The short version of 2018: basically all of the non-revenue sports pulled their weight. Baseball is still in good hands with Tim Corbin. Men’s basketball... well, we’re still in wait and see mode with Bryce Drew, but the recruiting looks good at least. Football... this debate will continue into 2019. Women’s basketball... again, let’s not talk about it. All in all, it was a decent year. Here’s to a great 2019.
The men’s basketball team beat UNC Asheville by a score of 90-59 on Monday, and if that score makes it sound like a blowout... well, it wasn’t really a blowout, or at least it didn’t feel that way.
In what’s become a pattern for this team, Vanderbilt spotted the Bulldogs an early lead, trailing 19-14 with 12:16 left in the first half. It was 40-34 at halftime, and 62-53 with ten minutes to play before Vanderbilt closed the game on a 28-6 run. Look, I get that it’s New Year’s Eve and you probably just wanted to get out of there and do New Year’s Eve things... but, seriously, playing well for ten minutes isn’t going to cut it in SEC play. Which begins on Saturday, by the way.
Tweet of the Day
Dooley incapable of getting one yard in three plays.— The Mizzodcast (@mizzodcast) January 1, 2019
Off the West End
Yep, Missouri lost a bowl game to Oklahoma State after (a) calling a timeout before kicking an extra point when they probably needed to go for two, and (b) failing to gain one yard in three plays. This is what you get for making Derek Dooley your offensive coordinator.
And in other displays of competence: Stanford beat Pitt 14-13 on an extremely weird play, and Oregon beat Michigan State by a score of 7-6. You’re reading that right, 7 to 6.
At least Texas A&M made the SEC look good in a 52-13 thrashing of NC State.
Your bowl schedule today, which looks nothing like what a New Year’s Day bowl schedule should look like:
- Outback Bowl: Iowa vs. Mississippi State (11 AM CT, ESPN2)
- Citrus Bowl: Kentucky (!) vs. Penn State (noon CT, ABC)
- Fiesta Bowl: LSU vs. UCF (noon CT, ESPN)
- Rose Bowl: Ohio State vs. Washington (4 PM CT, ESPN)
- Sugar Bowl: Georgia vs. Texas (7:45 PM CT, ESPN)
If you’re not rooting for Kentucky today, you’re a cop.
Happy New Year, and Anchor Down.