At the very least, we weren’t the only ones who were disappointed on Saturday night. The Hustler recounts a night to forget. And yet, these paragraphs are kind of strange:
Vandy Twitter was at its finest Saturday night, calling for Mason’s head and urging athletic director Malcolm Turner to fire his head football coach. That frustration is valid. It’s warranted. But firing Mason isn’t the answer, at least not yet. This isn’t the start to the season that most people expected and a bowl game looks as far off into the distance as ever, but Mason isn’t totally to blame.
Simply put, this roster isn’t good enough to make a bowl game. That’s often lost in the conversation because of Vanderbilt’s “Big Three.” While the Commodores are wildly talented and deep at the skill position spots, they aren’t talented in the position groups that matter most. SEC football is won in the trenches. Vanderbilt doesn’t have the offensive line or the defensive line to win at the line of scrimmage and it continues to cost them. Neal is routinely under pressure before he can complete his three-step drop.
This is the sort of thing that would be valid if this were the first or second year under a new coach, and there were still a lot of players on the roster recruited by the previous coach... but, uh, Mason’s in his sixth year. Who do we think recruited the offensive and defensive lines?
Speaking of Mason, he called for everybody to have a sense of urgency after Saturday night, which is a weird thing to say in that it implies that there wasn’t one before Saturday.
All right, on to happier sports: Vanderbilt soccer snapped a two-game losing streak on Friday night with a 1-0 win at Georgia, improving their record to 9-3 and 2-2 in the SEC.
Men’s cross country finished 11th in Louisville on Saturday; the women finished 22nd. Women’s swimming came up short against Alabama in its season opener on Saturday.
Off the West End
Why exactly is anyone associated with the Houston Rockets apologizing for the GM supporting protesters in Hong Kong?
Meanwhile, yes, Kansas should be apologizing for whatever the hell that was. (This has been another edition of Tom Stephenson Tells You Whether You Should Apologize Or Not.)
NFL: Cardinals 26, Bengals 23 ... Bills 14, Titans 7 ... Raiders 24, Bears 21 ... Saints 31, Buccaneers 24 ... Vikings 28, Giants 10 ... Eagles 31, Jets 6 ... Ravens 26, Steelers 23 ... Patriots 33, Redskins 7 ... Panthers 34, Jaguars 27 ... Texans 53, Falcons 32 ... Broncos 20, Chargers 13 ... Packers 34, Cowboys 31 ... Colts 19, Chiefs 13.
MLB Playoffs: Braves 3, Cardinals 1 ... Dodgers 10, Nationals 4.
NHL: Hurricanes 4, Lightning 3 ... Red Wings 4, Stars 3 ... Islanders 4, Jets 1.
PGA Tour: Kevin Na prevailed over Patrick Cantlay in a playoff to win the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.