Last week... could have gone better.
A 62-0 loss to Georgia, the #2 team in the country, put our Vanderbilt Commodores at 1-3 on the season. Luckily for Vanderbilt, this week’s opponent is... not the second-best team in the country. In fact, according to SP+, UConn is ranked 129th of 130 FBS teams. So, in the span of a single week, we’re going from playing the second-best team in the country to the second-worst!
UConn comes in with a record of 0-5 on the season, having lost 45-0 to Fresno State, 38-28 to Holy Cross (!), 49-0 to Purdue, 52-21 to Army, and 24-22 to Wyoming. Randy Edsall has already stepped down as the Huskies’ head coach.
So, this one’s pretty much a tossup right? Right?
I’ve been saying all along that Vanderbilt will probably beat UConn, because the Huskies are that bad. UConn can’t run, can’t pass, and can’t play defense.
Well, except for that part where they played Wyoming (somehow, a 4-0 team) tough last weekend. UConn got out to a 13-0 lead early, and while they got outgained 352-281, Wyoming needed two fourth-quarter touchdowns to finally win — and still had to stop a UConn two-point try to avoid going to overtime. So maybe they’re getting better, I don’t know. I still think Vanderbilt wins, but I’m feeling a bit less confident in that than I was last Friday.
The Pick: Vanderbilt 35, UConn 20
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: Since we’ve decided that the SEC’s incoming members count, as Texas State Senator Lois Kolkhorst pointed out in an actual hearing on Texas’s move to the SEC, TCU (+5) is 7-2 against the Longhorns since they joined the Big 12. Don’t worry, Texas, you still have a massive brand and athletic budget getting you to that record against TCU.
Andrew VU ‘04
Not sure if I should be excited we might win a game or depressed that this is almost certainly our last winnable game this season. Fuck it, I’ll go with excited. Cripple Fight!!!
The Pick: Vanderbilt 24 - UCONN 9
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: Fuck it, I’m going all in. Ole Piss is actually good this year, people. This has the feel of a “first to 50 wins” game, so... ah hell, give me the Ackbars over the Nittany Tide in a 52-49 shootout. Matt Corral’s Heisman campaign begins in earnest this Saturday. PAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWLLLLL!!!
These Huskies really have no bite. UConn ranks 124th in passing yards, 117th in rushing yards, 258th in points for, and 5th worst in points against. I guess ESPN includes FCS schools in their team rankings? Vanderbilt is not much better, but the quality of opponent is certainly heavily in (against?) Vanderblit’s favor. Losing this game would probably be worse than losing to ETSU in reality, even if the reaction to losing to a terrible FBS team will probably not eclipse losing to a very good FCS team.
Everything that worked against Colorado State and Stanford should be even more effective against UConn. Rocko Griffin should have a field day. Ken Seals should be able to find his groove, or the issues there are even deeper than anyone feared. The defense has to put together a full game instead of starting slow then playing better after making adjustments.
The Pick: Vanderbilt 38, UConn 10
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: I hate myself for taking this one, but THEY are going to beat the Missourah Meth Tigers. The game against Florida is fool’s gold in terms of being near THAT level, but THEY are better than Missouri right now.
The toilet bowl. Get your popcorn. This game is actually getting national attention as a historically bad college football matchup. Out of the 130 teams represented in the FPI, Vandy comes in at 121, and Uconn at 128 for a battle of what even the Washington Post has called the “sorriest college football game” of the year. Somehow Uconn appears to be not only worse, but significantly worse than the Dores this year, with Vegas putting the line at Vandy by 14 or so points. If I’ve learned one thing, however, it is never to underestimate how much Vanderbilt can underperform. Coach Lea grits one out infront of a crowd that doesn’t break 2,000.
The Pick: Vanderbilt 21, Uconn 17
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: Ole Miss’ offense will be too much for Alabama to keep up with. Rebs by 10!