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Week Six Football Mail Bag: Answers to your Questions

You ask, we answer.

This is our new writer, Cole (the Mr. Commodore, not the wolf or whatever).

Question from WestEndMayhem:

Rumor (or message board fabrications) has it that A&M boosters just may rustle up $95 mil for a guarantee buy-out for ole Jimbo.

What is the Vanderbilt equivalent of the above? Be creative, there are no wrong answers!

Answers from AoG:

Tom Stephenson: Paying $95 million to get rid of a guy who you never should have hired in the first place, but especially not if that was his asking price? Why, the Vanderbilt equivalent of that is paying $95 million to bring back the Star-V because you for some reason gave the firm that created the new logo a $95 million buyout. I will take no further questions.

Doreontheplains: Finish the announced Phase 1 of Vandy United and start Phase 2 (whatever that entails) then shut down athletics completely mid-stream on Phase 2. My life as a fan of Vanderbilt athletics has me fully expecting this to come true, too.


This is obviously a joke. The real answer probably has something to do with Malcolm Turner. Oh and thanks for using my photo! That’s one of my favorites.

Andrew VU ‘04: Demolishing perfectly good dorms so as to build dorms that are the same, but cost more for students? Paying a buyout for the ex-CEO of the NBA G-League who stole money from us to begin with? Giving Derp Mason a contract extension, and then yet another contract extension?

Question from JesseCuster44:

If a corporation sponsored Vanderbilt’s helmets(as realtree did with Ole Miss) and put their own mark on it(Like realtree’s camo), what would the corporation be and what pattern would it use?

Answers from AoG:

Tom Stephenson: Goo Goo Clusters. A picture of a Goo Goo Cluster. (Note: this would be an improvement on the new logo.)

Doreontheplains: The most realistic is probably FirstBank based on the stadium deal. They even had a “FirstBank Stadium” helmet made. I could see some sort of white helmet with the Chorus V and the FirstBank FB logo in the crook of the V.

If we turn it up to NASCAR sponsor design levels, let’s go with a Slim and Husky’s helmet using the Deep Water helmet techniques to look like dripping cheese and toppings because why the hell not?

Cole Sullivan: It would probably end up being Bongo Java somehow. Imagine a cute Fido-themed helmet or even better, a Grins helmet! Or they could coat the helmets in Nashville Hot Chicken seasoning from Prince’s, Hattie B’s, or any one of the million or so places that have ripped it off. Oh, wait, I know the real answer. It’s West End Chili’s. Every. Single. Time.

Andrew VU ‘04: Either Satco or Vietti Canned Chili. Both would use a pile of beef and bean goop thrown on a helmet.

Question from VU1970:

Will this be the week Ole Miss puts it all together? Or will this be the week Vanderbilt puts it all together? Or will Vandy, as they have done in the past, come out of a bye week like a flat tire underwater?

Answers from AoG:

Tom Stephenson: See, I’m convinced that Ole Miss is a bit of a fraud, so this inevitably means they win by three touchdowns.

Doreontheplains: I am scared by how unimpressed I am with Ole Miss versus their #9 ranking. We either get boat raced or it will be tight late. My brain will not accept a middle ground option. I have been burned by optimism in these games too often, so I think Ole Miss’s passing attack probably gets going against our sketchy secondary, which opens the running lanes that are closed early. The end is ugly.

Cole Sullivan: I’ve been talking about this with my friends all week. I’ve got a few things in mind. First, Ole Miss ain’t played nobody but Kentucky, and that was NOT a strong showing. They almost lost to Tulsa, and their other games don’t convince me of anything one way or the other. Ole Miss is sliding, and I bet they’ll try and catch their breath this week because they haven’t heard about the second thing on my list: AJ Swann. Vandy is coming off a bye with a new quarterback who has been put through the ringer in just his first what, two games? And the tape against Bama is barely worth the film it was captured on because of the talent differential between the two teams. Finally, think about last year. We played our hearts out that game; we didn’t quit until that final whistle, losing by 17 when the spread had been like 35 or something insane. In my opinion that game was the true beginning of the new era of Vanderbilt Football, at least I thought so from where I was standing on the sideline. I think we put it all together for a homecoming game where Ole Miss falls off the tracks. I am officially expecting “The Big Upset” to come this weekend in Nashville.

Andrew VU ‘04: Neither. Like most Ole Piss vs. Vandy games, this will go down to the wire. Both teams will look great at times, and terrible at times. Jordan Matthews will make a phenomenal catch, but that scat-back will return the favor... and what year is this again? Sorry... just got my flu shot and covid booster on the same day.

Question from VandyStud:

If you could make one change on offense and defense, what would it be?

Answers from AoG:

Tom Stephenson: On offense, I’d figure out some way to get Mike Wright involved in the offense. I understand the concerns about the fact that he’s functionally the team’s backup quarterback and you don’t want to get him hurt, but you also have to consider that it’s kind of a waste to have what might be the best athlete on the team milling about on the sidelines.

As for the defense... I don’t know. Something to get more pressure on the quarterback? Anything?

Doreontheplains: Offensively, I would do more to get Ben BresnaHANDS involved. I like the two TE sets, and Gavin Schoenwald has been pretty good. Bresnahan is a significantly better TE though, and he needs the ball 3 or 4 times a game. Making him a legit receiving threat in the game plan will make the times they use him as a blocker for screens and jet sweeps even better.

Defensively, more times with De’Rickey Wright down in the box. Coupled with that move, I would go with more single high safety looks with press on the slot while playing softer inside leverage on the outside. Make teams back shoulder us to death instead of hitting the slants and hitches.

Cole Sullivan: On offense, I think we are still settling into the new AJ Swann thing. I don’t know how much I can really comment on that, especially when half of my experience with him is against Bama. I think I just want to see more offense, I guess? We really need the defense to be faster, both in terms of straightline speed and in time it takes them to get off the field. Let’s play scrappier, too.

Andrew VU ‘04: *Note to self: Don’t say Karl Dorrell for the purpose of irony.

Aside from ‘crootin’ better players? On offense, I would turn Mike Wright into a jack-of-all-trades H-Bacl/Slot WR. He’s just too talented to be on the bench, but has clearly been beaten out by Swann at QB.

On D... umm... sorry, all I’ve got is gett better players.

Question from Force10JC:

With us being in the SEC, the league who’s [sic] top tier teams are like Bosses in a video game, how much longer will it take for us to Git Gud?

Answers from AoG:

Tom Stephenson: It depends on what we mean by “good.” If we’re talking “go 6-6 consistently-ish” then we’re not that far off, really; it’s maybe another year or two before I think we can regularly beat three of “non-conference Power 5 opponent, South Carolina, Kentucky, Missourah (spits), non-Lane Kiffin Ole Miss, and whichever of Florida/Tennessee is down bad in a given year.” Getting beyond that... who the hell knows, outside of Brigadoon we haven’t done that in my lifetime.

Doreontheplains: Bowl-quality team is probably next year or the year after. Anything beyond that takes too much guesswork into recruiting success and how the assistant coaching positions evolve.

Cole Sullivan: Sooner rather than later. I think one big win could get us enough noise, especially with all the renovations to the athletic facilities we’re about to take on, that we get a few better recruits, which in turn help us plant ourselves firmly in the middle of the SEC. Next year we’re lucky that we get Auburn for our inter-divisional game, plus Wake Forest will have pushed Hartman up on out of there, so we could put up a decent win total next year on an easier schedule. Hopefully success breeds success, and the Leanaissance continues gaining steam. I really do think there’s no reason we couldn’t go into a season thinking “Yeah, maybe this is the year we beat Georgia and go to the SEC Championship” only to lose and gladly accept a Sugar Bowl bid instead after it falls apart in Athens.

Andrew VU ‘04: 11.7 parsecs.

Question from Your Uncle Mike:

Since it has become a NCAA Football thing, If Aaron Judge hits #62 on Saturday, will all games be halted for a tribute? Which SEC team will claim Judge as their own and have the biggest video celebration?

Answers from AoG:

Tom Stephenson: I credit Cole for not recognizing Missourah, but it has never been true that we have the largest percentage of Yanks considering that Florida has always been in the league, or where do you think everybody in Florida came from.

Doreontheplains: Don’t care. I’ll be at FirstBank Stadium, so the TV doesn’t matter. I will not have any pity for those of you who aren’t there. In fact, I hope the game is close, and they keep cutting away to literally anything just to drive the lot of you insane.

Cole Sullivan: What new logo? Seriously though, he’s a Yankee. Vandy automatically has the best claim to him of any SEC school because 1) we have the largest percentage of yanks making up our student body and 2) they wear pinstripes, we wear pinstripes. Ya dig?

Andrew VU ‘04: Luckily, Here Come’s The Judge already hit #62. Still, they’ll find a way to cut away at the absolute worst time, so as to cut into a playoff game or something, because that’s life in these United States. If not for The Judge, it will be for some natural disaster storm-pocalypse happening, alien invasion, or announcement that Josh Henderson still has a year of eligibility left (hey, some of the cut-aways are for good things).

Speaking of... always a good idea to watch one of the best ever SNL skits:

Question from 92Drummer:

While this is looking ahead a bit…what can be learned from the recent Big XII/SEC matchup that can help us prepare for our next venture between the hedges?

Answers from AoG:

Tom Stephenson: The answer is that Georgia may choose to fuck around for three quarters and give us hope.

Doreontheplains: I’ll be honest. I read Cole’s answer before adding mine, and I had a mini-stroke before devolving into a bunch of loud swearing.

After composing myself, I just hope people don’t freak out when Georgia actually does to us what they are capable of doing to everyone else except maybe like 10 teams, especially Missouri. In fact, I would argue that close game was bad for us. I doubt Georgia lets another inferior opponent hang close the rest of the season. They will be on a seek-and-destroy mission for cannon fodder.

Cole Sullivan: Auburn is bad now and will be bad next year. I am not worried. That’s a home game anyways, so unless there are some hedges different than the ones at ol’ Jurden-Hare, I don’t think there’s anything for us to takeaway other than “Don’t let us beat ourselves.”

(Cole’s Note: I read hedges, and I automatically thought of the hedges in Jordan-Hare. I just kinda figured that was what the question was about. I have left this answer as-is but will know better for next time that I shouldn’t fill my questions in first.)

Andrew VU ‘04: (spits)

Question from Seadog73:

What are the chances we will see Mike Wright play against Ole Miss at a position other than QB?

Answers from AoG:

Tom Stephenson: Somewhat better than 50-50, if we’re defining this as “lining up at like wide receiver in a gadget play.”

Doreontheplains: Clark keeps mentioning it, so it’s either 100% or 0%. He either wants Ole Miss spending time on it for no reason, OR he is trying to make them so worried about 1 or 2 plays to get an advantage on the other 70. If we see it, expect it early to get it in their heads it may happen again.

Cole Sullivan: I would say chances are high we see him take like, a snap at running back or receiver as more of a trickeration type deal, but pretty low that he transitions into a new role this game. Ultimately I think he’s got to be the backup quarterback first and foremost. I could maybe see that changing next year. He seems to love Vandy and be somewhat active on campus outside of football, so I don’t really expect him to transfer, so I could see him transitioning in the offseason I guess. I still don’t expect it, though.

Andrew VU ‘04: 33%? I mean, I would do it if I were the coach. I would also have the weirdest looking bald head. Will the New Bald Coach bring in Wright at slot WR or in creative packages? Again, I would. I don’t know if Lea will.