There's one unwritten rule of blogging that I've tried to follow since I started this blog last summer. Put simply . . don't write about stuff that will get you ridiculed. I think I've done well with that until now, but the streak will no doubt end today. Why, you ask? Two words: Vanderbilt football.
That's right my friends, The Vanderbilt Commodores football team is 4-0, 2-0 in SEC play and ranked #19 in the country. Let's forget, just for a moment, that their 2 SEC wins are against South Carolina, whose collection of quarterbacks couldn't start for at least 10 Charlotte-area high school teams, and lowly Ole Miss, although to Ole Miss's credit, they did beat Florida in Gainesville AND they hosted the first Presidential debate this year. Pithy put-downs aside, wins are wins, and the Commodores should make no apologies for their current record. Florida doesn't get to say "Well, one of our losses was to Ole Miss, and they suck", so Vandy can flaunt the win without an asterisk.
Today the Commodores take on the #13 Auburn Tigers, a one-loss team that's a perennial power in the SEC's Western division. Their one loss this season came at the hands of LSU, a top-five program by all accounts. The Tigers get their star running back back from injuries today, and they come to Nashville today as the favorite to win the 6:00 EST matchup.
Noteworthy about the game today is, among other things, the fact that ESPN's College Gameday is being broadcast from the Commodores' home in Nashville, TN for the first time in its history. The #19 ranking in the national poll is Vanderbilt's highest such ranking in nearly 50 years, and I'd venture to guess there aren't a whole lot of folks out there that expect it to continue after tonight's game. Those skeptics have a lot to base their predictions on, namely Vandy's paltry offensive and devensive production numbers for the season. The Commodores aren't ranked in the top 70 in the country in either offense or defense. But, as you'd expect from an academically-focused school like Vanderbilt, their team is extremely well disciplined, so much so that they're the least penalized team in the SEC. When you're trying to take down the big boys, you can't afford the little mistakes that can cost you yards, drives, and points. Also noteworthy is the Commodores' #1 ranking in all of college football in terms of turnover margin. Vandy's offense takes care of the football, and the defensive playmakers and schemes create turnovers by their opponents.
Now listen, people. I'm asking for a little bit of help today. It just so happens that on the hour of this highly-publicized, important matchup for my alma mater's team I will be attending, of all things, a wedding. For a couple that, quite frankly, I'm not overly fond of. But, we've already bought the gifts, so we'll be going to the wedding and hoping for both an open bar and a TV tuned to ESPN at the reception. If I don't find a TV, I expect all of you to flip on the tube around 6:00 Eastern and root for the Commodores to upset Auburn tonight. If you don't, just at least tell me you did, so that I can feel better. If anyone wants to take on the role of "scoring update text-messager", feel free. And now, we will return to our regularly scheduled birds-and-kids themed programming here at The Guide.