Posts Tagged ‘NCAA’

James-Franklin-Vanderbilt-Commodores-2012-football-570x374The Vanderbilt football team went 8-4 in the 2012 regular season. It was the first time that Vandy has recorded 8 wins since 1982. Their reward for their accomplishment is a trip to the Music City Bowl. If Vanderbilt beats North Carolina State in the bowl game, they will have their first 9-win season since 1915. This will be Vanderbilt’s 3rd trip to a bowl game in the last 5 seasons. It will be their second trip to the Music City Bowl. This will be the first time in Vanderbilt’s history that they will be playing in a bowl game in back-to-back seasons. This new success in the Vanderbilt football program has may fans excited about it’s future moving forward on West End.

The bowl selection experience is not as cut and dry as some fans might think. Vanderbilt fans are relatively new in this process due to the fact that before 2008, Vandy had not played in a bowl game since the early 80’s. Vanderbilt fans are starting to learn that in order to get into one of the bowl games played on New Years Day, it takes more than just a good football team. It takes a big fan base. Bowl committees are in the business to make money. When given the choice, they are going to choose the team that will put the most butts in the seats.

Because of this, the Gator Bowl passed on choosing Vanderbilt and invited Mississippi State to play Northwestern on New Years Day. Both Vanderbilt and Mississippi State have an 8-4 record. Vanderbilt’s SEC record was 5-3 while Mississippi State’s was 4-4. Both Vanderbilt and Mississippi State beat Tennessee and Auburn. Vanderbilt defeated Ole Miss while Mississippi State lost to their state rival. If you just judge by the numbers, you would guess that the Gator Bowl would invited Vanderbilt over Mississippi State. But that’s not what happened. Mississippi State travels better than Vanderbilt in term of their respective fan bases.

So how can Vanderbilt change the perception that their fans don’t travel. The first step must happen at the Music City Bowl. Vanderbilt fans must sellout LP Field (69,143 capacity), the site of the Music City Bowl. Vanderbilt will be going for its best record since 1915. The game is in its home city, Nashville. There is absolutely no excuse for a lack of fan support at the Music City Bowl. The old excuse used to be that if you put a product on the field, the fans would come. Well…the product is on the field. Let’s see if the fans come. The challenge has been sent to Vandy Nation.

Who should be ranked 1st in the nation right now.
Now….all of the rankings are current BCS Rankings as of November 17, 2012.
The teams will remain anonymous so that the game is actually fair. (Unlike real life…)
At the bottom vote for who you think should be ranked 1st after looking at the body of work of these teams.
Team A:
The Current Rank of Teams Defeated by Team A: #12, #13, #21,
The Current Rank of Teams that Beat Team A: No losses
Record: 10-0
Best Statistical Record To Date: Tied fo 1st in the Nation for Overall Points Against
Team B:
The Current Rank of Teams Defeated by Team B: #7, #8, #9,
The Current Rank of Teams that Beat Team B: #5
Record: 9-1
Best Statistical Record To Date: 3rd in the Nation for Overall Points Against
Team C:
The Current Rank of Teams Defeated by Team C: #12, #23, #24
The Current Rank of Teams that Beat Team C: No losses
Record: 10-0
Best Statistical Record To Date: 8th in the Nation for Overall Points For
Team D:
The Current Rank of Teams Defeated by Team D: #7, #21,
The Current Rank of Teams that Beat Team D: #8
Record: 9-1
Best Statistical Record To Date: Tied for 1st in the Nation for Overall Points Against
Team E:
The Current Rank of Teams Defeated by Team E: #18, #25,
The Current Rank of Teams that Beat Team E: No losses
Record: 10-0
Best Statistical Record To Date: 1st in the Nation for Overall Points For
Team F:
The Current Rank of Teams Defeated by Team F: #6,
The Current Rank of Teams that Beat Team F: #9
Record: 9-1
Best Statistical Record To Date: 22nd in the Nation for Overall Points Against

November 19, 2011. Jordan Rogers threw a pass to start the overtime period that was intercepted by Eric Gordon and returned 90 yards for a touchdown for Tennessee. Neyland Stadium went crazy as Tennessee Volunteer players ran on to the field to celebrate their 27-21 victory over Vanderbilt. It was one of the hardest losses for Vanderbilt to take. It was the first time in a long while that Vandy had been favored to win in this one-sided neighborhood rivalry. Yet once again, Vandy found a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

To add salt to the wound, a tape surfaced days later with a recording of Derek Dooley saying after the game that “Tennessee always beats the sh&$ out of Vanderbilt”.

Here is a link describing the situation:

In the video you can see James Franklin’s response once he was made aware of this video. He says that he’ll discuss it next year.

Well….it’s next year. And again Vanderbilt is favored against their hated rivals from the East. At 6-4, they are in position to have their best season since 1982. At 6-4 they are in position to have a chance to play in a New Years Day Bowl. Such accomplishments seemed unimaginable only 2 years ago before Franklin arrived on campus. James Franklin is telling the media all of the right things about the video. But don’t be fooled. He is definitely reminding his players about the scene that took place in the UT locker room one year ago. About the pain they felt when they walked out of Neyland Stadium knowing they let one get away.

There is plenty of motivation for Vanderbilt to play hard Saturday. This game Saturday could send a message across the state. Tennessee is hobbling in with a 4-6 record losers of 5 of their last 6 games. They have not won a SEC game yet this year. They just lost in 4 overtimes to a Missouri team that Vanderbilt defeated 19-15. Reports on the radio are saying that Tennessee could not sell all of its share of tickets for the game Saturday and their head coach will more than likely be fired at the end of the season. But none of that matters Saturday because Vandy has only beaten Tennessee once (2005) since 1983. Stats & records mean nothing this week. The only thing that will matter is the score when the clock hits zero. Can Vandy get over the hump? Can Vanderbilt seize the day?

Many times while watching the NFL Draft we hear the name of a college football player being drafted in the first round and we ask ourselves “Who?”. The fact is that there are so many college football players out there, it is impossible to know who all of the good ones are. We have created a list of what we think are ten of the best college football players in 2012 that most people don’t know about.

1. Jonathan Cooper – Senior Guard UNC


2. David Amerson – Junior Cornerback NC State


3. Chris Borland – Junior Linebacker Wisconsin


4. Duke Williams – Senior Cornerback Nevada University


5. Johnthan Banks – Senior Cornerback Mississippi State


6. Keenan Allen – Junior Wide Receiver California


7. Marquess Wilson – Junior Wide Receiver Washington State


8. Shayne Skov – Senior Linebacker Stanford


9. Star Lotulelei – Senior Defensive Tackle Utah


10. Terrane Williams – Senior Wide Receiver Baylor


It is not a secret that Derek Dooley is on the hot seat in Knoxville, TN. Now with the Tennessee Vols losers of three straight SEC games talks of replacing Dooley are becoming louder each week. Inside information is now starting to leak out from within the headquarters of the Tennessee Vols athletic department. For the most loyal and in-tuned fan, this may not be new news. But to everyone else, here is what is starting to leak out concerning Derek Dooley’s future as the University of Tennessee’s Head Football Coach.

The word is that Derek Dooley’s firing may come as soon as early next week. Even if he beats South Carolina this weekend, he could still be fired Monday or Tuesday next week. There has apparently already been discussions with Monday Night Football commentator Jon Gruden to replace Dooley as UT’s next head coach. Jon Gruden is a former NFL Head Coach with the Oakland Raiders and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was a graduate assistant at the University of Tennessee from 1986 to 1987. Whether or not Dooley is allowed to coach the rest of the season is still unknown. Tennessee may decide to go the Ohio State route & announce a new coach while allowing the current coach to finish the season. Apparently it seems that the prospect of going 7-5 will not be enough to save Derek Dooley’s job.

La.-Monroe celebrating after beating Arkansas

On Saturday, September 8, 2012, Louisiana-Monroe commonly referred to as ULM defeated Arkansas in Little Rock 34-31 in overtime. The win has sent shock waves through the college football landscape. While the win appears on the surface as just a single upset victory & something to be forgotten about come seasons end (except for those living in the state of Arkansas). I submit this thought. How far can ULM go now?If you suit up for the ULM Warhawks on fall Saturday afternoons either to play the game on the field or to cheer for them in the stands, it is imperative, I repeat imperative, to take a moment and recognize the position you are sitting in right now. Yes Tyler Wilson didn’t play in the 2nd half but that won’t matter at the end of the day. The entire ULM family has to recognize that what happened last night has the potential to turn Louisiana-Monroe into the new Boise State.

Beating the #8 team in the country & adding to that fact that it was an SEC school can turn a program around if the opportunity is siezed. Next Saturday ULM travels to Auburn to play another SEC school. For ULM players, this Auburn game Sat. has to be the biggest moment in your sports life. After beating Arkansas, ULM should be ranked in the top 25. Now if they go on to beat Auburn, a top 15 ranking should be expected. Adding to this perfect storm is the solid belief that Arakansas will recover and do some major damage in the SEC West. So now Arkansas success becomes the ULM’s success.

Can you imagine if Tyler Wilson makes a full recovery & Arkansas beats Alabama at home while ULM travels to Auburn and wins there? How in the world would you rank that top 25?

After Auburn, there is Baylor, who like Auburn is starting a new QB. Even a loss to Baylor will not be detrimental if ULM beat Auburn.

This is a historic time for the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks football program. How many programs in the Sun Belt Conference can say they have a chance to play for the national championship game. And with the talent Arkansas has and the potential of what they can do with a healthy Tyler Wilson, ULM now can say that. Every player for the Warhawks needs to look himself in the mirror this week & ask himself if he’s ready to sacrifice in order to change history. The opportunity given to few is right there. ULM is on the doorstep of national respect. Are they ready to kick the door in? We’ll see.