Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Football Chat

6 comments:

Bobby O'Shea said...

On Saturday, we play Tennessee...on Saturday, we beat Tennessee.

Go Commies! Go Commies!

RWilliams said...

Win or lose come Saturday, I like what Bobby Johnson has done with our team. By focusing on defense and exploiting the few areas where we have special advantages, he's put us in position to win a lot of games that would've looked out of reach only a few years ago. With that said, despite his recent contract extension, I think people are going to start getting restless if we don't post a winning season in 2007. Go Dores on Saturday.

Stanimal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stanimal said...

There is no doubt that we are a much improved team. In my e-mail following the first game of the year, I made two statements which ended up being incorrect: One, I said that Michigan wouldn't be our toughest competition this year. Somehow, Michigan went from being a 5-4 team to number 2 in the country. Second, I ragged on Chris Nickson, frankly because I didn't think he would be able to hang in the SEC. The guy has definitely proven that he'll be a solid force for years to come.

So that being said, I think Vandy football has had a decent season, and I only say decent because at some point we need to turn the corner and make a bowl game in order to say our program has stepped up to that next level.

Finally, I'd like to highlight a very interesting fact, that is very much so under the radar. If you'll take a look at Division I-A statistics under receiving yards, you'll notice something that may shock you, it certainly shocked me.

Earl Bennett leads the nation in receiving yards.

In today's AJC (Atlanta Journal-Constitution), it was pointed out that though this is an obvious fact, Bennett is not in the top 14 in consideration for the Biletnikoff award, presented annually to the nation's top wide receiver. Now I'm not saying he deserves to win the award neccessarily, but to not even be in the TOP 14?

Now, let me further add on to this injustice by comparing Bennett's stats with a semifinalist on the list, Pittsburgh's Derek Kinder. Bennett has 78 catches for 1130 yards and 6 TDs. Kinder has 40 catches for 681 yards and 6 TDs.

I mean, are we serious here? Not only does Bennett have better stats than everyone on the list (aside from TD receptions), but absolutely BLOWS AWAY some of the semi-finalists.

Sometimes you gotta give credit where credit is due, even if the school isn't a national powerhouse in the sport.

If Garrett Wolfe at Eastern Illinois can get some love from the media, why the hell can't Bennett, who actually plays in a real conference?

Sorry for the long post, I thought it was necessary to highlight the argument.

Bobby O'Shea said...

Preach on Stanimal.
Earl Bennett is clealy the victim of an anti-Vanderbilt football bias. He is one of the most explosive offensive weapons in the nation, let alone the SEC. The fact that he doesn't crack the top-14 just goes to show you that people really aren't paying attention. It is also indicative of a larger problem that Vanderbilt faces. The fact that our hometown paper (The Tennessean) devotes substantially more column inches to Tennessee Football than to Vanderbilt has real consequences.
While Vanderbilt is always looking to next year, there is reason to be encouraged. With Nickson developing nicely, Bennett already having the BEST stats of any receiver in the country, and Jonathan Goff entering his senior season as a force on the defensive end, this is a team poised to do great things. It all starts on Saturday.

RWilliams said...

Good call, Stanimal. The Biletnikoff is a joke because it's tilted toward players and conferences of west coast style offense. You'll notice that the key statistic for that award is yards-per-catch. You'll also notice that no fewer than FOUR PAC-10 players are semi-finalists, while the SEC gets snubbed because it is a different (and, as most who know something about the game agree, better) style of football. That explains why guys like Sidney Rice of South Carolina (who is almost unanimously one of the top 3 receivers in the country) and Earl Bennett don't make the cut. Anyone look at the teams Rice, UTEP, and Pitt have played and tell me how many of their opponents have defensive personnel headed to the NFL after college. Give me a break.