Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Vanderbilt Hotline: VSL Gives Back...

Well, if talking about myself and Vanderbilt sports constitutes "giving back" than I am a veritable foundation. Since I suspect it doesn't, you'll have to settle for today's Hotline.

First off, out on parole and a year older to boot, the Big Guy has a great piece about how Vanderbilt sports can bring disparate groups of people together...even in the Arlington pen. I wonder if, before the big fella stared talking to his new found friends about Cutler, he mentioned his sterling educational pedigree, and overall sense of superiority not only to them, but to everyone reading this as well (or at least everyone writing today's Hotline).

There is actually some news to get to, as Coach Kevin Stallings added a 4th recruit to an already impressive class. Fresno forward Darshawn McClellan will sign a letter of intent today according to Mo Patton in this morning's Tennessean. Never far behind, Brett Hait also has some ink on the 6'7 prep-star in today's Nashville City Paper. Edison High Coach Arturo Ormond highlights how McClellan can create match-up issues for opposing teams with his ability to play inside and out. As he tells Mo Patton, "[Darshawn is] athletic, tough and aggressive. He's the kind of kid that goes to a place like Vanderbilt and just blossoms." Coach Ormond spread the love around the Vanderbilt beat telling Hait in the City Paper, "His season was interesting because I didn’t know what to expect, moving him from post to the wing,” Ormond told the Fresno Bee. “But he did a great job, still being able to rebound at a high level as well as being our leading scorer and go-to guy in a lot of situations. He was very reliable and dependable in what he accomplished on the court on a day-in and day-out basis." Finally, our friends at VandySports.com have a thread welcoming Darshawn to Nashville.

Brett Hait does double-duty today with an article about Vanderbilt baseball in the City Paper . Fresh off their 3-game sweep of Tennessee over the weekend, Tim Corbin's boys remain #1 nationally. Not resting on their laurels however, CTC knows Vanderbilt still has some issues to work out, mainly their "Sunday" pitching (i.e. the 3rd starter in their rotation for conference games). As Hait points out, Vanderbilt is only 2-4 in Sunday SEC games, with their starters having an 8.38 ERA. Hait quotes CTC as saying, "“It’s really important. That’s how you win tournaments,” Corbin said. "If you’re a 2-1 team during the year, you win a series but you’re not much after that. Once in awhile you’ve got to be a 3-0 team, because 3-0 teams win regionals and Super Regionals and win SEC Tournaments. That’s the thing we’ve got to take care of right now." Hopefully in the final month of SEC play, a reliable 3rd starter will materialize. Vanderbilt plays Tennessee Tech today, looking to right to OOC ship after 2 straight losses, before hosting Florida this weekend in Nashville.

Taking a page from VSL, an unofficial Georgia Sports Blog has a suggestion about football scheduling. He is proposing an SEC-Big 12 Football challenge to open up. I go back and forth on this one, I think these sorts of "challenges" are better served in basketball than football, particularly for a program like Vanderbilt. Worth some discussion, although I would much rather Vanderbilt develop personal rivalries for OOC games (i.e. Wake, Northwestern, Stanford, UVA, UNC, etc...) rather than be hamstrung by an SEC directive. I know some of you all have an opinion, so let's hear it.

Idol Gives Back tonight at 8, with Bono as the mentor. Let it be said that VSL is the first Vanderbilt sports blog to endorse Bono for the Nobel Peace Prize. Much to Dr. MZ's delight, another Washington Post Op-Ed columnist has come out as an Idol watcher, and puts tonight's festivities into perspective. Having not seen any of the performances, I have Phil Stacey, Chris Richardson, and LaKisha in the bottom 3...if Lundari can do it, why can't Bobby?


Anonymous said...

My life is a little emptier without Sanjaya. But I'm still pretty pumped up for the MOST IMPORTANT PERSON ON THE PLANET to visit the Idol wannabes.

Anonymous said...

I'm back and forth on a potential SEC/Big 12 Challenge, too.

I see Bobby's point, particularly for a program like Vanderbilt football: No real long-term or natural rival - thus develop one of those first before falling into any type of conference vs. conference deal.

Other SEC schools, though, have natural rivalries in place that are OOC (Florida vs. Florida State, eg.). In this case, it might make sense for such a conference battle to take place on a given date before conference play starts. Virtually every possible game listed on the Georgia Blog has a significant deal of intrigue (Much more than Arkansas whipping up on LA-Lafayette, for example).

I halfway agree with the author's point that this would give some of the SEC schools an opportunity to play a really good OOC opponent before the season due to limited spaces in bowl games. The other side of this is - if you're an SEC school and you BEAT a quality team from another big conference, like the Big 12, it increases your strength of schedule (given the alternatives), adding to your chances of getting into a bowl.

I could go on about the severe flaws in the BCS system, but that's another post.

Boyer in the District

Bobby O'Shea said...

Such a "challenge" would help the Big 12 a lot more than the SEC teams. You already have good OOC rivalries between SEC Teams (Florida/FSU, Georgia/Tech, USC/Clemson, Kentucky/Louisville, Vanderbilt/Wake (err, that might not be that awesome, but you get my point)). Many if not most SEC teams are playing 1 reasonable OCC opponent before playing 3 paddy-cake games...with the SEC being what it is, that seems fine to me. By adding this game to start every season you would either a) compel SEC teams to play 2 potentially difficult OOC games (something unreasonable for teams looking trying to win under the current BCS format), or b) have teams opt out of the existing rivalry games I outlined above. For me, it seems like a lose/lose. If SEC schools want to schedule more difficult OOC opponents on their own (a al Arkansas/Southern Cal, Georgia/Boise State a few years ago (they didn't know Boise would be as bad as they were), or Vanderbilt/Wake (err...I promise to stop using that example), they should be free to do some. But being forced into something by the league would actually, in my view, do more harm to the SEC overall than it would help. The Big 12 wants a challenge that's more "equal," have'em play the ACC.

Anonymous said...


Memo to Boise State: That wasn't Wyoming State on the other side of the football. That was big time SEC, and you were exposed. Don't call us - we'll call you. And...we won't be calling you.

And yes, their win over OK was a joke, too.

I hate those blue-fielders.

Anonymous said...

american idol sucks