Friday, August 17, 2007

The Guru: Part 3

This is the third and final installment of my conversation with the Guru. Later today I will post an afternoon Hotline and a new VSL Podcast. In the meantime, enjoy.

Like most of Commodore Nation, the Guru had football on the brain when we talked. He, like the VSL editorial board, thinks Vanderbilt is going to start the season 4-0. He thinks we’ve got “at least” 4 guys on this year’s squad that will be “playing on Sundays.” When ahead and the football team’s schedule for the next 5-8 years, the Guru told me they are still waiting on the SEC to give them 12 or 13 dates so they can fill out the rest of their schedule. What he did know, is that in the years to come Vanderbilt will be playing Northwestern, Rice, Army, and Clemson. DeFKA is also in talks with Stanford, Syracuse, and Notre Dame. Interestingly, Norte Dame is interested in playing Vanderbilt, but being (or seeing themselves as) the 800 lbs. gorilla, the boys from South Bend will not agree to a home and home series. To get on Notre Dame’s schedule, Vanderbilt would have to agree to play in South Bend and play another game on a neutral site. According to the Guru, they weren’t receptive to playing the neutral game at LP Field in Nashville…go figure. There have also been discussions about playing Michigan again, with the Wolverines wanting a 3 game series (2 at the Big House, 1 at Vanderbilt Stadium), and the Commies only wanting to play 2 (with the first game to be played in Nashville). ESPN wants the game to, which never hurt anyone.

The conversation about TV and the importance of national exposure for the burgeoning Commodores program was interesting. As the Guru said point-blank, getting on TV helps Vanderbilt’s recruiting. This season, there is reason to think Vanderbilt coaches will have an easier time. Vice Chancellor Williams told me that he thought we would have at least 1 or 2 games on the ESPN family of networks, and perhaps a game on CBS (according to the Guru, they did a site visit for a possible game in the fall). Winning some games will only help that proposition. So far, there are 3 men’s basketball games slated for the ESPN networks as well. And it keeps getting better. Williams told me that either for 2008 or 2009, Vanderbilt’s men’s basketball team has been invited to play in the Maui Invitational. The only question now is, how will Kevin Stallings look in a Hawaiian shirt?

A few more nuggets from the Guru:
- He’d like to see Vanderbilt and the city of Nashville’s turn the Music City Classic into a big-time baseball tournament that attracts great teams every year.
- He said he considered Vanderbilt’s performance after the Georgetown loss “a win in defeat”
- The Guru told me that last season, Vanderbilt got the 8th share among SEC schools when it came time to distribute revenue. For those saying Vanderbilt is sucking the other SEC schools dry, it turns out there are 4 schools who are pulling even less weight than the Commies.
- According to David Williams, “If Tim has any pitching, look out world.” The Guru seems to think Tim Corbin is building a dynasty in Nashville, and who are we to doubt him?

Before I left, I had one question I had to ask the Guru: “How did you find out what flight Tim Corbin was on?” With a straight face he looked at me and said, “If I tell you, I’d have to kill you.” I can’t help myself, I really do love this guy.


Unknown said...

as a suggestion for an improvement to VSL, I think you should include links to current and in some cases retired player profiles of vandy alums in professional sports. i think there are some of them out there that the average commie faithful are not aware of. hunter hillenmeyer's successful career comes to mind. just a thought but i know i would be interested in it.

Unknown said...

Bobby, did you get any sense from the Guru as to whether he might leave Vandy also? I presume that, twer it to happen, it would have happened already, but I'm curious if there is any speculation as to whether he might leave to join Gee or be in line to become Chancellor himself.

He seems like a great guy and is wonderful for the school, I certainly hope he stays.

Bobby O'Shea said...

I didn't ask him the question directly, but he didn't talked like a guy who was packing his bags. He sounds committed to Vanderbilt and seems to be in this for the long haul. With that said, most would have said that about EGG (in fact, he said that himself).

When news of Gee's departure first broke, keeping the Guru was, as far as I and the rest of the VSL editorial staff was concerned, priority number one. Joe Biddle wrote a column to that effect in the Tennessean a few days later.

As I've said, DeFKA is in good hands.

As for the Guru being chancellor himself, I also didn't ask him about that, but I would personally rather see him remain as Guru than get the title bump. David Williams is a details, get it done kind of guy, as great a chancellor as he'd be, I think the Vanderbilt community is better off with him where he is.