Sunday, November 16, 2008

Over the Hump

We've finally done it. CBJ and the Commodores have finally attained bowl eligibility for the first time in the Hall of Fame Bowl in 1983. The monkey is finally off our backs.

While Kentucky did everything to give this game to us, props have to go out to the coaching staff and to the players. It was as good a defensive effort as I have ever seen from that unit, and the offense looked like it had been completely overhauled. Chris Nickson played very well. He dropped a few snaps and fumbled a couple of times that near gave me a heart attack, but there's no doubting the numbers. The two TDs to DJ Moore were wonderful throws, and Nickson and Jared Hawkins did an excellent job moving the chains down the stretch. But let's get back to D.J. Moore....

On offense, 3 catches for 51 yards and 2 TDs. On defense, 3.5 tackles, 2 INTs. The only mistake D.J. made all night was a costly fumble on a punt return that led to a Kentucky touchdown. While this mistake was a big one, he showed why he is one of the most dynamic players in College Football. I have never seen a player go both ways like that in D-1 sports.

We manhandled Kentucky in the first half, allowing them only 6 offensive plays and a measley 15 yards total offense. Time of possession was absurdly lopsided. In the second half, Kentucky got the wind in their sails a bit more, but they only had 241 yards of offense the whole game and couldn't crack 100 yards rushing.

There is still a lot of reason to be alarmed on Special Teams. You would have thought that someone greased the ball the way we dropped kickoffs and punts. Further the blocked field goal that led to Kentucky's lone first half TD was atrocious. The offensive front got owned there, say what you want about Hahnfeldt, who alarmingly hadn't made a field goal until last night since September 20th, but our special teams have to be able to block better. Plain and simple.

Despite this being our first bowl berth since 1983, CBJ is not making a big deal out of this. Read this Chris Low article. And that, quite frankly, is why you have to love Bobby Johnson. The season isn't over and we still have 2 games to play, both of which are very winnable.

So let the speculation begin, WHERE WILL WE BE GOING BOWLING?

12 comments:

Tony Arnold said...

You cannot count on a bowl with 6 wins in the SEC. Too many teams eligible. We can get 8 wins if we get back to the 5-0 form: create turnovers, don't make them; no penalties; good on special teams; disciplined football; and a run game to open up the passing game.

Made progress last night but almost blew it with penalties, turnover, and special team gaffs. Would have been a blowout w/o those.

When this team plays hard and disciplined, they are very good team and would have 8 wins now. We would have won the Miss St. and Duke games.

One thing for sure, when Chris is healthy, he is our best quarterback. The staff just blew it in the Miss St. game letting him play injured too long. Exactly what they said they would not do after last year's lesson. Duke, we just played without any enthusiam on offense and special teams cost us the game in spite of lackluster play. The defense played great.

I am not being negative. I am so pumped about the win. I really believe this team can get 8 wins, and depending on a bowl draw, 9.

Stanimal said...

While I certainly share your enthusiasm and definitely think that we should not be satisfied with only 6 wins, you can rest assured that Vanderbilt is about as close to guaranteed as you can get.

The SEC has 9 bowl tie-ins, not including the possibility of one of our teams making the championship game. Vanderbilt became the 8th bowl eligible team. The only teams still knocking on the door are Auburn, who has one game left against Alabama, and Arkansas, who has two games left against Mississippi State and LSU. Even if those teams were to win out and we were to lose our last two to Tennessee and Wake, we would be 6-6 (4-4), Auburn would be 6-6(3-5) and Arkansas would be 6-6(3-5). The fact that we beat Auburn, coupled with our superior in conference record, would likely get us a spot in at least the 9th game, which would be the Papa John's bowl.

The odds increase in the event that either Alabama or Florida goes to the national championship. That would mean that 10 bowl eligible teams would be picked up by the various bowls, making room for either Auburn or Arkansas. Once again, given their in-conference record, they are more likely to be left out in the cold.

The point of this is to say that we don't have to play as if we're cursed anymore and we're free to go out and play our best season without concern of making a bowl at the end. The goal has been achieved and now all we need to worry about is surpassing that goal.

Stanimal said...

Also, see the vucommodores.com article. http://vucommodores.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/recaps/111508aaa.html

We also placed ourselves ahead of Kentucky in the pecking order.

Douglas James said...

agreed....barring something crazy florida and bama should both be going to BCS bowl games. I think we end up at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis but the Music City bowl would be an amazing time. I am glad I have saved up my skymiles because i am going to the game no matter where it is!!!!

Anonymous said...

if we lose the last two games there will be no bowl. The selection committee will take Auburn and Arkansas over us, despite any record. They will bring more people!!! and more money!!! and more familiarity!!!

Joseph said...

agreed that 6 does not get us a bowl. we need 7. it will probably be the liberty bowl but i wouldn't mind the music city bowl.

Diezba said...

Sorry, doubters, but Stanimal is right: 6 wins means at worst, we're going to the Papajohns.com Bowl in Birmingham (as ably explained by Mr. Stanimal, the SEC has 9 tie-ins, with a contractual relationship between the conference and the bowls that allows the conference to designate who will go where). Before Vanderbilt attained eligibility, there were only 7 teams eligible for our 9 spots.

Also, don't mean to quibble, but the Hall of Fame Bowl was Dec. 31, 1982.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who does not think Vandy is going to a bowl game with 6 wins needs to do a little research. It is a lock. I just got here from the Whoyawith.com blog and they have a great breakdown.

Anonymous said...

If Vandy wins out, we will go to the Chich-fil-A Bowl being chosen over Ole Miss even if they too win out. Otherwise, it is Liberty or Music City. Sure that could change with miracle wins by Auburn and/or Arkansas dropping us to PJ or Independence (if Auburn and Arkansas get their miracles).

Tony Arnold said...

I love arguing over this stuff! Ain't it great!

Anonymous said...

vandy will go to liberty bowl. memphis sucks as a city. and the liberty bowl is absolutely horrible. but they will take us. and we will be there. maybe we'll be the most packed house for the liberty bowl ever. we better come out of the wood work for this.

Stanimal said...

I'll tell you what though, if we can pull a win out this week, we might very well be looking at the Chick-fil-A bowl.