Thursday, November 5, 2009

Warren Norman SEC Freshman of the Year?

According to Jeff Lockridge in today's Tennessean, that is a distinct possibility. Urban Meyer said, as of right now, Norman has his vote. Despite that, Meyer is not planning to kick away from Norman: "We have pretty good players that we put on kickoff," Meyer said. "Our guys, they've answered the challenge. This will be the biggest challenge that we've had." Meyer might want to rethink that. Norman has 1,526 all-purpose yards for an average of 169.6 per game, ranking him first in the SEC and 10th nationally. The last time Vanderbilt had a SEC Freshmen of the Year was 2002 when Kwame Doster won the award after rushing for 798 yards.

In other news, Brandon Spikes has "suspended himself" for the entire Vanderbilt game. Earlier this week, Urban Meyer suspended Spike for the first half of the Vanderbilt game, a move that was dismissed as extremely light given Spikes' tactics were a small step above a shot to the junk or hair-pulling (in fairness, had the Georgia players helmet been off, he might have resorted to hair-pulling).

As of right now, Vanderbilt is a 35 point underdog. That stings.

Finally, I think David Rutz's piece on Bleacher Report about what a 2-10 Vanderbilt season would do to the program is good. I made the point after the Army game that this season looked, after last year's Music City Bowl win, like 1 step forward, 2 steps back.


Anonymous said...

It stings unless you look around the sports world every year for 2 or 3 absolutely mispriced spreads and bet them...not serious gambling, but as Nicky Santoro (Pesci) says in Casino: "you know, havin' fun with it, shit like that."

Stanimal said...

As long as we hang on to the this recruiting class coming in, we'll be fine.

Look, the season is a disappointment, but how could it not be. We played arguably the toughest schedule of any team in the SEC with zero bye weeks the whole season. We were led by a sophomore QB (just because Larry struggled doesn't mean we should give up on him). We tried a new offensive system, a gamble in order to try to boost offensive production that simply didn't pay off.

Four star recruits yada yada yada. Stanford has a decent football history. Vanderbilt does not. Stanford also plays in the Pac-10, where Oregon and USC are the only perennial contenders. It's not like they have Florida, Georgia, LSU, and Alabama in the hunt. That's four teams who usually are in the mix for a high ranking.

This season feels like two steps back, but the odds were stacked way against us when that schedule was released.

The only inexcusable aspect of this year was the fact that our offense failed to improve in the passing game and is even more stagnant than last year. We deserve to expect some sort of improvement in that regard.

Seamus O'Toole said...

Stanimal, what's with the apologist tone? The schedule included W. Carolina, Rice, Miss. St., Army, Kentucky. Five wins you gotta have right there. Then you beat either UGA or S. Carolina or UT -- just one of those three opponents, all of which have demonstrated throughout the year that they are very very beatable -- and you're back in a bowl game. I hope the last two weeks of this season don't devolve into us doing the pity party conference comparison thing and complaining about contending in the SEC, lest we forget that we lost to Army. Army.

Seamus O'Toole said...

Stormin' Warren Norman for Congress.

Stanimal said...

Seamus, one, it's a pleasure to have you back after your recent nuptials. Two, your statement is sort of on and sort of off. I don't care if you play Southeastern Lousiana State University: when you don't have a bye week, you didn't have a whole bunch of depth to begin with, and your team gets a massive case of the injury bug, you're NOT going to win football games.

The Army game was an egregious loss. We took care of business against Western Carolina and Rice. Losing to Mississippi State was deflating, but we haven't exactly played lights out against them the past two years. Kentucky remains to be seen.

There's no "pity party" and it's inexcusable that we're as bad as offense as we are. I stated as much. My only point is that playing a full slate of games weeks 1-12 is a challenge for any team, especially one that doesn't have a whole lot of guys to fill in to begin with.

Seamus O'Toole said...

That's obviously fair and I agree. All I'm saying is we can talk about bad luck with injuries and losing Jeffers-Harris and lack of depth etc. til the cows come home, but we can't very easily use our strength of schedule (which is ranked #76 in the nation for those keeping score at home) when talking about what's excusable and what's not.

Pinhighs said...

This year was disappointing, but truthfully I'm still hungover from the bowl win. I understand all the things that have been stacked against us this year. If the offense would have been just a tad bit more productive, then the Army, M.St, S.C. and even the Florida games could have had different outcomes. If the wide outs and Larry can get it together during the off season, then next year could be a better year. Till then lets take care of Uk and the wishy washy UTofK.

Go Dores.
It's good to be GOLD.