Sunday, August 12, 2007

VU Fan Day photos

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Like many Vanderbilt football fans, I'm pretty excited about our prospects this year. Long the doormat of the SEC, this year looks promising. We have talent, depth, experience and confidence. In years past, I've been susceptible to drinking the Commodore Kool Aid, but this year it tastes real.

Will and I headed to Dore Jam, or Fan Day, this afternoon to meet the players. Despite extreme heat and Will staying up until 1 a.m. at a buddy's house last night, we had a blast. We saw many friends who asked about Dori, and Coach Bobby Johnson signed a poster with a note to Dori to keep doing well. I took many photos, two of which I've posted here: Will with All-SEC receiver Earl Bennett and receiver George Smith and Will with Coach Johnson.

It's time for a little Swami Sez. I like the Dores going 7-5. Best case, I see 8-4; worst case, 5-7. Most people I know are saying 6-6. Here's how I see the year transpiring.

VU starts the year with a 38-10 thumping of Richmond, which is a respectable Division I-AA team. They beat Duke last year 13-0. Yes, it's Duke, but Duke is I-A. Next, a huge game at home against Alabama coached by a man of his word, Nick Saban. I used to like the Tide. Still do, just not their new coach. He's a mercenary, and Bama sold out by stuffing $4 million a year in his back pocket. Amateur sports? We will beat the Tide, not because Saban is a jackass, but because we're better this year than they are and due to beat them. 23-17 Dores.

Next up, Ole Miss. Hotty Toddy, Gosh Almighty, I see a blowout. 34-16, Dores. Sadly, this will be the beginning of the end for the Ed Orgeron era in Oxford. He is SOOO entertaining. After a week off, we beat Eastern Michigan. Pick your score, they are a lower echelon MAC team. After that, it gets tricky. I see Auburn as vulnerable this year. We may even upset them. But I can't pick it. 23-20, Tigers. Georgia will come to Nashville the following week for a key match-up. We beat the Dawgs last year. I still think they are down and beatable. 27-19 Dores, who are now 5-1.

The following week, with media attention at a frenzy, we go to Columbia to play the Gamecocks. We never play them well and they out-physical us. This year, we stay with them but fall short, 31-20. After a breeze win against Miami of Ohio, we go to Florida, to whom we have lost by a combined 13 points the last two years. The National Champs are better than us, and will win if they bring their A game. If they don't, we have an outside chance. 30-20, Gators. Dores are now 6-3.

Next up is a HUGE game against Kentucky. The Cats are improved, but so are we. I like us this year because I trust Bruce Fowler, our defensive coordinator, Coach Johnson and Special Teams Coach Belin will find a way to reverse the embarrassment of our performance in Lexington last year. Dores triumph, 41-26. Much as I'd like to, I can't pick the Dores over the Vawls the next week in Knoxville. We play well, but lose late, 23-20, on a field goal. The final game against Wake Forest should be a classic. If we win, we go to a big bowl; if we lose, it's off to Shreveport. This one is a toss-up. I'll temper my enthusiasm and predict a 28-27 loss at home.

Now that the mood has been struck, what's your two cents? Am I nuts? I don't think so. We have too much talent and momentum. I hope to see a lot of you at Dudley Field, as we have eight home games this year. Our kids graduate and stay out of trouble. We have a program of which to be proud. GO DORES!!!

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