Thursday, September, 22, 2005

Behind The Scoreboard
By Claude Vinson

Vandy 3-0

The weekend was an SEC fest. Or you might say feast.

Everything just may not have been palatable, but there was enough to sate even the most critical football appetite.

I am not mad at the Ole Miss Rebels for their letdown with the Commodores. Let’s face it, these ’Dores are not the ’Dores of old. They are fast dispelling the “doormat image” and are now rolling out the unwelcome mat.

The reason that I am not mad at Ole Miss (or Vanderbilt), is simply because that was good football. At no time during the entire game, did I feel that the Rebels were not going to pull it off. Remember the way it went last season? One just had to keep thinking up to the final broken play that this one, too, was headed for overtime.

You have to give Vanderbilt its due. The Commodores have been beaten by the Rebels 11 of the last 12 games; well, that was before Saturday. The Commodores are off to a fine start which matches a season 21 years ago. They gave the hometown crowd a lot to cheer about, making a 3-0 beginning.

The Rebels lost a couple of players to injuries. Quarterback Spurlock suffered a broken finger and is out for an unknown amount of time. Patrick Willis, who makes things work for Ole Miss in the defensive secondary, injured a knee and a finger. His time away from the field is also unknown. But never to worry, these Rebels are going to roll this season.

And speaking of rolling, the Crimson Tide is also off to an outstanding start. The Don Shula progeny has returned the Bryant work ethic to Alabama and they are 3-0. The SEC had better start preparing for this bunch in the stretch.

There was a bit of shake-up in the SEC ranks among the nationals. It is doubtful that the Vols will hang onto their number five. Florida indubitably will move up. Georgia probably will stay at seven since La.-Monroe was not that much of a threat. LSU did not play. We SEC watchers have great empathy for the Razorbacks who contested the number one team out west. USC firmly believes that it can win three (titles) in a row.

Before we leave you, is there any coach who can throw down a clip board like Phil Fulmer of Tennessee? The coach has made an enviable art of depositing his clipboard on the ground when things go bad. Coaches, it is worthy of emulation.

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