Vandy proves me wrong

Published 7:00 pm Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I hope the Vanderbilt fans are listening because this day will probably be a first in history – someone outside of Tennessee leading off a column with them for two weeks in a row.

Just days after I broke into my “don’t believe the hype” spiel about Vandy’s smoke and mirrors run to 4-0, what do they do? They beat Auburn.

And this team is actually for real. It’s an old, old saying that coaches use all the time, so much that we don’t pay attention to it anymore. Give up less turnovers than you take and don’t commit penalties. The Commodores do that better than any team, and what do you know? It actually works.

But how much of a badge is a win over Auburn? That team right now would have a hard time penetrating a paper towel wall, much less 11 defenders.

Mississippi State, Duke, Kentucky and Tennessee appear to be the most winnable of Vandy’s seven remaining games. The Commodores may even pull off an upset or two against Georgia, Florida or Wake Forest.

And dare I say the unspeakable word – undefeated?

So I’ve learned my lesson. At this point, I won’t count anyone out. Actually, I very well will do that, I just won’t tell you about it.

In case your radar’s broken, here are some teams you may have missed that are performing quite well.

6. Tulsa – What does it say when you’re 5-0 in Conference USA? It says St. Ann’s College for Girls should probably have accepted the invitation to join the league five years ago. I’m kidding. St Ann’s wasn’t actually invited – but it was on the short list.

5. Boise State – Still undefeated and still playing on a field so blue that it makes your brain hurt. Somewhere Bob Stoops is shuddering. “Oooooklahoma, where the winds come sweeping down the plain!”

4. Utah – It’s the uniforms, I’m telling ya. Or it could be 411 yards and 37 points per game.

3. Northwestern – They tackle well, and they also go to class. If only it could be this good all the time.

2. Oklahoma State – Seriously? Still undefeated? Was St. Ann’s on the schedule?

1. Virginia Tech – Not undefeated, but they should be. Remember East Carolina? The Hokies are horrible offensively, but that defense is fierce. The Vick brothers would be proud.

– George L. Jones is a guest columnist for The Clanton Advertiser. His column appears each Thursday. He can be reached at