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Question exchange -- Vanderbilt Sports Line

In honor of our game with the Vanderbilt Commodores this Saturday, we have agreed to do a question exchange with the Vandy blog Vanderbilt Sports Line.  VSL is one of the very best of the Vandy blogs, and they have passionate and dedicated writers who closely follow Vanderbilt sports, very much like A Sea of Blue does.

Of course, VSL has posted the other side of the Q&A on their blog.

So without further ado, I present our Q&A with Vanderbilt Sports Line.

  1. One of the first things I always wonder about Vanderbilt, and it comes easily to the lips of Kentucky fans who are in a somewhat similar situation in football, is how do you feel about being considered a second-class citizen in the SEC?  Vanderbilt was an original founding member, just like UK, and yet some have actually called for Vandy to take their act to another conference in football.  What is your perspective on that?

    As passionate Vanderbilt fans, we certainly don't like being treated like we somehow don't "belong." The SEC's bread and butter is certainly football, but over the past few year's Vanderbilt has started to hold their own in football, even if that doesn't come through explicitly in wins and losses. I've also always found it interesting that Vanderbilt and to a lesser extent UK get dumped on, but someone Ole Miss and Mississippi State get a pass. This is a season, more than any other, that proves you really can't take anyone for granted in the SEC.

  2. The Commodores are beginning to look like South Carolina playing musical chairs with their quarterbacks.  Do you think this is hurting the team's chances?

    You play with the team you have, not the team you want. There is no doubt that the musical chairs at QB hasn't been helpful, but a lot of that was unavoidable. Chris Nickson has clearly been battling injuries this season even before anyone knew about it. The fact that Vanderbilt has 3 QB's on the depth chart was a godsend this season and, if nothing else, demonstrates this team is deeper than Vanderbilt teams in year's past. Adams played well early and struggled the past few weeks. Nickson is clearly hurt. Kovalcheck is a 5th year, but hasn't had a lot of game experience. I wouldn't be surprised to see him get some snaps and try and take advantage of  Vanderbilt's wide receiving corps.

  3. We were able to run the ball successfully against the 4th ranked rushing defense in the nation in LSU.  How do you expect to keep Raphael Little & Co. from piling up yardage on the ground?

    I honestly have no idea. When Vanderbilt has lost this season, it's been because of an inability to stop the run. The return of Little is not welcome news in Commodore Nation.

  4. Vanderbilt has lost every game in which an opponent has put up 20 points or more.  Kentucky has only played one game all season in which they put up less than 20.  Can Vanderbilt outscore Kentucky given that it has a scoring offense ranked 95th against Kentucky's 11th?

    Coming into the season, we thought Vanderbilt's offense was going to be its strength and the defense it's weak spot. Shows how much we know, right?. But with that said, this offense is capable of putting up yards and points (one need look no further than last year's game against UK).

  5. I went to Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, and we used to go to Nashville all the time (back then, the drinking age in Tennessee was only 18), and the area around Vanderbilt was a fun place for night life.  Is it still that way?

    Nashville is the best place in the SEC place to party (reason enough to keep us around, right?). Between Downtown, Hillsboro Village, and Demumbreun, there is no shortage of places to commiserate after UK's loss.

  6. Vanderbilt famously lacks an athletic department now, yet they seem to be doing reasonably well in most sports.  Do you think that hurts, helps, or is neutral toward the football program?

    Personally, I think it's more of a PR move. It isn't as if there is no one watching, thinking, managing, or caring about athletics. The organization structure is different, but I don't think it has a negative impact on football or any other sport for that matter. I will say that the emphasis being placed on being both a student and an athlete certainly appeals to some kids and even more parents. And no coach's recruiting efforts were ever hurt by an encouraging word from mom or dad.

  7. There has been some speculation that the Commodores may need to win seven games, rather than six, to actually get to a bowl because of the number of SEC teams that could wind up eligible.  What do you think?

    Vanderbilt needs to get to 7 to feel good about playing in December. 11 SEC teams have 5 wins, I don't think 6 gets you there. Vanderbilt is hoping for LSU in the National Championship Game, the #2 SEC team going to the Sugar, and the other bowl eligibies fighting over the remaining 7 SEC tie-ins and any other table scraps that are left. Mississippi State and Vanderbilt are jockeying for position, and my concern is that they would travel better. With identical records, the tie goes to the team that travels.

  8. Kentucky is coming off a bye week, and we have seen what bye weeks have done for teams this year.  How concerned are you about that?

    Very. This isn't your father's UK team and I don't think this team is done despite the disconcerting loss to State. With that said, with 2 huge games for UK after Saturday's match-up with the Commies, I am hoping the Wildcats are looking back the Commies.

  9. Do you think Marcus Buggs will be able to go on Saturday?  How about Sean Walker?

    Earlier in the week their prognosis was good. I am positive Buggs will play, and would be shocked if Walker didn't.

  10. The 'Dores broke their nasty 22-game losing streak against the Vols last year.  Do you think Kentucky can break theirs this year?  Who will you be pulling for in that game?

    Except in basketball, I see UK and Vanderbilt as almost kindred spirits in the SEC. Commie nation will be pulling for you all against the Vols.

Thanks to Vanderbilt Sports Line for sharing a Q&A with us this week.  It should be a great game tomorrow.