Tag:Music City
Posted on: September 30, 2009 12:02 am
Edited on: September 30, 2009 12:06 am

Commodore Bowl Chances are Narrowing

Last year the Commodores beat Boston College in the Music City Bowl.  The win was something Vandy fans savored.  It was a year of highs and lows.  We started the season with 5 wins and followed with 5 losses.  The bottom fell but like our ski trip we raised the bow, pulled the plug in that back of the boat and let the water drain out. We put the plug in and the boat was once again worthy.  The Commodores did the same thing and finished the regular season 6-6.  The Bowl win let the Dores 7-6 and all of a sudden the question was asked, "Can a Bowl Tradition Be a Reality at Vanderbilt?" 


Right now continuing a bowl tradition is looking bleak.  In fact you would have to say Commodore Bowl chances are narrowing.  Even before the season began there was the stark reality that we were going to have to play 12 straight weeks.  That might be alright for teams with depth but Vandy? The goal of six wins would be a tough hill to climb.


Here were my thoughts before the season: 

Getting back to a bowl will in my opinion will require another major upset, kind of like we had against Auburn last season (Auburn at the time was a major upset).  An upset most certainly won’t come against Georgia.  The Dogs have perhaps its best core of offensive lineman since 2002.  What about our in state rivals?  Tennessee has a new coach, a new offense, but by the time we play they neither will be new anymore.  I don’t think it happens against Tennessee.  How about Alabama? No.  How about Florida?  No WAY!!  So let’s look at our schedule and see what we think. 

The schedule is tough, no OPEN DATES.

Western Carolina                     Win
LSU                                          Loss
Mississippi State University     Win
Rice                                          Win
Ole Miss                                   Loss
Army                                         Win
University of Georgia               Loss
South Carolina                         Loss
Georgia Tech                           Loss
University of Florida                 Loss
Kentucky                                  Win
Tennessee                               Loss

I am thinking that it really looks like a lean year at 5-7 with no bowl repeat.  We could beat Georgia Tech and South Carolina to be 7-5 and perhaps a wild shot at beating Tennessee but I just don't think so.  If everything broke right our best possible record is 8-4.  In reality a hopeful 6-6 and likely something less is what this year will bring.  One thing that will really hurt Vandy this year is the lack of off dates.  Vandy had two off dates last season.  Now they will not get a change to have nagging injuries heal.  Vandy could win 3 of the first four and then go into another tailspin like last season.  Army won't be a push over, especially on the road.  Rice and Army are on the road so what we look at as wins are games the opponent also figures as wins.   


Okay, so in review of what I said at the first of the season, Vandy has only lost one more game than I anticipated.  Miss State is a good team. They showed that in almost upsetting LSU last week.  When I say a good team let me caveat that by saying, a mid pack good team that just doesn't roll over.  Mid pack teams can win if another team makes uncharacteristic bad plays, turnovers, bad weather neutralizes talent or a fast back, etc. Vandy is a good team. They however have to have a number of events roll their way in order to make it to a bowl this season.  Injuries are already starting to take their toll.

Ole Miss could have come in here to Nashville #4 or #5 in the country. It could have been the best possible scenario for Vandy to pull off the upset of the century.  Now Ole Miss is smoking hot after losing to Steve Spurrier and USC last Thurs night on National TV.  Had they won that game at USC a Ole Miss would have come here in somewhat respectable in the eyes of National Pollsters.  Now they have very little credibility. Therefore even a Vandy win won't be all that impressive outside of us Commodore Fans and other coaches in the SEC who know better.

Vandy with a great crowd on Saturday could catch Ole Miss in a funk and perhaps prevail again this year however somehow I don't think so.  So where does Vandy make up a game to make it to a bowl.  Army is still winnable so that puts you at 3-3.

You have to think maybe we will pick up wins against KY and TN but my gosh we thought so about Tennessee last year and they wiped up clean.  So a lot depends on injuries to other teams.  Georgia has already had the flu so we won't catch them down. USC is much better that last year so I think while a win is possible this is a stretch.  Georgia Tech is really a very good team in the ACC so I don't see that one going our way.  We will have to win the last two and beat somebody I originally expected to lose to along the way.  Right now I will say USC again but wouldn't it be great to pull this biggest upset of all time and beat Florida.  I will never forget the penalty called on Vandy that kept us from going for two in the big game in the swamp that we lost in OT. No doubt Florida will be overlooking Vandy.

Posted on: July 28, 2009 10:37 pm

Quiet in Music City

Friday July 31 will be opening day of Titan Training Camp.  It is hard to believe but there has been little if any headlines this year albeit what happened to Steve McNair from the off season.  Of course Vince Young is the subject of an ESPN feature which aired tonight but in Nashville, that is old news.  ESPN played parts of the interview footage already but let’s face it if there is any news about Vince Young, it is that he is in a battle for being the second QB behind Kerry Collins, but don’t tell Vince that.

Actually I am excited about this year and what it has the potential to bring. We will kick off against the Steelers in Terrible Towel II, Battle in Pittsburg.  This is significant for two reasons.  The first is it will be a good tough matchup against the Super Bowl Champions.  Second regardless of the outcome we can only benefit.  A win will be an upset and if we lose (as we will be underdogs) whatever the team felt about being 13-3 should be dispelled and we can get down to business.

The team is virtually set and once Kenny Britt signs every rookie will be under contract.

Our first look will be the receivers.  The Titan depth chart shows:

1.  Nate Washington and Justin Gage are the starters at WR going into camp.  Washington was an off season acquisition and should average 16 yds a catch if he stays healthy.  Gage averaged 13.5 yds a catch last season and had no fumbles.  His 6 TDs last year should become double digits this year.

2.  TE Bo Scaife will likely play the whole year on the franchise tag is #1 while expect Alge Crumpler to challenge as the #2.  Scaife wants a big contract but it is highly unlikely. He started seven games last season and only caught 2 TDs.  I know he averaged almost 10 yds a catch but that is not enough to garner the dollars he wants.  He also fumbled once which he will have to improve upon holding on to the ball and improving his yards after the catch.

More tomorrow. 


Posted on: July 4, 2009 10:54 pm
Edited on: July 4, 2009 11:00 pm

Steve, Thanks For The Memories

Steve McNairFormer Tennessee Titan Steve McNair is dead today; the victim of shooting that took place at 2nd Ave and Lea in Nashville, Tennessee.  Police discovered two bodies at the scene, one woman and a man.  The man was later determined to be former Titan QB Steve McNair.  The apparent cause of death, a single gunshot wound to the head.  The name of the woman is being withheld pending notification of the next of kin.  

Although details still remain sketchy what we know is this.  Police received a phone call at approximately 1:36 pm today.   There has been no official confirmation of what happened.  Speculation from an unnamed source indicated the double homicide may be a murder suicide.  

McNair was one of the most beloved players to ever wear the Titan uniform. His style of play was a combination of self-determination and grit that inspired many of his teammates around him.  He often played with unbelievable pain.  He suffered a broken sternum yet would not let it keep him away from the game he loved.  This giant of a man from tiny Alcorn State a largely unknown university played big time on the NFL stage as Air McNair. Perhaps most memorable performance as a Titan was in Super Bowl XXXIV in 2000, when the Titans attempt to tie the game ended one yard short.

Steve played tough and played hurt and was a true competitor.  Injuries ultimately led to his retirement following two years with the Baltimore Ravens.  Steve was a big presence in Nashville.  He had a home here, a restaurant over on Jefferson Street, and was very active in the community.  He held a football camp here in Nashville and that was one of his last events in the public eye. He leaves behind his wife and two sons. 

The news has come as a stunning shock of the Titan Nation.  McNair had made the decision to make Nashville his home and was becoming an integral part of the community just recently opening his own restaurant in the area.  Fans and spectators have already begun lining up along Second Avenue and Lea trying to find out exactly what has taken place and pay tribute to the one the so admired.  Just a week ago the former Titan QB was in the Jeff Fisher charity softball game at the home of the Nashville Sounds, having fun with current and former teammates and raising money for charity.  

We have learned that a possible witness was driven away by police at around 2 PM this afternoon.  What she knew is still unknown.  People continued to celebrate the 4th in an outside pool adjacent to the complex where the body of All-Pro quarterback was found.  Police and crime scene investigators as of 5 pm were reporting that the bodies have not been moved and that the crime scene is still being processed.  A woman, a possible witness, has been taken to the police station, and she too has not been identified.  

Once again, Steve McNair is dead today at the age of 36. Police got the call around 1:46 pm and he was found with a gunshot to the head. Police were notified by the apartment manager.  Although the bodies were discovered between 1:30 and 2:00 PM today police are still trying to determine the timeline.  It is possible the murders happened last night and were only discovered this afternoon.  Processing of the crime scene could take several hours. 

Posted on: July 4, 2009 6:16 pm
Edited on: July 4, 2009 10:55 pm
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Posted on: July 4, 2009 5:53 pm
Edited on: July 4, 2009 7:25 pm
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Posted on: September 21, 2008 10:32 pm
Edited on: February 12, 2009 7:08 am

Titans Neutralize Texas (TNT) 31-12

September 21,2008 Titan Game Blog

Call it TNT.  I am not talking about dynamite.  ESPN says, "TITANS BLAST TEXAS."  I say they Neutralized the Texans.  Every time the Texans were about to go off, Tennessee went in an diffused them.  In other words, "Neutralized."  In the end the score looked like a blow out but that really was far from the case.  If it weren't the Texans the Titans were playing today I am afraid the Titans on any other day might have experienced some collateral damage. 

Coming home it looked like the Texans had every opportunity to win this game but did not have the experience or the experience of winning on the road to take advantage of Tennessee's mistakes.  When I got home and saw the statistics I was not surprised to see they were pretty even.

                            Tenn                               Texas

First Downs         19                                     18

Total Yds            343                                   317

Rushing              154                                  146

Passing               189                                 171

Time of Poss      29:19                              30:41


It doesn't get much more even than that.  The reason the score was so one way is because Houston never went for Field Goals.   As a result with I thing a half dozen times in the Red Zone and could not capitalize but rather were neutralized by Tennessee's devilish defense.  Today Tennessee's defense went around masking itself as the Texans moved toward the goal line and then showed up just went the Texans were lulled to sleep and thus two attempts in the end zone on passes in the first half ended up with no points, notta, none.   Okay they did get a field goal to go up 3-0 but  the attitude on the sidelines was an early sign of the air going out of a tire with a slow leak.

Collins did not play badly and he did not play well.  Several of his throws in the first half were high and off the mark.  He did well in the short game and did come away from the game having amassed 35,000 yds passing.  That must be the best of all times for back-ups.  Seriously the Titan offense kind of took a step back this week..  The one TD pass to Scaife  for 26 yds was a thing of beauty.  Collins is romancing the Tight Ends,  Other teams are going to pick up on that so the deep pass is going to have to come out  a little more often in comming weeks.

Defensively, what can you say?  On paper they were awesome with 3 sacks and 3 interceptions.  Corteland Finnegan got his 4th interception in three games; and to top it off,  this one was for a game sealing victory party.  I have to tell you though there was nothing more thrilling than seeing the Freak get his first sack of the season in front of the home town fans.  After the sack he flew around with that tremendous wing span and then flew to the sidelines.  Everyone loved it.  He is a folk legend in Nashville and we including this writer are glad he is back. 

However off the paper there was a dramatic drop off in intensity by the entire defensive front four.  There are times when you just don't get up for every game and perhaps Tennessee was not as up for this game as it should have been.  Nowhere other than here will you read anyrhing but this was a great game but I believe even coach Fisher will let his players know on defense that you can not continue to rely on the one big play on 4th and goal or the inerrent throws.  We did not face a stellar QB today.  Against the Colts we will have to play a whole lot better.  You may not agree but on this Blog, my opinion is what really matters.  Good night.

Posted on: September 14, 2008 3:57 pm
Edited on: February 12, 2009 7:10 am




The Colts (3-3) have a lot of questions to answer and are playing without a full deck however they still have Peyton Manning and the boys on offense that could very easily steal Tennessee's last bastion of enthusiasm.  You see the underlying excitement about tonight's game is that all of a sudden UT (University of Tennessee) is experiencing the blues, Vandy has lost 3 in a row and they Commodore fans are feeling blue so everyone right now is leaning on the Titans to reinflate and if I can say it allow the South to Rise Again.  Of course don't anyone tell all Tennessee fans, Alabama is doing enough for the South by itself.

Okay back to the game.  I will in a moment, gotta find some Hot Chocolate!

At Tailgate time the temperature is 47 degrees and dropping.  The windchill is giving those not next to the BBQ grill code blue fingers, noses and without a hat code blue ears.  Yes this is Nashville and tonight it's colder than NY accoridng to Boomer Esiason.   The Titans have made the most of this meeting between the Titans and the Colts who together have every title in the AFC East since it's inception in 2002.  That was the only year the Titans were the champions and now here they are with their best start ever (6-0) seeking to establish themselves as the top dog. 

Posted on: September 14, 2008 9:19 am
Edited on: February 12, 2009 7:06 am


Sunday 14 Septmeber 2008:  Titan Official Blog

I want to welcome you to the RBTITANSPORTS Blog and today’s game between the Titans and the Bengals. Strong winds have kicked up south of us and may make it here before game time. If the winds should happen to make their way here it most certainly will have an effect on the kicking game. Temperature right now is 74°F, Clear with winds out of the S at 10 mph. It is going to be hot and muggy on the field and in the stadium, Humidity outside is 80%.

Those are the weather conditions here in Cincy but what about the conditions of the players for these two teams? I will get to that in a moment but I have to tell you why this game is so special. You see I started out a Cincinnati Bengal fan. Tennessee did not have a team and I went to the University of Cincinnati and even played a year of football for the Bearcats. I had hoped that when the lean times came in Cincy they would move the team to Nashville but instead we got the Oilers. You can not love the Oilers and love Cincinnati. They were in the same division and you know the rest. Well the NFL put these two teams in different divisions and I could root for both. Well over time I no longer see the Titans as the Oilers so here I am their Official Blogger. It’s good to be back here, to enjoy the fine cuisine of Skyline Chili and the wonderful sports atmosphere of this beautiful city. Who do I like the most now you may ask? The answer is easy, Tennessee.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com