Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Sports Columns

December 29, 2011

ALL IN THE GAME: The excitement is building for Commodore fans

CROSSVILLE — I know that appearing in a bowl game is just a standard thing for the Volunteers, except for this year, and it normally doesn't bring much excitement to them. That's just another good thing about being a Vanderbilt fan. We haven't been to post season trips very often and it is very special when we do get to extend our season. A win over Cincinnati would indeed be a very big accomplishment for James Franklin's first edition of the Commodores.

I've been looking back through Vandy football history going into this rare bowl appearance and I have discovered some interesting facts.

For instance, did you know that in 1904, Vanderbilt's only undefeated season, that 9-0 squad outscored their opponents by a total of 452-4 and they led the nation in scoring that season.

Also the 1915 team, known as 'the point a minute team' managed to score 514 points in 510 minutes of actual playing time. This included a win over the Tennessee Volunteers by a score of 35-0 and a defeat of Mississippi by a 91-0 margin.

Then there was the time they faced LSU in 1937, when the Tigers were unscored on and Vanderbilt used the "hidden ball" play to gain a 7-6 win over the men from Louisiana.

See, you don't have to be a perennial football powerhouse to have some things to brag about. There were many other interesting things that I managed to dig up during my reading, but there was one that really interested me.

It appears that the Vandy squads of 1953-'54 were led by a quarterback by the name of Jim Looney. Is it possible that a relative of Tom Looney actually donned the black and gold? There are several reasons that I think there is no relation, but I'm sure that Tom will try to prove some link.

So far the college bowl season has been somewhat blah but the action should really get better this weekend and on into the championship game. I, for one, believe that the 'hat' (LSU Coach Les Miles) will manage to down the Crimson Tide and go undefeated to capture the national title.

I wonder if Ronnie Pugh and Bob Wilson have already donned their Alabama face paint for this momentous occasion.

Well, I hope that Santa was kind to all and I wish the best for the coming year for each of you. There will probably be lots to smile about in 2012 so let's start practicing our grins.

Happy New Year to all!

Go Panthers! Go Jets! Go USA!

(Jim Butler is a Chronicle correspondent and his column appears regularly.)

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