Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

October 25, 2012

ALL IN THE GAME: Commodores are on a streak

By Jim Butler
Chronicle correspondent

CROSSVILLE — I know that the accomplishments of the Vanderbilt squad won't impress Hoss, Frank, the Napier clan and Buck Woods, but to us fans of the beleaguered, it is a mighty good sign.

We have managed two good SEC wins, one of which was on the road, and I believe that is two more than the Volunteers have to this point. I'm not kidding myself enough to think that the black and gold have turned a really big corner, but it is a great step in the right direction.

Of course, I would trade these wins for a triumph over Tennessee. I have watched parts of the UT games this season and I've seen them commit turnovers, drop passes and make critical mistakes at crucial times. It seems that this just doesn't happen when they take on Vandy. Things, including important call, seem to go the way of the orange, but I continue to hope.

I think Volunteer fans need to get off the "dump Dooley" thinking and just get behind their team. Dooley doesn't throw or catch the ball. He seems to get his team in the proper position and the players have to execute. I have seen Cordarrelle Patterson and Justin Hunter drop passes in key situations, and both were talked about in the preseason as all-world. They are talented, but must be consistent. Enough about them.

Zac Stacy certainly had a tremendous day against the Auburn Tigers, and he is a real class act. Hopefully, he will be able to continue at the same pace. I just wish that quarterback Jordan Rodgers would live up to my high expectations for him. However, I know that he is giving it his all and that's all any of us can do.

I watched the Elder kid from Ensworth this past week and he lived up to his billing. I can only hope that he makes a good choice regarding his football future. Life is all about choices and that will be a big one for him.

Anyway, this weekend should be tougher for the orange than for Vandy as the Vols must take on Spurrier and the Gamecocks, while the Commodores host UMass. Hopefully, I can continue to fly my tattered flag around the roads of Clay County.

I was confident that the Detroit Tigers with Verlander on the mound would be able to take the first game of the World Series, but the Tigers' ace was pummeled. Nothing is a sure thing in the world of sports, but it is just a game.

It's hard to believe but basketball is already cranking up, and surprisingly Kentucky is picked to win the SEC with another group of "one and done" part-time student players. There's just something terribly wrong with Calipari's methods. I guess it really helps to be able to devote all your time to the basketball court and only attend classes for one semester. Vandy is definitely rebuilding, while the Volunteers are picked to finish highly. It could be a tough year on the hardwood for me.

This is sure to be another good college football weekend as UT versus South Carolina, Florida takes on Georgia and Alabama hosts Mississippi State highlight the SEC contests. It is supposed to be a weekend with weather that makes sitting in a recliner the most logical thing to do so let's take advantage of that and enjoy.

Have a great week.

Go Panthers! Go Jets! Go USA!

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