Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

September 19, 2013

ALL IN THE GAME: It easily could have been a great comeback

By Jim Butler
Chronicle correspondent

CROSSVILLE — Yes, Vanderbilt could have completed the comeback to take down Steve Spurrier's Gamecocks, but we fell just short. This was somehow different from many Commodore episodes in the past when we all expected them to fail. Somehow the feeling was there that they just might be able to accomplish the task this time.

I'll have to admit that even I was somewhat disgusted with the team's effort as they fell behind by 28-0 right away. I did not give up, though as many would have. I have stood by them this long and I shall persevere. One good part of the Vandy game is their kicker, and he made a 54 yarder to bring the score to 35-10. That sort of set the tone for the second half, as the 'Dores pulled within 35-25 and had a pass intercepted on the one that sealed their fate. Still, I flew my flag because I'm proud. Jordan Matthews had another 100-yard plus game and continues to increase his potential for a big pro payday.

I'm in the middle of a move and didn't get to see much of the Tennessee outing against the Ducks, but I did listen to quite a bit of it. It was certainly a trouncing of the Vols, but I will have to say that I don't know if anyone can compete with the speed that Oregon has and from so many athletes. They are a lot of fun to watch unless you are a fan of whoever they are playing.

Mr. Gale probably never thought that a game at Florida would be a breather, but after what just happened, it very well might be. The Gators don't seem to be on top of their game either. I'm sure the Vol faithful are after Worley's head. He doesn't seem to be the most accurate passer that they have had.

The Alabama versus Texas A&M game was a classic. It had to have Bob Wilson and Ronnie Pugh just a little worried. I know that I was because as I've stated previously, I'm pretty fed up with Johnny Manziel. You know what, though? He is a pretty good athlete.

Elsewhere in sports, Jane Way has to be on cloud nine, as Peyton Manning is really flying high. If that team can stay healthy, they will probably take it all. I still have hopes though for Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears. They came back late to beat the Vikings and though he is still prone to the interception, Cutler is showing even more improvement.

Why in the world would anyone want to hire a coach like Bo Pelini? That man is a loose cannon. He seems to respect nothing or anyone. It is hard to believe that a storied program like Nebraska would tolerate his outbursts. They have always had a lot of class.

There are a lot of questions in the college coaching arena. Will Mack Brown be able to hang on? Can Lane Kiffin rertain his dream job? Can anyone turn Randy Bond's Kentucky Wildcats around?

I think that I have probably watched my last NASCAR race. Letting Gordon in the chase makes absolutely no sense. The only way I will watch them again is, if the only other option on TV is something about Kanye West and Kim Kardasian.

Let's all enjoy this, another football weekend and hope for big wins, but smile regardless of the outcome. It's just a game.

Go Jets! Go Panthers! Go USA!

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