Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Friday, September 12, 2003

It’s Friday

Which can only mean that it’s time to fire up the boiler and crank up the Possumblog Sports Center for another week of prognostications about the ol’ porcine epidermis!

As you all know, there has been no small amount of strife here in the building due to two incredibly bad weeks this season, in which our lovely and talented Chief Sports Statistician Ipsa Dixie has had less than her normal number of correct predictions. After she threw the chunk of concrete at me last week (upon which was scribbled a perfectly useless, in that is was totally inaccurate, score for the Auburn-GaTech game) it was obviously time for us to have a nice chat about her responsibilities.

Being a canny negotiator, I am happy to report that I was able to agree to provide her only a 15% increase in her salary and her own company vehicle and American Express card. I told her that a beach house was just OUT of the question! And as a gesture of good will, I told her I would hook back up the thermostat in her office so the air conditioner wouldn’t run continuously—she complains constantly about how cold it is in there, but honestly, I never thought it was a problem—I mean, it’s not my problem that she wears such thin tank tops, right? But, I told her I would fix it anyway.

In exchange, she has agreed to attempt a slightly higher level of concern for the reputation of the Sports Center, knowing how many of you have come to rely on it for accurate information. In addition, she has agreed to stop talking to Chet the E-Mail Boy. Usually, it’s nothing more than a “Move it or lose it, old-timer,” but he is easily agitated. She knows he has a pacemaker, and if she continues with what he perceives as flirtation, I am quite afraid Chet will have to be hospitalized, and our insurance just can’t handle that.

SO, then, on with the show!!

Saturday morning among the rolling hills of Central Tennessee, we will see a return to the storied rivalry between the Commode Doors of Vanderbilt and the highly inoffensive Tigers. From Auburn’s website, we learn the tradition of this meeting dates spans two centuries:
Auburn - Vanderbilt History Lesson

One of the South's oldest but rarest rivalries, the Auburn-Vanderbilt series was forged in the days when Vanderbilt, under the coaching genius of Dan McGugin, was the pride of Southern Football.

In the earliest part of the century, football games between Auburn and Vanderbilt were considered Southern epics, matching the coaching genius of McGugin and Auburn's "Iron Mike" Donahue. Not even the great Donahue could master McGugin and Vanderbilt, losing six of the epic struggles and winning four. There was one tie, 7-7, in 1912.

After Auburn's 30-10 win in the first game of the series in 1893, Donahue's four victories were the only wins Auburn could muster in the next 24 games.

Auburn did not celebrate a victory over Vanderbilt from 1925 until 1951, a 26-year period that covered eight games. Ralph "Shug" Jordan gave Auburn fans cause to celebrate for the first time in a lifetime with a 24-14 win at Auburn in 1951.
Since 1955, the Tigers and the Dores have met eleven times, with the Tigers coming out on top each time.

This week marks Auburn’s first Southeastern Conference game of the season, and the second for Vanderbilt, who fell to Ole Miss in their opener. Vanderbilt, although it may have been a 19th Century powerhouse, has for most of the past thirty years or so, been the sick man of SEC football—maybe not a pushover, but generally guaranteed to be beaten.

(They do show a remarkable resiliency about their fate however, and seem to understand that there may be other alternative avenues to greatness than football—vis. :

What is the first thing a Vanderbilt graduate says to a Tennessee graduate?

“Fill it up with premium, please.”)

Auburn comes to Nashville this weekend a better team in theory, but lacking one thing that Vanderbilt has managed to accomplish this year…a victory. Hey, it may have been UT Chattanooga, but 51 points is 51 points.

According to the agitprop department, this week’s practices down on the Plains have been “upbeat” and “positive”. Which means, I suppose, that they are positive if they don’t win, they are going to get beat up.

The offensive line has been very accommodating this year to its counterparts across the neutral zone, and Jason Campbell has had to flee for his life at nearly every touch of the ball. Which obviously makes it hard to hold onto. Vanderbilt may not have the strongest defense in the league, but that may not matter if they are allowed to prance about in our backfield as if it were a field of daisies.

Things look some better on defense—the Tigers do have some good talent, but last week against the Yellow Jackets, they made far too many crucial mistakes in pass coverage.

On the most important topic, the Plainsdwellers do have a slight edge. As in the past weeks, there has been no change in the cheerleading page, but for once we have managed to find an opponent who we truly outclass.

The Vandy site has a roster of a supposed all-estrogen squad, yet that’s all there is!! Oh, there’s a dinky little slideshow of pictures, but there’s all sorts of guys in the way. It is inconceivable that they can have pictures of long, tall Finnish basketball players, and brunette cross country runners, and mean girls with sticks, and clubs, and a girl named Fear, and a multitude of girls in short white dresses, YET, not one individual photo of the cheerleaders?

What kind of a school is this!?!

The game will be broadcast on the Jefferson-Pilot Sports Network (Your #1 Source for Uninteresting Regional Action Used Primarily to Sell Our Insurance!) beginning at 11:30 a.m. CT.

Now that Ipsa has gotten back from lunch, she tells me that her prediction for the score will be Auburn 14—Vanderbilt 13. She knows that if this prediction is wrong, her job will be as precarious at that of Tuberville’s offensive coordinator Hugh Nall.

We’ll see what happens.

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