Revenge of the Nerds

"The Geeks shall inherit the Turf" pretty well sums up what's happening in Southeastern Conference football this fall. And that's a concern for the Tennessee Vols.

No matter how bad the Big Orange was in years past, it could count on being better than cross-state rival Vanderbilt, where egghead football players routinely enrolled to major in losing.

Well, Revenge of the Nerds has hit the gridiron this fall because Vanderbilt upset No. 13 Auburn last weekend in Nashville, bumping the Commodores' record to 5-0. Given that Tennessee is 2-3 and must visit Dudley Field in a few weeks, 2008 is not shaping up as a good year to face college football's version of the Geek Squad.

The way the Vols are playing, though, this is not a good year to face anyone ... with the possible exception of hapless Wyoming. The Cowboys lost 24-0 to New Mexico over the weekend and appear to be the one sure win left on Tennessee's schedule.

Here's a complete look at how the Vols' future foes fared on Saturday:

GEORGIA (OCT. 11): The third-ranked Bulldogs (4-1 overall, 1-1 SEC) had an open date to rest and regroup after suffering a 41-30 loss to Alabama on Sept. 27.

MISSISSIPPI STATE (OCT. 18): Sylvester Croom's team (1-4 overall, 0-2 SEC) also had an open date after giving LSU a scare in a 34-24 loss at Baton Rouge on Sept. 27.

ALABAMA (OCT. 25): Glen Coffee's 218 rushing yards paced a ball-control offense that enabled the Tide (6-0, 3-0) to keep possession for 35:45 to Kentucky's 24:15 in a 17-14 Tide win at Tuscaloosa. Coffee's mind-boggling number came against a Big Blue defense that was allowing just 73 rushing yards per game coming in.

SOUTH CAROLINA (NOV. 1): Chris Smelley snapped out of his season-long funk by completing 22 of 31 passes for 327 yards and three touchdowns as the Gamecocks (4-2 overall, 1-2 SEC) dumped Ole Miss 31-24 in Oxford. One of his TD passes came on a third-and-goal from the 20-yard line, narrowing a 14-3 deficit to 14-10 and igniting SC's dramatic rally.

WYOMING (NOV. 8): The Cowboys (2-4) limited New Mexico to 2-of-13 third-down conversions but surrendered 317 rushing yards in a 24-0 loss. Karsten Sween completed 9 of 19 passes for 71 yards and Devin Moore rushed 19 times for 74 yards to keep Wyoming in the game for a while.

VANDERBILT (NOV. 22): When starting QB Chris Nickson re-injured his sore shoulder, Mackenzi Adams came off the bench to complete 13 of 23 passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns as the 19th-ranked Commodores (5-0, 3-0) upset 13th-ranked Auburn 14-13 in Nashville. Vandy is 5-0 overall for the first time since 1943 and is 3-0 in SEC play for the first time since 1950.

KENTUCKY (NOV. 29): The Wildcats (4-1, 0-1) rallied from a 14-0 first-quarter deficit to give Alabama a scare before bowing 17-14. The Big Blue ground game managed just 35 net yards but Mike Hartline picked up the slack by completing 20 of 42 passes for 241 yards.

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