What does the win over Georgia mean? Most importantly, Vanderbilt is 1-0 this week and 1-0 versus Georgia in 2013. In the postgame press conferences members of the media seem irritated that James Franklin repeats this phrase after every Commodore win but he's right. It's one win and one victory isn't going to change everything for the Vandy nation. It's another little step towards continuing the program's rejuvenation after 50 years of mostly futility. You focus on the game this week and then don't put too much into it whether it comes out a win or loss. Win or lose, you drive on and focus on winning the next game. For example, Mark Richt. During the halftime television interview as he was leaving the field he was asked about his player who was ejected for the targeting rule (I think the call was right but ejection was wrong). He replied that the player should be able to play the whole game next week. Where was his mind there? He shouldn't have even been thinking about the next game at halftime of his game with Vanderbilt.
Despite Franklin's harping on being 1-0 this week, we all know what this win really means. It means Vandy's chances at a third straight bowl appearance just got a lot better. The Commodores are now 4-3 and still have winnable games coming up down the road. Really, every game is winnable but some seem more winnable than others. However, keep in mind that any of the remaining games can also be lost so the team can't be counting its chickens before they hatch. Hopefully they'll take the less stressful route and win the next two games.
This win was further evidence that "same ole Vandy" is no more. Distraught Georgia fans and some of their media are pointing out that they "gave this one to Vandy" with their special team's blunders, penalties and poor play. I argue that maybe we can start calling Georgia "same ole Georgey". In the past Vanderbilt teams would be the ones giving opponents gifts. In fact, Vandy did via a pair of interceptions (one for a TD) and a personal foul that kept a UGA drive alive. However, the fearsome Bulldogs still couldn't muster a win over what some have called a "not a good at all" Vanderbilt football team, a Vanderbilt team that kicked their tails with an inexperienced, backup quarterback running the 'Dore offense the entire second half.
Make no mistake; this win will help in recruiting. Vanderbilt has always recruited Georgia hard. Five Georgians started for Vanderbilt on Saturday including four on a 'Dore defense that held Georgia to one of its lowest offensive outputs in years. Nine total players from the Peach State saw action against the Dawgs. Currently Vanderbilt has offered about 40 players from Georgia. Three of those have committed to Vandy including running back Dallas Rivers and a pair of defensive backs; Bryce Lewis and Grant Haley. The win will not only help the 'Dore staff in recruiting Georgia but it will also help nationwide because of name recognition. Anytime a program does something positive that makes the national headlines and sports networks highlights it helps improve the name brand of a program.
Most of all, this particular win provides proof that Vanderbilt and Franklin are no fluke. The Commodores are for real and can beat ranked opponents even with key player losses and backup quarterbacks running the show. In the past, the loss of an All-SEC wide receiver and a veteran starting middle linebacker would have meant an almost certain 2-10ish season for the 'Dores. No more my friend, Franklin has recruited enough talent to provide some depth that means the Commodores can still compete for bowl bids even with all-star players missing.
What it means: Vanderbilt beats Dawgs
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