Vanderbilt still the best in Tennessee

Stop the block parties in Knoxville. News flash: Despite the Vol's lopsided win on Saturday Vanderbilt is still the state's top dog in major college sports. Look inside to find out why.

Sure Vanderbilt's lopsided loss to Tennessee on Saturday stunk. However, in the end it was just that; another loss. Despite that one loss Vanderbilt still rules the state in major college sports. Why? In my book the score is 1-0 in football, 1-1 men's basketball, and 1-1 in women's basketball. Baseball is coming up and we all know what will likely happen.

Sure the score Saturday in Knoxville was lopsided. UT fans are celebrating their biggest margin of victory ever over Vandy. Kevin Stallings did the right thing though by putting in walk-ons late despite the fact that UT left starters in until the last minute or two. Stallings knows what I know, it's only one loss and whether it's by one point or 38 points it still counts as a single ‘L' in the standings the same as the Vol's loss to Vandy in Memorial last month counts. The short-handed ‘Dores have competed this season but have been run in the ground over the course of the campaign. It made sense for Stallings not to go nuts over the loss and pull some starters when the game was obviously out of reach. Cuonzo Martin can try to run up the score all he wants but he can't take away his team's slackish efforts from earlier in the season.

Vanderbilt is still overall a better TEAM than Tennessee, in my opinion. Despite horrendous losses of personnel including several starters during the offseason (and in-season) the Commodores have pulled off impressive wins both on the road and in Memorial. Narrow losses to No. 1 Florida in Nashville and at Missouri show this team has excellent potential to make a run in the SEC Tournament. Meanwhile, Tennessee, loaded with NBA prospects and picked by many to win the SEC title, has done little to fulfill its potential. Simply put, UT's win over Vandy was the highlight of its season.

Barring a SEC Tournament meeting between UT and Vandy (men or women) we are at a tie for basketball season because running up the score doesn't take away earlier UT losses. Now, after the basketball tie and an earlier football win, we move on to baseball season for the final verdict on the state's leading division one program in major sports. If UT somehow pulls off a series victory it'll still be a tie overall because of Vandy's win in football.

Vandy and the Vols meet on the diamond in Knoxville during the first week of April.

VANDERBILT-TENNESSEE
2013 ACADEMIC SEASON IN MAJOR SPORTS


Football: Vanderbilt win

Women's basketball: (2 games) Vandy win, UT win

Men's basketball: (2 games) Vandy win, UT win

Baseball: TBD (3 game series in Knoxville in April)

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