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Commodore Brunch Week Four: You wanted Bama, you got Bama

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Commodore Brunch Week Four: You wanted Bama, you got Bama

Alabama beats Vanderbilt 59-0. Photo by Bruce Brookshire.

Alabama beats Vanderbilt 59-0. Photo by Bruce Brookshire.

Alabama beats Vanderbilt 59-0. Photo by Bruce Brookshire.

Alabama beats Vanderbilt 59-0. Photo by Bruce Brookshire.

Cutler Klein, Sports Editor

Have you ever seen Floyd Mayweather fight a toddler?

I sure haven’t, but I saw Vanderbilt get pummeled 59-0 by Alabama, and I really don’t see much of a difference.

From start to finish, Alabama showed why they are the best team in the nation. They were bigger, they were faster, they were the Crimson Tide.

Yes, Vanderbilt did have the chance to do something incredibly special, and had the chance to make it competitive after a strong 3-0 start. By no means were the predictions of a close game unreasonable.

But, deep down, I think we all prepared ourselves for something like this.

Here’s your Commodore Brunch menu for this week:

Congratulations, You Played Yourself

Vanderbilt had a shot at making this game competitive.

They just had to play a clean, disciplined game and avoid unforced errors.

So, they went out and committed about 5 unforced errors in the first two drives.

A delay of game penalty to start the first drive of the game was followed up by an interception off the hands of Jared Pinkney on what should have been a momentum-swinging long grab.

The next drive was not much better, with dropped screen passes and false start penalties. Vanderbilt was trying to beat the best team in the country while playing against Alabama and themselves.

This team needed to play a clean game in order to even have a chance. You won’t beat Alabama by simply not turning the ball over, but you’ll bury yourself by making mistakes.

Essentially, Vanderbilt was trying to get into the nightclub without their ID. Beating themselves before they could even try to beat Alabama.

Derek Mason was not too happy about much after the game, but especially not about the mistakes his team made.

“I think it went interception, punt, punt, fumble,” he said of the first couple of drives. “You have to stay on the field and finish drives… [Alabama] dominated time of possession. That can’t happen. We didn’t tackle well either.”

And it’s this fact that makes this game tough to swallow in some way. Not the score, not the fact that they lost, but because of the unforced errors. Who knows what could have been if Pinkney catches that ball, or Blasingame catches that ball, or one of those penalties isn’t called?

We’ll never know, but the possibility remains.

The Stupidest Blame Game of All Time

“Oh, well, they shouldn’t have been trash talking!”

“They shouldn’t have said ‘We Want Bama!'”

“Vanderbilt isn’t good enough to compete with Alabama”

Trying to find a measured take on the game on Twitter was like trying to find a Vanderbilt touchdown during the game: not going to happen.

If you think Vanderbilt lost this game, or that this loss is a bigger deal, because one player trash talked in a walk-off interview after a big win, or because fans started chanting “We Want Bama,” you are absolutely delusional.

What did you expect them to say? “Alabama, we’re probably going to lose to you next.”

Give me a break.

Also, to say Vanderbilt isn’t on Alabama’s level is absolutely correct.

They’re not. No one ever thought they were, and they haven’t been since Dan McGugin stood on Vanderbilt’s sideline.

No one’s on Alabama’s level. That’s why they have that #1 next to their name.

Saying Alabama is on a different level than Vanderbilt is like saying an apple is different than a walnut: it’s completely true and completely obvious.

Don’t try to blame this loss on anything other than an obvious and well-documented disparity in skill level, as well as some mistakes on Vanderbilt’s end.

Don’t See The Forest for the One Ugly, Dead Tree 

Has anyone stopped to think that Vanderbilt is an objectively good team AND could lose handily to the best team in the country?

No? Just me? Fine, let me lay it out for you.

Alabama is the number one team in the country. They will probably not lose a game this season. They feature more five-star recruits than Vanderbilt has probably had in  its entire existence.

Vanderbilt is now 3-1 with most of the toughest games on their schedule behind them. They still gave up just 13 points in the three games before this one, and Kyle Shurmur was the top-rated quarterback in the country going into this game.

And guess what? It’ll be the same players taking the field next week in Gainesville. The same players that trounced MTSU and upset Kansas State.

The toughest games remaining for Vanderbilt will be in the next couple of weeks against a Florida team that needed a hail mary to beat Tennessee and a Georgia team that still hasn’t fully committed to a quarterback.

September is almost over. There are still eight games remaining on Vanderbilt’s schedule. At least, there are three more wins and a bowl game on that schedule. At most, they could be seeing Alabama again in Atlanta come December.

The sun will rise tomorrow. Life will go on.

If anything, this should be a humbling experience for Vanderbilt. Yes, they’re good, but they’re not THAT good just yet. They still have to work for their wins and earn respect. They can’t rest on any laurels, because they don’t have any yet.

With that being said, Vanderbilt being a good football team that will still compete for the SEC East, and Alabama being an other-worldly football team are not mutually exclusive.

The key becomes not letting one become two.

“It is simple – we just have to get back to work when we get back on the practice field,” safety Ryan White said. “Just have to send a message to everybody so they know it was only one game and it doesn’t define our season. So we just have to bounce back and get back to work.”

Vanderbilt looks to do just that at Florida next weekend.

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About the Writer
Cutler Klein, Sports Editor

Cutler Klein ('19) is the Sports Editor of the Vanderbilt Hustler. He previously served as Assistant Sports Editor. He is majoring in Communication Studies...

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