Mandel: Jaded, but looking for love.

Maybe I’ve had Stewart Mandel wrong all these years.  All that stuff like talking to 100 people in Montana and fawning over minor starlets was just an indication of laziness, I thought.  But that’s not it.

I think the guy’s bored with college football.  He’s looking for something to give him a thrill.  How else to explain the !ZOMG! College football has been changed forevah! stuff he cranked out after Boise State beat Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, which in retrospect seems as over the top as… well, it was when he wrote it.

And then there’s this:  one of the five things Mandel learned this past weekend is that Vanderbilt could win the SEC East.  Why?  Believe it or not, because of the remaining schedule.  I kid you not.

… But have you seen the rest of Vandy’s schedule?

The ‘Dores are 3-0 in the SEC and play at least two more teams — Mississippi State and Tennessee — they should beat (when’s the last time you could say that?) The other three are Georgia, Florida and Kentucky. Vandy’s probably not going to win in Athens — but Georgia’s probably going to lose another conference game. The Kentucky game is a toss-up. That leaves Florida in Nashville. The ‘Dores nearly beat the Gators in both 2005 and ’06, and this team, unlike those Vandy squads, doesn’t fold, outscoring foes 58-10 in the second half. Anything’s possible.

Parse that carefully and he’s seeing a distinct possibility that Vandy goes 4-1 down the stretch.  Maybe it will, but color me a little skeptical that a team that’s last in the conference in total offense by a wide margin (over 30 ypg) and, even after that superb effort against Auburn, is still no better than tenth in total defense should consider a win over any conference team a given.  And as for Florida, Mandel might want to consider that if there’s one team in the SEC that enjoys a clear advantage in special teams over Vandy, it’s the Gators.

That’s not to say that the Commodores haven’t been a great story so far.  Of course they have.  And I have to admit that my initial expectations for Vandy were on the low side.  But 7-1 in the conference?  Again, if he pulls if off, there’s no question that Bobby Johnson should be national coach of the year.  I just wouldn’t go making room on the mantel yet, even if Mandel’s ready to come over and rearrange the furnishings in the room right now.

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5 Comments

Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles, SEC Football

5 responses to “Mandel: Jaded, but looking for love.

  1. RedCrake

    God knows I’m no Stewart Mandel apologist. But let’s look through this:

    This is all contingent on Vandy winning against Miss. St. which I am going to take as a given based on what I’ve seen.

    Let’s say Vandy beats Tennessee and Kentucky and loses to Georgia and Florida.

    That would put them at 5-2 in the SEC

    If Florida loses to Georgia and LSU (as I believe they will given their porous defense the last two weeks), they would be 4-3 in the SEC.

    If Georgia were to lose to LSU and Auburn (which I don’t think they would), they would be 4-3 in the SEC.

    There are a lot of “ifs” in there, but it isn’t as far fetched as it first seems on paper (and that’s if Vandy only wins what I deem as the winnable games).

    I think Georgia wins the SEC with a 6-1 SEC record or 5-2 with the tiebreaker over Florida and/or Vandy.

    Nontheless, these are now terrifying times in which to be an SEC fan in general and a Georgia fan in particular. Let’s go out and take care of those nerds at Vandy just like we do those on North Avenue.

  2. NYC Dawg

    Mandel is a nutcase, nothing will change that.

    However, I agree with him (gasp!) that Vandy could beat Florida. The Gaytors have to play them the week after us and get them at home. They play UF well every year (just like SC plays us well every year) and I think it could be a trap game for UF.

    Now, do I think Vandy wins the East? No. Call me crazy, but I think they lose to us and to KY. I think we end up with the tiebreaker over both UF and Vandy, but lose to LSU.

  3. GatorSkeptic

    Red Crake,
    I like your analysis overall, but teams in the SEC play 8 conference games not 7.

  4. RedCrake

    You’re right, I forgot about them having to play South Carolina. They won that one already so the analysis stands but with the following possible end of season records

    Vandy 6-2
    UGA 5-3
    Florida 5-3

    I still don’t think it will happen but, again, is not as far fetched as I would have initially believed.

  5. RicoSuaveGreenville

    If Vandy wins the SEC with 2 loses, so be it. I did cheer for Vandy to beat Auburn Saturday knowing full well that the below scenario was a real possibility:

    Vandy 6-2
    UGA 5-3
    Florida 5-3

    All we have to do is take care of our business all will be good.