January 12, 2006

"Their Grandfathers Killed Your Grandfathers"

Vandy announced that they will be playing Michigan next year to open the college football season. The game will be played in the Big House in a deal brokered by ESPN.

Michigan leads the all-time series 9-0-1. The lone tie being an infamous 1922 game in which Vandy's coach told the Vandy players:
In the locker room prior to the kickoff, Coach McGugin gave his hopeful pregame inspirational talk. Referring to the Michigan players, McGugin said, "You are going against Yankees, some of whose grandfathers killed your grandfathers in the Civil War." Unknowing to the Commodore players was the fact that McGugin's father had been an officer in the Union army.
The game marked the opening of Dudley Field, Vandy's Stadium.

It's highly doubtful that Steve Martin, Vanderbilt's football coach, will invoke such a vivid and powerful image to fuel the Dores towards overachievement.

But it would be cool as hell if he did.

BTW - on the MGoBlog link above, read the comments. Kyle on Football has some interesting historical notes in there about UM vs. Vandy.


[Photo: Steve Martin without Jay Cutler isn't very funny. Or compelling]

While we're talking about schedules, Kyle on Football offers more thoughts on UGA's upcoming series with Louisville. Noting most importantly that we will be stuck playing Lville and UK away in the same year. Two long as hell trips in one year.

12 comments:

Volfan said...

Love your site even though I'm not a Georgia fan. I do find it interesting that you would say "2 long as hell trips in one year" refering to the state of Kentucky.
You guys should play someone outside of the Southeast every once in a while.

Toon Dawg said...

Like Colorado and Arizona State?

Kyle King said...

I would offer a couple of points in response to Volfan.

First of all, Lexington, Ky., may not seem terribly far away when you're in Knoxville, Tenn., but it's a pretty good drive from Athens, Ga.

Secondly, and more importantly, the problem isn't that the 2012 season will feature two long trips, it's that it will feature two long trips to the same state.

No one would complain about, say, playing Arkansas at Fayetteville in the same season that Georgia played Kentucky at Lexington, because those are two trips in two different directions. The problem is that fans who travel from Georgia to Kentucky for the first game (be it U.K. or U. of L.) are less likely to retrace their steps to go to the second game.

That having been said, Volfan is right that the Bulldogs should play teams outside of the Southeast more often. Toon Dawg correctly notes the fact that Georgia is making strides in that direction, but Tennessee has reaped dividends in recruiting by playing West Coast teams and Georgia could raise its national profile by playing a similarly far-ranging schedule.

The Volunteers are to be commended for their willingness to play outside of the region and I am glad to see Georgia following suit.

volfan said...

Sorry toon dawg. Although I follow all of the SEC teams, I don't pay particular attention to future out of conference schedules of anyone but Tennessee (the only exceptions being those matchups that ESPN or the like report - like Auburn and USC a few years back).
I didn't mean it as an insult. Personally, I love travelling to South Bend and the like. I'm looking forward to opening at Cal in 2007. Fun trips for a fan of the game.

The College Game said...

I wonder if the Seiler's didn't put a bug in someone's ear about the game in Louisville...

Let me explain, my wife is a UGA fan, born in Marietta and moved around the state as a pastors daughter. We went to the Boise State-Georgia game. We went to meet the Seilers and UGA and she mentioned to me, a Kentuckian, that she would LOVE to see the Derby (Churchill Downs - Louisville) and would even trade Masters tickets. (Believe me, I am scouring the state for Derby tickets for this trade.)

I wonder if they might have said something. I know UL is a good team and all, but its an interesting angle, I guess...

The College Game said...

Oh and i live in Lexington and we drive to see her parents in Union Point. Its a long drive, I would agree and we have NEVER done it twice in three months, so I might agree with Kyle's sentiments.

paulwesterdawg said...

To the Vol fan...

I think everyone looks at UT's schedule and agrees that generally they are pretty aggressive in scheduling 1 tough home/home series per year.

But to take shots at UGA for not wanting to travel ~400 miles to Kentucky twice in one season is silly given that several times over the past few years the Vols have played within the borders of their own state as many as 8 times in a single season.

The Vols many times have played 6 home games + Vandy (Nashville) + Memphis or some away game that they purchased and brought back to Nashville...like the Wyoming Series.

No one is saying the Vols don't schedule tough. But they're the last folks who should look down at others for not wanting to to travel too far too often given their penchant for leaving their home state less per year than any other team in the SEC.

Ben said...

Paul - I can't leave a comment on Kyle's board... I can't stand Xanga... so I hope you don't mind me responding to his post (and your comment) here.

------------------------------

Paul - Michigan is 18-5-1 against the SEC. Granted, 9 of those wins are against Vandy... so let's take them out of the equation. Michigan is then 9-5. Also, while, of course, it's hotter than hell in Georgia in September... it's not exactly frigid in the midwest. Commonly temperatures are in the 90s around here. A difference? Yes. A reason not to play the game? No.



tkyleking - I admire your quest for the home and home. I couldn't agree with you more. And, rest assured, I'll be crafting a letter to Bill Martin today. One thing to consider, though. Michigan already plays Notre Dame OOC. We aren't really outdone by the Buckeyes. They just actually joined the party this year by adding a good team to their OOC, whereas one never existed in their schedule before.

That said, I'm certainly not afraid of TWO challenging OOC games per season. I know I'm not alone in that mindset. Georgia, with fans such as yourself, seems to be a solid choice.

Ben

paulwesterdawg said...

Ben,

Check out the MgoBlog for more info.

Apparently, Michigan has expressed some interest in not playing ND every year OCC. However, if they do so, their fan base would expect that game to be replaced by a heavy weight.

As Brian points out, Michigan hasn't been this far south since....well...reconstruction.

Ben said...

Paul,

If ND were taken off the schedule, of course a heavyweight would be expected.

However, I, for one, express some doubt as to the validity of this. I know ND was off the schedule for 4 or so years a little while ago, but it seems the series has been rejuvenated and means more nowadays.

Nevertheless, and my point is, UM isn't exactly afraid to schedule to majors OOC. Check out 2007 -- we have ND and Oregon.

Say what you will about the Ducks (God knows I have), but again Michigan will have the #1 difficult schedule going into bowl week that year.

Summary - keep ND, schedule Georgia too. We ain't skeered.

Ben

Kyle King said...

Ben, I appreciate your support and I'm sorry you had trouble posting at Xanga. I'll see what I can do about making it easier to comment during the offseason.

As an aside to this entire discussion, it is interesting that Vanderbilt's coach, Dan McGugin, was being disingenuous by invoking the War, since his father was a Union veteran.

What makes that especially ironic is the fact that Michigan's coach, Fielding Yost, was the son of a Confederate veteran. Go figure.

Ben said...

Kyle,

I had no idea that Yost was the son of a confederate veteran (although I should've guessed it likely, given his infamous cantankerous nature). Learn something new every day.

Thanks for the reply and keep up the great work!

 
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