Three Prediction: Vanderbilt-Tennessee
Knoxville, Tn.- The sun has come up over East Tennessee and Knoxville this morning, though you can't quite see it for the cloudy, rainy and overcast morning here, but there will be a game later this afternoon under the forecast of 6-75% chance of rain throughout the afternoon.
Regardless of weather, the Vanderbilt Commodores and Tennessee Volunteers will collide with a lot riding on this game, no matter what some folks might think.
From the Commodores perspective it is the chance to end a bad season on a two game win streak, and beat your most hated and bitter rival for the fourth straight season.
Commodore fans like that last one best as for the last 1,459 days they have held bragging rights inside the state and really don't want to see them go away.
For Tennessee, with bowl game in hand the Vol faithful here in Knoxville want a beat down of the Commodores, and end to three long years of heading Vanderbilt fans and to continue their current win streak which would reach five games with a win here this afternoon.
Ending the Commodores win streak is number one on that list, at least from the unscientific study I conducted during the day here on Friday.
These folks are down right mad about. So mad in fact that as I walked into The Anderson Training Center yesterday afternoo- it's the media relations office too- there was a Vanderbilt equipment truck driving by on Lake Loudon Boulevard, four fans standing on the sidewalk directly across the street from the Pat Summitt Memorial actually booed the truck. One lady had some rather colorful words too, but I digress. .
Sports talk radio was even taking shots at Vanderbilt, their band and their fans yesterday. It truely was homer radio of epic proportions.
With the niceties out of the way, and before I go take advantage of the hotel breakfast, here are the three predictions for today's game.
1) This One WIll Be Physical: The Vols are mad and will bring everything they've got so the Commodores better be ready to match, and surpass it if they are going to have a chance to win.
We've seen the Commodores come physical very few times this season, so I'm not sure they have enough of it in them for this one, but that's why you play the games.
2) Pinkney WIll Produce: Jared Pinkney had his breakout game of the season last week against another team from this part of the state. It should have come much earlier in the season, but better late than never.
I think Pink, as he is called byt teammates and others will produce today and come away with 7 catches for 75 yards and a score. But will it be enough?
3) It Goes To The End: If this one was a prize fight, I think it will match the end of Rocky II, where the two throw haymakers and then scramble to standup at the end.
The Commodores have nothing to lose and everything to game and I honestly think we see them play like their hair is on fire. UT has some better players in a few spots, but they are not a 21.5 point better team to me.
I could totally be wrong here, but then, that's why they play the game.
PREDICTION: Tennessee 31 Vanderbilt 28