JOE BIDDLE: Vandy talk is cheap

Alabama Vanderbilt Football_446398

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Vanderbilt was 3-0 going against No. 1 ranked Alabama Saturday.

It turned out the only thing the two teams shared was their early season records.

Was Vanderbilt a contender or pretender? It didn’t take long to decide. The Commodores were not anywhere close to challenging the Crimson Tide.

59-0 Alabama. Slap ugly for Vanderbilt.

Vanderbilt players were confident, perhaps overly so after coming off an upset over ranked Kansas State.

Fools’ gold, I say.

Even Vanderbilt Coach Derek Mason was openly confident when he was quoted as saying “We’ve got something for Alabama.’’ Mason wrote a check his mouth could not cash.

Mason based his optimism on having a veteran team on both sides of the ball, a quarterback in Kyle Shurmur who had not been intercepted this season.

In an interview Mason said Vanderbilt had something for Alabama. One Tweeter suggested the only thing the Commodores had for Bama was a field to play on, one filled with Crimson colors.

A sign of things to come was when Vanderbilt took a delay of game penalty on the first play of the game.

As it was, Alabama piled up 677 yards in 93 plays of total offense. Vanderbilt was held to only 78 yards in 38 plays.

“Alabama is exactly what we thought they were going into the game,’’ Mason said. “They’re great defensively, they’re well-coached and they’re physical.

“We were out-coached. We looked like a tired team at the end. We got out-classed. … I’m more concerned about our response and making sure one doesn’t become two.’’

Alabama promptly shortened the game to 15 minutes.

It was 21-0 Bama after the first quarter. The deficit grew to 31-0 at halftime.

Vanderbilt’s anchor was down OK, way down. It was like Alabama was that unseen ice glacier that sank the Titantic.

Vanderbilt fans touted their defense had given up 13 points in three games. Against Alabama, it was cotton candy.

At halftime Alabama had 19 first downs. Vandy had two. They had not crossed the 50-yard line.

With 5:45 left in the third quarter, the score was 52-0 and Bama had more freshmen playing than one could count.

There was a lot to like for Alabama Coach Nick Saban. The current Bear Bryant has taken over as the best college football coach and has no signs of letting down.

“I thought we prepared well,’’ Saban said of the all-time understatement. “Defensively we didn’t get off our blocks…. I thought we played hard, but we weren’t good enough.’’

Now if that’s not a car salesman lingo, I don’t know what it is.Joe Biddle is a sports columnist. He is also a member of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. Contact him at

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