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    I've got a suggestion...

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    If you have an idea on how to improve the gameday experience for Vanderbilt football, submit your suggestions on VUcommodores.com by clicking here.

    In less than a week, over 100 Commodore fans have offered feedback.

    So what will be done with the comments? Read Rocket's latest Quick Slant to find out.

    And don't worry about voicing your opinion. If Jimmy Stewart can do it, you can too.



    Get my updates on Twitter by following @BarcaBlog

    Commodores Around the Web Thursday (Jan. 6)

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    Keep up with the new blog at vucommodores.com/blog. You can also follow me on Twitter @BarcaBlog.


    FEATURED NEWS STORY

    Football:
    The James Franklin era of Vanderbilt Football begins (Jim Patterson, Vanderbilt News Service)

    "We may not make a bowl game next year and still feel the year is successful," Vice Chancellor David Williams said. "My hope is that we'll get to a place where not going to a bowl game is a disappointing season. "People may laugh at this, but my expectation is that within the next five years we'll play for the SEC championship. I think to compete for the SEC championship is the goal."

    COMMODORES AROUND THE WEB

    Men's Basketball: Dores use walk-on players to add depth (The Tennessean)
    "Those guys have added a great dimension to our team," Head Coach Kevin Stallings said. "And when they get put in, there's not a tremendous drop-off in the play and the effort level and energy level. And that's all you can ask for as a coach."
    Women's Basketball: VU hopes return to home yields 40 good minutes (The City Paper)
    "The positive is that we have been good for 20 minutes. It is not like we are a bad basketball team," Head Coach Melanie Balcomb said. "The negative is you have to learn how to win with a lead. You have to learn how to play with a lead when people come, when they put it in another gear. We haven't responded well."
    Women's Basketball: Mississippi State game preview (The Tennessean)


    IN THE PROS

    NFL: Cutler comfortable with playoff leadership role (Chicago Tribune)
    "It's hard, especially to get a bye in the playoffs," Jay Cutler said. "Some guys make the playoffs every year, some guys never make the playoffs. I have a good understanding of how hard it really is to get in the playoffs. I've been close a few times, but it's been a fun ride so far on this team."
    NFL: Cutler finally preparing for playoffs (Associated Press)

    MLB: Price named state's Male Athlete of the Year (Daily News Journal)


    VUCOMMODORES.COM NEWS

    Women's Basketball: VU returns home to play Miss. St.

    Women's Basketball: Angela's Angle- Getting back on track

    Women's Basketball: Russian Bar Trio to perform Thursday

    Men's Tennis: `Dores ranked in first poll of 2011

    Women's Tennis: 'Dores ranked in preseason ITA poll

    Bowling: Bowlers stay strong at USA Trials


    SONG OF THE DAY

    This song reminds me of being trapped in my parent's stationwagon on long trips with no authority to change the radio station. Looking back, I guess it really wasn't that bad!




    CONNECT WITH US TODAY

    Follow the Commodores on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.




    Wednesday reading material (Jan. 5)

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    A couple of links from around the sports world for your reading pleasure...

    *ESPN.com's Mark Schlabach and Ivan Maisel debate conference supremecy between the SEC and Pac-10. I can argue that topic in just three letters. Read More

    *Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean
    gives the back story on Vince Young getting benched during the Pittsburgh game this year. Read More

    *SECsports.com reports
    that Steve Shaw has been named SEC Coordinator of Football Officials. Shaw replaces Rogers Redding, who was named college football's national coordinator by the board of managers for the College Football Officiating, LLC. Read More

    *Conference USA and FOX Sports Networks have reached a new television rights agreement. Read More

    *ESPN's Bill Simmons and Trent Dilfer
    discuss the NFL Playoffs. Listen to Podcast

    *ESPN's Pat Forde
    lists his bowl winners and losers. Read More

    *ESPN's Rachael Margolis tweeted
    that the Allstate Sugar Bowl earned an 8.4 overnight rating on ESPN, the second-highest overnight rating for college football in ESPN history. (No article)

    *CNBC's Darren Rovell tweeted
    that ESPN's Joe Lunardi teaches a college course on Bracketology. No really

    *Finally, you gotta love buzzer beaters. Valentino Bryant hit a half-court shot to give Sewanee a 65-63 win over rival Rhodes College Sunday. (Thanks Russell) Watch Video



    Get my updates on Twitter by following @BarcaBlog

    Rothstein's tweets on Vanderbilt

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    Jon Rothstein, College Basketball Insider for MSG Network and CBS College Sports, posted the following tweets after his conversation with Vanderbilt men's basketball coach Kevin Stallings this morning.
    Just got off the phone with #Vanderbilt HC Kevin Stallings - whose team is my pick to win the SEC.......
    Stallings on replacing A.J. Ogilvy + Jermaine Beal "We need we had to replace two awfully good players but we've had guys fill in nicely."
    Stallings on Festus Ezeli "We knew what he was capable of. He's really become a force inside."
    Stallings on Brad Tinsley "He's been our backup point guard for 2 years so he's not being thrown into the fire so to speak."
    Stallings on playing Tinsley + Kyle Fuller together "I like having two good ball handlers out there. It gives you more options."

    Stallings on John Jenkins + Jeffrey Taylor "Their biggest collective strength is their ability to play without the ball."

    Get my updates on Twitter by following @BarcaBlog

    Davidson replay

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    For Vanderbilt All Access subscribers, the men's basketball team's 80-52 rout of Davidson has been archived. Watch Game Replay

    Unique act performing at halftime Thursday

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    The Russian Bar Trio is coming to Memorial Gym.

    The nationally renowned act will perform a six-minute routine at halftime of the women's basketball game against Mississippi State on Thursday at 7 p.m.

    If you haven't seen RBT live, you're in for a treat. Just watch the video (below) of their audition on NBC's America's Got Talent in 2008.

    Even judge David Hasselhoff gave his stamp of approval.

    "That's better than the Olympics," said the one-time K.I.T.T. owner.

    If The Hoff likes it, then I approve it, too.

    Tickets are only $10.



    Get my updates on Twitter by following @BarcaBlog

    Vanderbilt's 15th in NCAA RPI

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    For you stat nuts out there...

    Vanderbilt men's basketball is ranked No. 15 in the NCAA RPI, based on games played through Monday.

    A couple of notes:
    *The Commodores (11-2) have victories over RPI No. 30 North Carolina, No. 61 Davidson, No. 81 Presbyterian, No. 109 Belmont, No. 112 Nebraska, and No. 121 Marquette.

    *Vanderbilt's only two losses came to No. 12 West Virginia and No. 33 Missouri.

    *VU has the third-best RPI in the SEC. Here's the conference breakdown:
    No. 6 Kentucky
    No. 13 Florida
    No 15 Vanderbilt

    No. 40 Tennessee
    No. 58 Georgia
    No. 66 Ole Miss
    No. 134 South Carolina
    No. 160 Arkansas
    No. 218 Alabama
    No. 224 LSU
    No. 240 Mississippi State
    No. 323 Auburn

    *Outside of conference play, the Dores still have a regular season matchup with No. 41 Saint Mary's.

    *The Big East has eight teams in the top 18 with Georgetown coming in at No. 1.

    Get my updates on Twitter by following @BarcaBlog


    Kendall Rogers, college baseball editor for Yahoo! Sports and Rivals.com, wrote a team-by-team assessment of the SEC and listed reasons for optimism and reasons to worry for each club heading into the season.

    From a divisional standpoint, Rogers feels the SEC East "is in better shape with the Gamecocks, Florida and Vanderbilt leading the way."

    As for the Commodores, he thinks optimism should be high with an experienced starting rotation and lineup geared for a run to Omaha. He puts question marks by the bullpen and power production.

    Click here to read more

    Get my updates on Twitter by following @BarcaBlog

    Video of the Day: Russian spy?

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    Is Alexander Ovechkin a Russian Spy? We might need Emmett Fitzhume and Austin Millbarge to crack the case.

    Check out ESPN's latest commercial:

    Tuesday reading material (Jan. 4)

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    A couple of links from around the sports world for your reading pleasure...

    Vanderbilt men's basketball coach Kevin Stallings answers questions from national media during Monday's SEC teleconference. Listen

    Blue Ribbon's Chris Dortch offers a good primer on SEC men's basketball heading into conference play. Dortch thinks the Commodores are good enough to contend in the East. Read More

    College basketball fans... take a look into SI.com's midseason crystal ball. Read More

    Also from SI.com, Seth Davis gives his latest stock report on college basketball teams to invest in at the moment. I scratched my head when he said he would buy stock in Kentucky, Florida and Tennessee, but would hold on Vanderbilt. His reasoning? 
    "The Commodores are smart enough not to lose to teams they should beat, but are they talented enough to consistently beat teams they shouldn't? Not sure."
    YahooSports's Dan Wetzel believes Terrelle Pryor's acts expose the charade of college athletics. Read More

    Teresa Walker's AP story on the Fisher/Young/Adams saga in Titans land. Read More

    Just for fun, actor James Van Der Beek (errr Dawson) launched a website to spoof his popular YouTube crying clip from Dawson's Creek. He also offers dozens of other faces for your enjoyment (my favorite is sheer panic face). Van Der Memes

    Finally, Stanford 's Jim Harbaugh writes the book on how to avoid media questions about coaching rumors. Just remember to respect the game and his players.