Tony "Clark" Kemp, the Man of Steal, slid into surprise contention for and then won the Freshman of the Year in the SEC. The 1st Team all conference outfielder is seen here stealing second against Florida. Photo courtesy of Mike Rapp, VandySports.com.
Two things you cannot argue with: a regular season is a great success if a) you finish as the co-champion of the finest conference in the land and b) you end up with the fewest losses of any team in the country. Vanderbilt ended their regular season by winning yet another road series at Georgia this past week and have been rewarded with a ranking as high as second in the coaches’ and national sportswriters’ polls. Without further ado, let’s take a look back on this regular season.
The Immediate Progression: The Regular Season
Looking back on the 2011 regular season, you see a team that was, by all means, as good as any in Vanderbilt history. It may not have had quite the star power as the 2007 squad, but it steamrolled the competition like no other prior Vanderbilt team. In sum, Vanderbilt will ride into the SEC Tournament at Hoover with quite the resume. They are ranked first in both the Nolan Power Index and the Boyd’s World Iterative Strength Rating. Warren Nolan places them 4th in the RPI against the 32nd best Strength of Schedule. Boyd’s has them at 5th against the 40th best Strength of Schedule.
Although Coaches Corbin and O'Sullivan are the best of friends, there were plenty of moments of tension this week. Photo courtesy of Mike Rapp, VandySports.com.
If the prior week against Kentucky was a bit boring, this week was anything but. The weekend series against Florida had a very charged atmosphere and featured, arguably, the two most talented teams in the nation. While Vanderbilt was afforded every opportunity to sweep, late inning heroics by and the superior bullpen of Florida led to a Gator series win.
The Immediate Progression: Bad Losses
It’s somewhat funny to raise the subject of bad losses with this Vanderbilt squad. Any time you can count the losses on your hands even after a Fourth of July fireworks accident, well, you’ve got a consistent and maybe great team.
I’m fond of the time lapse format. It has a level of detail and fineness that doesn’t come across in the most sharp of high definition videos. In the past, I’ve posted a New York City-specific time lapse by Mindrelic and one by by James Ogle.
Today, I’m posting one by Canadian Dominic Boudreault which features Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto, Chicago and, of course, New York. Brilliant choice of score and some fantastic shots. Really spectacular stuff.
Vanderbilt returns to the Hawk for Florida after a midweek trip to Louisville. Photo courtesy Mike Rapp, VandySports.com.
It was somewhat of a boring week for the Commodores. There was no midweek game, finals were finished and the team had the lazy bus ride up to Lexington to face off against the Wildcats of Kentucky. While the games weren’t without some drama, the lack of big crowds up North kept the games somewhat mild.
The Immediate Progression: Saturday Domination
One thing that truly separates great teams is the ability to pound opponents with top flight starters Friday through Sunday. The game where the rubber meets the road is Saturday.
There’s nothing really distinctive about this short film, but it excels at entertaining and being moderately funny. Besides the unrealistic nature of finding a $900 per month, two bedroom triplex within walking distance of the Grove, there were plenty of moments in the film that rang true.
Directed by Chris Akers, the film stars John Forest, Wesley Stiller and Katharine Brandt as Alex. Forest, in particular, is excellent as the beleaguered everyman with the occasional Zach Morris ability to speak to the camera. Enjoy if you’ve got 20 minutes to spare.
Mother’s Day is an occasion on which we celebrate the beauty of our mothers. So here’s a time lapse featuring the beauty of our collective mother earth. The artist is Terje Sorgjerd os TSO Photography.
Last week, Vandy was a step faster than LSU. This week, it was more than just Vanderbilt excellence, as Tennessee was also doubly slow. Photo courtesy of Mike Rapp, VandySports.com.
Well, it was the Nashville Massacre weekend. I’m not sure Vanderbilt has ever enjoyed a sustained beat down on an SEC opponent. The only thing that comes to mind is the Basketball team’s undressing of Billy Gillespie’s Kentucky Wildcats in February of 2008.
Of course, the joy of the Nashville Massacre quickly evaporated into the jubilation over Usama Bin Laden “getting got”, to quote The Wire. Nevertheless, we’ll hop right into the topic of the week.
The Immediate Progression
The theme of the last two weeks has been maturity. I was chatting with Chris Lee of VandySports.com last Thursday and both he and I agreed that the thing setting this team apart was a tremendous attitude, highlighted by incredible maturity up and down the roster. In particular, we both commented on the plate discipline and demeanor of Tony Kemp and Conrad Gregor. Both are incredibly advanced as hitters, never swinging at a pitcher’s pitches before two strike counts. The end result is getting good pitches to hit and a ton of walks.
Sometimes a short film is so gripping and well made that you get caught up in the action, character and vibe so much that your heart races as it would in a dramatic full length film. This is one such work.
Director Brandon McCormick, a veteran of the short film genre, wrote and directed this film for Whitestone Motion Pictures. It features two somewhat familiar faces in Justin Welborn and Sean Bridges in the primary roles.
It’s well acted, interestingly conceived (if not murky) and scored with a vengeance. Yes, the last three minutes are hardly traditional in their mix of acting and scoring, but it works and works quite well.