Via a friend on Facebook comes the sad news of the passing of C. Neal Tate, who was a prominent political scientist at the University of North Texas (rising to Dean of Graduate Studies) before taking on the rather unenviable task of rebuilding Vanderbilt’s political science department in the wake of their bout with receivership earlier in this decade.
I only had the opportunity to meet Neal once, in the context of an APSA meat market interview for a position at Vandy, but in that interaction he was most cordial even though I probably had absolutely no business being interviewed for that position. Even based on that brief interaction, however, I am certain that he will be widely missed by colleagues and former students alike.
If I were (a) stupid enough to bet on sports and (b) stupid enough to bet on any game the Rebels were involved with, I’d take Ole Miss (+3) over Vandy and the under (44). Reasons:
- Ole Miss can defend the pass. The pass is, well, Vandy’s entire offense (except that whole option thing).
- Vandy isn’t as good as Memphis. Ole Miss, er, beat Memphis. Ergo, Ole Miss should beat Vandy.
- Vandy’s home field advantage is nonexistent.
- Vandy loses to Ole Miss, even in years the Rebels suck (see: 2001, 2002, 2004). So, even if Ole Miss does suck this year (something yet to be determined—we’ll see in mid-October), they should still beat Vandy.
- Intangible 1: I’m quite certain that Vandy being 3–0 is a sign of the apocalypse. I don’t think universal armageddon is quite here yet.
- Intangible 2: Coach O will probably call the entire team a “bunch of pussies” if they lose to Vandy. The team doesn’t want a tanned shirtless guy calling them pussies. So they will win. And not wear any earrings.
Disclaimer: taking my betting advice is probably a bad idea under any and all circumstances. I am not responsible for any monetary losses incurred as a result of this pick.