If you're anything like me, you probably intended to spend much of your summer boning up on cutting edge football statistics and innovative offensive schemes but ended up pissing away three months with ill-conceived ideas like "Maybe I should start an NCAA 13 Dynasty Mode as UMass" or "I guess I've got time to watch season two of Bones." And now here we are: a little more than five hours away from kickoff in Nashville and your football IQ has yet to eclipse Joey Scribner-Howard's 2011 net punting average.
If you're even more like me, you probably also pulled off more than one pre-exam all-nighter in college and have the rings under your eyes and premature hair loss that say, "I was there."
With that, I give you your study materials:
We do our best here at Garnet & Black Attack. We really do. But SB Nation's own Bill Connelly's quantitative analysis makes us all look like a bunch of rubes. Read his South Carolina and Vanderbilt season previews here and here, respectively. Also check out his index of statistical profiles, an invaluable tool for analyzing the season's early games.
If Connelly is number one on the depth chart, then Chris Brown (you may know him on Tiwtter as @smartfooball) is 1A or 1A+. Check out Brown's piece on the read option and a common tactic for defending, the scrape-exchange, here. Be careful though. Reading any Smart Football piece could result in having 50 new tabs of articles that you have to read. I'm not thoroughly acquainted with the style of each of Vanderbilt's 2011 opponents, but it doesn't seem like they've faced a dangerous spread-to-run team yet in the James Franklin era. It will be interesting to see how they defend it tonight.
Here's the current Vandy depth chart and the Gamecock depth chart. The South Carolina media guide is an awesome resource, and you might also want to look at the Vanderbilt media guide (although they call it a "Fact Book" for some reason).
Also read (if you haven't already) Gamecock Man's pieces on the Vandy offense and defense, George Stevens' video game simulation of the season opener, our Q&A with Anchor of Gold's Christian D'Andrea, and listen to our podcast previewing the tilt with the Fighting James Franklins.
That's all I've got, people.
Go! Fight! Win! Kick Ass!