The Dean's List
This week's Dean's List comes at you live from Vegas, where we took all our Lehman stock and put it on Vanderbilt football to win a national championship. It seemed as safe an investment strategy as any.
Some things don't last long, so we've got to appreciate them while they last. So let's take a moment to celebrate Vanderbilt's first top 25 ranking in 24 years. The Commodores climbed into the rankings and boosted their record to 4-0 with a 24-17 win over Mississippi on Saturday. A perennial SEC cellar dweller, Vanderbilt hasn't had a winning season since 1982 and hasn't won a conference championship since the SEC was founded in 1932. But with convincing wins over Miami of Ohio, South Carolina, Rice and Ole Miss, the Commodores are off to a fast start this season. Unfortunately for the only private school in the SEC, the schedule gets just a little bit tougher from here on out. In its next five games, Vanderbilt plays Auburn, Georgia and Florida. That's going to be a real tough stretch for a school with a .345 winning percentage in SEC football games.
Due to the physical nature of the game, football constantly reminds us that we're perpetually teetering on the verge of dramatic change. With one awkward tackle, a player can go from being a superstar to a hospital patient. Ball State wide receiver Dante Love entered Saturday's game against Indiana as the nation's leading receiver, averaging 144.3 yards per game. He left the game immobilized on a backboard with his distraught parents trailing close behind and his teammates huddled in prayer on the field. It all happened in a brief moment during the second quarter of the Cardinals' 42-20 victory. Love caught a short pass and hit helmet to helmet with Hoosier cornerback Chris Adkins. It didn't look like that hard of a hit, but Love suffered a cervical spinal fracture and spinal cord injury, which required five hours of surgery to stabilize. Fortunately, the procedure was a success and the senior wide receiver from Cincinnati is now able to move both his arms and legs. Here's to Love. Love is strong. Love will overcome.
Last college basketball season, I had the chance to hang out with UNC Asheville basketball player Kenny George. The 7-foot-7 center is the tallest college basketball player in the nation and I spent a few hours tagging around with him, trying to figure out what it's like being that tall. As it turns out, it's not a whole lot of fun. People stare and ask annoying questions, and while you can dunk without jumping, it's no fun because dunking without jumping is like eating without tasting. Regardless, George played well for the Bulldogs last year, leading the nation in field goal percentage and landing the Big South's defensive player of the year award. This upcoming season was going to be the big man's chance to prove himself NBA-ready, but injuries have caught up with George once again. (He was forced to sit out both his freshman and sophomore seasons because of injuries.) George recently had two surgeries performed on his right foot and is not expected to return to school this semester. Now, foot surgery isn't normally that big a deal, but when the foot being operated on fits into a size 28 shoe, complications can arise.
The Connecticut field hockey team doesn't do things the easy way, but so far this season, the Huskies are getting the job done. On Sunday, UConn beat No. 16 Michigan 4-3 in overtime to push its winning streak to eight. It was the third-straight overtime victory for the Huskies, who needed extra time to beat both Princeton and Providence earlier in the week. UConn is now a perfect 8-0 on the season and ranked fourth in the nation. The Dean's List wonders if there is a record out there for most consecutive overtime victories in a collegiate sporting event. If no one knows and UConn wins its next game in overtime, we're just going to go ahead and proclaim four consecutive overtime victories a new world record.
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