Chattanooga Choo-Choos?

Care to guess the nickname for Alabama’s opponent today, the University of Tennessee – Chattanooga?

Mocs and, no lie, that’s short for “mockingbird“:

In 1996, due to concerns over ethnic sensitivity, the Moccasins name and image were dropped in favor of the shortened “Mocs” and an anthropomorphized northern mockingbird, in accordance with the state bird, named “Scrappy” dressed as a railroad engineer. The school’s main athletic logo features Scrappy riding a train (a reference to Chattanooga’s history as a major railroad hub and to the song “Chattanooga Choo Choo”). The mascot takes its name from former football coach A. C. “Scrappy” Moore.

All these years I thought their mascot was related to a water moccasin (a snake), and apparently I was for a while, but then the name was related to American Indians – a shoe?  really? – but that was deemed to American Indian-ish and so the mockingbird got to step up.

That sounds weird.  They should have stuck with the snake.

And that makes for a really interesting – not so much – lead in to today’s game.

The Tide takes on the 8-2 Mockingbirds from the Southern Conference.  And these birds most recently lost to Birmingham’s Samford – with the normal mascot “bulldog” – 17-14 in overtime.  I guess the Mockingbirds were looking ahead to Alabama.

Either way, the Mocs should be in for a pounding today in a game that will probably be most remembered for being Tide quarterback AJ McCarron’s last home game.  Oh yeah, seeing that McCarron is tied for most wins by a starting quarterback (35), it should also be remembered as the day that record was broken.

Beyond that, unless one of the greatest upsets in the history of college football happens, Alabama will roll out of this game with a perfect 11-0 record and head for the Iron Bowl.

So what do we take away from the game besides the above?  Here’s what I think:

* No injuries.  Regardless of the score.  We don’t need no stinkin’ injuries.

* Get the young guys some playing time.  This is a name the score game, but ‘Bama doesn’t need to do that.  I would look for McCarron to play early into the third quarter and then hand the reigns over to Blake Sims.

* I don’t want to be greedy, but a shut out would be nice.

That’s about it, really.  This week has been about getting healthy and getting for game #12.  That’s it.  The Chattanooga Mocs just happen to be coming to town for a scrimmage.