Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Ag Football Preview: Vanderbilt

For whatever reason I wrote this entire piece with one of those History Channel voice-over guys reading it in my head.

Vanderbilt is not a traditionally strong football school.  In fact, they've been down right terrible for the better part of forever.

As the token private school in the SEC they have just under 13,000 students that get the benefit of living in beautiful Nashville, TN.

The city of Nashville makes our return trip (whenever that might be) a road trip destination - because I can get my wife to go because she has always wanted to go to Nashville.

Vanderbilt Stadium was "built" 1922 and has a capacity of 40,550.  Technically, it was Dudley Field that was built in 1922 and current Vanderbilt Stadium was built in 1980.  Unfortunately, a 30 year old stadium doesn't have quite the same aura to it.

The school was founded by a gift from Cornelius Vanderbilt, the great American shipping & railroad tycoon.  His nickname was The Commodore....thus the Vanderbilt Commodores.

Two other Cornelius Vanderbilt fun facts
  • He had 13 children to his wife (who was also his first cousin)
  • Anderson Cooper is his great-great-great Grandson
The Commodores have never won an SEC title (despite being a founding member of the conference), have had six winning seasons since 1959, have been to six bowl games (including the last two seasons), and finished ranked #23 in the country last year - the first time they've ended a season ranked since 1948.

I'm going to have to say that their fight song is one of the highlights of their program:
Dynamite, Dynamite
When VANDY starts to fight.
Down the field with blood to yield,
If need be, save the shield.
If vict'ry's won, when battle's done,
Then VANDY's name will rise in fame.
Win not lose,
It's ours to choose,
And VANDY's game will be the same.
Dynamite, Dynamite
When VANDY starts to fight!
Back to the bad....they have the worst logo in the SEC (see top of page) and they are forced to boast Jay Cutler as one of their more prominent quarterbacks, if you can say that about Jay Cutler.

The Anchor is the symbol they use a lot (I'm not sure if it is an official symbol or logo or what) but it started in the mid-90s and stands as a symbol of unity and strength.  There is an actual anchor (from a boat) that travels with the team. 

HC James Franklin does have them on a really nice little run in his third season.  Like I mentioned, they have gone bowling in his first two campaigns and finished last season ranked.  I know I'm not the only one who thinks he's about to get hired away by a big time school as a result.

Going into the season, I honestly thought that this was the third scariest game on our schedule.  That faded as the season transpired, but after last weekend's mess that was our Auburn game, it's certainly not a gimmie.


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