A long time ago, I had a discussion with a friend of mine about SEC fans with the most heartbreak year-in and year-out.
At the start of our discussion, we both agreed that in so many words, the Vanderbilt Commodores, once the cause celebre of my friend Kasi, is the team that has the most heartbreak every year.
In 76 years of membership in the Southeastern Conference, the Commodores has never won an SEC championship. In fact, the last time Vanderbilt won a conference title was in 1923 while members of the Southern Conference.
That was also the year that my Aunt Dot was born, meaning that she was actually alive when Vanderbilt football was successful.
And if you know your SEC history, the last time Vanderbilt made it to a bowl game was back in 1982, two years before I was even born when they took on Air Force in the Hall of Fame Bowl.
For a lot of schools, 5-6 records are good reasons for coaches to get canned at football powerhouses like Alabama or Texas (Mack Brown, you better thank God you haven't finished 5-6 in Austin).
But if you're at Vanderbilt, 5-6 grants you job security because you, the coach, have led Vanderbilt's gridiron warriors to bowl contention only to come up short at the hands of State U.
Come Thursday when Vanderbilt heads to Miami (Ohio), the hope that Commodore fans—as well as my aforementioned friend Kasi—hold for the 2008 season will still be there, even if deep down in their hearts they know for a fact that it's going to be another long year in the Music City for the Black and Gold.
But then again, what did they say in the borough where they hang pictures of Biggie?
Wait 'til next year.