The year was 1982. The top song that year was "You've Got Another Thing Coming" by Judas Priest, and the top movie was An Officer and a Gentleman. Twenty-six years ago, Vanderbilt went to their last bowl game—the Hall of Fame Bowl.
Now it is 2008. The 'Dores are 2-0 and sitting atop the SEC Eastern Division, and with Rice coming to town on Saturday, Vandy is staring a 3-0 record right in the face. That leaves them with only three wins left to reach the magic number of six, and most likely a quick drive down the road to Birmingham to the Papa Johns Bowl.
Let's go ahead and say Vandy does win this week and gets to 3-0 with nine games left on the schedule. Can they win just three more games? Let's take a week by week look into the crystal ball I don't have to see the future of a bowl game for the Commodores.
After Rice, the Doors travel to a very good Ole Miss team that gave Wake Forest all they wanted and then some on the road. I'm going to go ahead and say they will suffer their first defeat of the season, bringing the record to 3-1 (1-1).
The next week will give them another week to think about it, being off after they play the Rebels. Top 10 Auburn comes to town after that, bringing one of the best defenses in the country. Sorry, Vandy fans: Win number four does not come this week either, as Vandy falls to 3-2 (1-2).
After the back to back SEC losses, it does not get any easier for the Commodores. They hit the road for two games versus the Bulldogs of Mississippi State and Georgia.
I would say if the State game was at home, Vandy would come out on top, but since they have to travel to Starkville, and any game in the SEC on the road is very tough, I don't see a win here either. That would drop Vandy to 3-3 (1-3), and it's not looking too much easier the next week going to Georgia.
I know two years ago Vandy pulled off the shocker and beat the Dawgs. That's not going to happen this time around, and we are going to end that right there. Vandy's now 3-4 (1-4).
Well, guess what. Here comes a breath of fresh air: The Duke Blue Devils are coming to town. This should get Vandy back on the winning track because, well, it's Duke, and they are the Vandy of the ACC, only worse. Vandy gets back to .500 at 4-4 (1-4).
Let's not celebrate too much after this. The All-American, Heisman trophy-winning, circumcising golden boy comes to town. This one could get ugly, and ugly fast. Florida should be in full force by midseason and on the way to a berth to the SEC Championship game. 'Dores lose big! Bringing the record below .500
4-5 (1-5)—that means only three games to go, and Vandy must win two of them to go bowling.
Now before the season I would say Vandy had a very good chance of beating Kentucky, but after the first two weeks of the season and the Wildcats only giving up 2.5 points per contest, and with also having to go on the road, I just don't see Vanderbilt coming out of the Bluegrass State with a win, dropping their record to 4-6 (1-6).
So now it comes down to this: the last two games of the season—Tennessee at home and Wake Forest on the road. After watching how bad Tennessee looked in the opener versus UCLA, I'm going to have to go with Vandy in this one
Yes, I know what you are thinking: I have them losing to Ole Miss, Miss St., and Kentucky but beating Tennessee. But Tennessee is bad, very bad, and at this point in the season Tennessee will be all but drained, so the 'Dores win! 5-6 (2-6).
It all comes down to this: the final game of the year, Nov. 29 at Wake Forest. This is it. Vandy fans, does the 26-year streak end today? And that answer is...YES.
FINALLY the Commodores come together and pull off the biggest win in Vandy football history since good ol' Watson Brown beat the Crimson Tide, and they send Vandy bowling for the first time since 1982! Final record 6-6 (2-6).
Oh yeah, on a side note all the pizza you can eat...only if it's from Papa Johns. See you in Birmingham, Vandy.