On my way home from Pasadena, where I attended the BCS Championship Game in January 2010, I struck up a conversation with an older man in a nice suit, overcoat, and top hat while waiting for my flight from Atlanta to Nashville. He had noticed the Bama attire I had on, and began to explain to me that he was a professor from Vanderbilt that had been to a conference about a subject so boring I can’t begin to remember what it could’ve possibly been. We were talking about the SEC, and about how we, as a conference, have dominated just about every sport they can come up with. The only part of the conversation that I can remember with this man was when he told me that “you should be happy we let you stay in our conference”. Now, being in the festive mood that I was in since we had just won the Championship (and I had made a lot of money in Vegas), I just let the guy blabber on and eventually go on his merry way thinking he had educated me on how Vanderbilt runs the conference. What I really wanted to say would’ve been a mixture of some of the facts to come in this article, without a few other choice words.
Here’s a look at Vanderbilt’s football program’s pathetic existence by the numbers:
1—The number of bowl appearances for the Dores since 1982.
2—The number of wins for Vandy in each of the last two seasons.
3—The number of different head coaches over the last three seasons.
4—Their total number of bowl appearances.
5—The best single-season win total amassed by the “great” Jay Cutler while at Vanderbilt.
**WILD CARD NUMBER** 11—Surprisingly, the number of Vanderbilt alum currently playing in the NFL.
It’s hard for a fan of college football to look at a schedule every year and wonder why this school is still fielding a team under the SEC banner. The only way they sell out their stadium is if the visiting team is within a reasonable driving distance. The only time I have been to a Vanderbilt football game is when the Tide visited Vanderbilt Stadium (yes, they don’t even have anyone significant enough to dedicate the stadium to), and the capacity crowd had to be made up of at least 75% Alabama fans. I lay awake at night sometimes wondering if anyone in the SEC office will ever have the gall to bring up the fact that Vanderbilt football is the only thing responsible for any respect that we don’t get. You have to ask yourself, is it really worth keeping a junior varsity team in our league just so our academic numbers look better? Do we really want to keep giving this school a share of the money that is earned via bowl games won by teams that actually compete every season?
I plan on starting a petition to rid the SEC of Vanderbilt’s football program. Why can’t they just be like Notre Dame and be Independents during football season, and included in the SEC for other sports? My only hope is that someone from Vanderbilt will read this article and come to a realization that it is just not ethically responsible to continue to steal money from the rest of the conference. However, you and I both know that’s just wishful thinking.