Last time, it was 26 years between bowl games for Vanderbilt. This time, it will be just three. The Commodores breezed past Wake Forest on Saturday to claim their first postseason berth since 2008 and the first of the James Franklin Era.
When not trying out for a spot on the MMA circuit, Franklin has been turning Vanderbilt into a respectable SEC football outfit. And the Commodores did what any respectable SEC outfit should do against Wake Forest: They annihilated the Deacons.
Vanderbilt rolled up 481 yards and 25 first downs in the 41-7 shellacking in North Carolina. Zac Stacy had 184 yards and three touchdowns rushing, and James Rodgers added on 90 more to supplement a mediocre day passing (7-of-15, 139 yards, a touchdown). Even Larry Smith got in on the action, hitting a 45-yard touchdown pass on his only attempt for an 808.0 passer rating, which I believe is about as high as the college number goes.
Now, Vanderbilt waits. At least one of their competitors is gone with Tennessee's loss to Kentucky Saturday, and the way Florida and Mississippi State finish their regular seasons tonight could also affect the Commodores' postseason destination.
Either way, it's a nice question for Commodores fans to ponder. And if James Franklin's first season is any indication, it could be a question they'll be asking themselves a lot more often.