For all the attention that the SEC gets as a football conference, it is also one of the best college baseball leagues in the country. And it had a streak on the line when Vanderbilt squared off against Texas on Saturday night, though slightly different than the run of seven straight crystal footballs that it recently had in football: For six years, the SEC had placed at least one team in the College World Series finals.
Make it seven.
After a game that featured 18 hits, five errors and at least one great defensive play from Vanderbilt -- and one that ended on a walk-off infield single, of all things, by back-up third baseman turned starter Tyler Campbell -- the Commodores beat the Longhorns, 4-3, in ten innings to advance to the championship round for the first time in program history. Vanderbilt is now two victories from claiming the national title, which is not something that Vanderbilt is used to doing in any sport.
There, Vanderbilt will be trying to keep another historic streak alive: No team from the ACC has won the College World Series since Wake Forest did it in 1955, which is that conference's only national title in baseball -- and Vanderbilt's opponent next week will be Virginia. The ACC is also a great baseball league, and the #Curseof55 remains one of the few talking points the SEC has on its regional rival.
Most important for Vanderbilt and its fans, of course, would be what a national title would mean for the Commodores. All the conference history might be a nice footnote, but the Commodores came to Omaha to make history of their own.