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Vanderbilt Faces Missouri After 116 Years of Futility -- for the Tigers // SEC 2012: The New SEC

They've played more recently in basketball, of course. (This photo is from 2010.)
They've played more recently in basketball, of course. (This photo is from 2010.)

Looking at how well each team knows the conference's newest members

Vanderbilt History vs. New SEC Teams

First Meeting Last Meeting Record vs.
Missouri 1895 1958 1-2-1
Texas A&M ?
N/A --

It might not last that long once they get there, but Vanderbilt will enjoy this moment of history on Oct. 6: They will take the field against an SEC team that has not defeated them in more than a century.

Of course, that's overstating the case a bit. But to be precise, Missouri has not won against the Commodores in 116 years. This is not an epic losing streak -- any team nearing triple digits in the loss column in football to Vanderbilt should probably consider abandoning the sport altogether -- but is mostly due to the teams only playing each other every half-century or so.

(As for Texas A&M, the Commodores have never played them and are not scheduled to meet the Aggies in 2012. And it could take a while for them to work around to TAMU under the 6-1-1 scheduling format the SEC will use for the next few years. Vanderbilt has played Texas Tech, in the 1974 Peach Bowl, a tie that included the Red Raiders rushing for 306 yards and passing for 35. But I digress.)

Missouri and Vanderbilt first faced off in 1895 and 1896 --in the sixth and seventh seasons, respectively, of both programs, if you count Vanderbilt's one-game season in 1890. The Tigers won those two games by a combined 42-6 margin. Then, they didn't play each other again until 1957 and 1958, and haven't played each other since. (The 1957 game was a 7-7 tie, and Vanderbilt won the 1958 edition on a 12-8 score.

The other oddity about this series is that Vanderbilt will enter 2013 having never hosted Missouri in Nashville for any of the teams' five meetings. The games in 1895, 1957 and 1958 were all played in Columbia (MO). The 1896 contest was in St. Louis. (The date of that game is listed as "--" in the Vanderbilt media guide but Nov. 7 in the Missouri book -- really, do these SIDs ever check with each other about anything?)

And Vanderbilt is set to visit the other Columbia once again in 2012 -- which makes it likely (though not certain) that the Commodores will finally get a chance to play the Tigers on a home field in 2013. Though, really, if you're Vanderbilt, why mess with what's been working against a team for nearly a century?