College football season is well within reach!
With less than 100 days until kickoff, we here at Team Speed Kills are introducing a brand-new, quotidian countdown series to help you prepare for the first slate of college football action on August 26th.
In this series, we will post a daily SEC-related fact and/or story that corresponds to the number of the day in the countdown. Hopefully, you’ll find this series enlightening and entertaining. If you do, click that ‘share’ button we all know and love. If you do not, quit lying to yourself.
91: No. of meetings between Ole Miss & Vandy.
It shouldn’t surprise most people that I had to be told that this is, in fact, a rivalry game. I get that they’re cross-divisional rivals, but that still doesn’t necessarily mandate intensity. After all, South Carolina and Texas A&M play every year, and I won’t believe they care until Kevin Sumlin berates Will Muschamp in a post-game press conference for bragging about upsetting fans at Kyle Field.
Still, these two teams have met enough times for this to warrant the moniker of a rivalry, but it somehow doesn’t have a name. Any self-respecting rivalry has a name! And listen, it doesn’t even have to be creative! Michigan vs. Ohio State—which is only the biggest rivalry in the sport—just calls itself “The Game”. See? Literally anything will do.
Luckily, I’ve come up with a sterling suggestion: “The Vineyard Vines Bowl”. This would be a great opportunity for the overpriced, pastel-colored clothing market to cement its spot in college football history. Beyond that, the company would fit perfectly in this rivalry, pairing with the two Power 5 schools that boast the highest percentage of students involved in fraternities. Plus, the trophy could be a glorious, golden pair of Sperrys or something.
Thankfully, you don’t have to leave that up to your imagination. I did the legwork for you.
What a piece of hardware. Imagine if this bad boy was up for grabs every year. Derek Mason and Hugh Freeze would be pulling out all the stops so that they could sit that baby on a shelf in their office and regale recruits with stories about how they went into a half-filled stadium in Nashville and won a brutal 12-6 game that only aired on a Raycom channel that strictly comes through via rabbit ears.
Nothing is a greater motivator than the promise of trophies. Before I start describing them with a fondness typically displayed by Goldmember, I must make this next point. I would tell you to close your eyes and imagine this scenario, but this is a typed piece, and you need your eyes to read it. So, humor me and picture:
It’s week 7. You’re scrambling out of bed to find the remote because you woke up at 11:57, and you’ll be damned if you miss seeing Corso’s headgear antics. Finally, as you see him in full Zippy regalia waving at the crowd while dancing with a live kangaroo (I’m operating in a universe where Akron beats Penn State in week one), all of the noon games hit you at once. And, if Ole Miss-Vanderbilt just happens to be scheduled as a noon game, you’ll pick it. You know why? Because you know as well as I do that you want to see two teams battle for that beautiful trophy that I just designed free of charge.
And really, if the Golden Sperrys™ are on the line, you’ll watch Ole Miss-Vandy over any other game, no matter the time slot.
Ohio State-Nebraska going on that night? Oh well.
Auburn’s playing LSU? Yawn.
Texas is at Oklahoma? You’ll catch the Red River Rivalry next year.
It’s Vineyard Vines Bowl time, and you wouldn’t miss it for the world. And lord knows you certainly wouldn’t miss seeing the joyous face of either Hugh Freeze or Derek Mason hoisting that trophy high afterwards:
This is a bit awkward, but I could only photoshop Hugh Freeze holding the trophy because Vandy hasn’t won a bowl game since the James Franklin days. However, rest assured: it would look very cool.
Hopefully I have done enough here to persuade both schools to agree to this small tweak to their rivalry series. I believe that doing so would add enormous gravity to the game, making it one of the premier rivalries in college football. The Vineyard Vines Bowl would be must-see tv. It’d be on every college football fan’s bucket list. It’d be fabulous.
BONUS: 91 is also the largest margin of victory in that series
I get that Vanderbilt’s 91-0 rout of Ole Miss happened 102 years ago, but I really don’t care. Losing 91-0 to Vanderbilt football is quite a feat, and it deserves note. After all, Vanderbilt—a founding member of the Southeastern Conference—hasn’t won a conference title since 1923. The SEC was formed in 1932.
That 91-0 beatdown is something the Commodores should wish to bring attention do, and making this rivalry game appointment viewing is the greatest way to do so. If people start tuning in, they’ll see those graphics that ESPN airs showing the series’ history, and they’ll see that Ole Miss actually once lost to Vanderbilt by 91 points. And, just like me, they’re not going to care one bit that it was so long ago. They’ll just laugh and enjoy the wonderful Vineyard Vines Bowl taking place, paying no mind at all to the other games on tv—boring in comparison to the one at hand.