I mentioned a couple of days ago that ESPN has ranked Vanderbilt as the least prestigious team in the history of college football.
I imagine some Commodore fans are ticked. How could we be ranked below Alabama-Birmingham? Buffalo? Weber State? Louisiana Tech? Louisiana-Monroe? Louisiana-Lafayette?
Well, because the three research scientists who handled the project looked at each season since 1936 and gave each team points based on national championships, bowl victories, post-season rankings, conference records and a bunch of other stuff. Then, according to the ESPN site, they crunched the numbers into a computer. Impressive. But they could have used an abacus instead, because they simply added the numbers together, or in Vanderbilt's case subtracted two points for every losing season since 1936. Which is how Vanderbilt ended up with -75 points over 73 years.
Complain if you want. I'm not complaining — I love it.
And that's precisely what I enjoy being a Vanderbilt fan. Everybody loves an underdog. Well, when you're pulling for Vanderbilt, you get to be the underdog nearly every time you play! By my count, we were underdogs in NINE games last season. We won six of those, most in miraculous fashion, including the bowl game. On our side we celebrated, while the other side tried to figure out how to fire its coach.
Here's how the SEC rates in the Prestigious Poll:
1. Alabama (No. 6)
2. Tennessee (12
3. LSU (13)
4. Georgia (14)
5. Florida (15)
6. Arkansas (19)
7. Auburn (21)
8. Ole Miss (21)
9. Kentucky (69)
10. Miss State (81)
11. South Carolina (83)
12. Vanderbilt (119)
Right now we're in the process of signing yet another recruiting class that's ranked as the worst in the SEC. Everybody on our schedule except maybe Western Carolina and Army is penciling us in as a win on the 2009 schedule.
But this class is by far the best we've ever had. If Bobby Johnson can take a bunch of 2-star athletes and beat the 4- and 5-star athletes at Ole Miss and Auburn and South Carolina, then I'm real interested to see what he can do with the 3-star athletes he's getting this year.
Unless between now and signing day those 3-star athletes who've verbally committed to Vanderbilt realize they've decided to play for the least prestigious team in college football history.
But the kids these days don't know much about history, do they?