Tonight the University of Mississippi gets its chance to shine in the international spotlight, as the world turns its attention to SEC Western Division member Ole Miss for the first debate between Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain and Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama.
It is the first time in the history of the United States that a Southeastern Conference school has hosted a Presidential debate, and it is only the fourth time that a debate has been hosted in a Southern state outside of Florida.
Other Southern hosts include the University of Richmond, Georgia Tech, and Wake Forest University (which has hosted two presidential debates in its history).
Ole Miss was not the only SEC school to apply to host a 2008 debate.
Vanderbilt campaigned to host the second debate but lost out to Belmont University, also located in Nashville.
Vanderbilt chancellor Nick Zeppos is now an member of the Honorary Host Committee for Nashville, and both Vanderbilt Public Affairs and Vanderbilt's Freedom Forum First Amendment Center have partnered with Belmont to ensure that Music City's turn, next week, is a success.
Tonight, though, our attention focuses on Oxford, and Vanderbilt fans, many of whom identify closely with Ole Miss, are confident that the Rebels will represent both the South and the SEC well as they play host to the world.