For twenty-five years, Vanderbilt has struggled with handling defeat and the toll it took on the pysche of our players, our staff, our students, and our fans.
But now, with respect pouring into the program thanks to success on the field, it remains to be seen whether the Commodores can handle victory.
Francis Bacon wrote, "Prosperity doth best discover vice; but adversity doth best discover virtue."
The Commodores have piled up a lot of virtue over the years. Now it's time to see if their new-found achievements will uncover any flaws.
Facing an underwhelming Bulldog squad from Starkville, there's a real possibility that the 'Dores could be caught looking toward the Bulldogs in Athens instead.
And that's what's making news in Commodore Country today:
Jarred Amato has an in-depth analysis of the quarterback situation after the Auburn win, and a problem that only BNV would have: tryign to pick between two good players for the same position (Jarred argues that because they're so close in talent, that it's really only a matter of who's healthier).
Harry King details how Vandfans are coming out of the woodwork, even in Arkansas (glad to see people rejoining the ship).
Joe Biddle is on a roll, with another great pro-Vanderbilt piece (this time, comparing Vanderbilt's struggles with senior Commodore wide receiver George Smith).
Maurice Patton also takes up the quarterback dilemma, and I use that word specifically (because again, this isn't about picking between two bad guys, it's about choosing between two good ones).
An old timer in Maury County, Tenn. talks about seeing his dream come true as Vanderbilt beat Auburn last Saturday night.
Tim Cottrell explains Vanderbilt's win to the Auburnites as an exercise in SEC parity (put Opelika and Auburn on suicide-watch, folks -- these people are getting hysterical down there).
Dave Moorman keeps trying to grasp that LSU doesn't play Vanderbilt (I think it's a compliment, isn't it?).
Matt Wilson writes that a bowl game is finally within Vanderbilt's reach (also has some great quotes from the BoJo presser about the recruiting edge that our GameDay week exposure gave us -- and who knew Coach was such a political aficionado?).
Ron Higgins sees Mac Adams putting the team first (and you've got to love the attitude from both Chris and Mac as they deal with the whole two-QB situation).
Jeremy Fowler chronicles the text-war between BoJo and a former VU assistant who's now at Florida (UF running backs coach Kenny Carter).
T. Kyle King embraces the Vandemonium, while bringing back the Colossal Commodore picture and ranking VU no. 2 in the SEC (I love that picture -- I wish I'd found it a long time ago).
T. Kyle's embrace only goes so far, and he picks Mississippi State to catch the 'Dores looking ahead this week in Starkville (and he captures my worry, spot-on).
Despite picking the upset, T. Kyle King ranks Vanderbilt no. 6 in the country, ahead of LSU (wow).
Andy Gardiner tells the USA about Vanderbilt's success, explaining the historical significance of our win (it's actually a really good piece, too).
Chris Low thinks we're still on fire in this week's SEC "hot or not" (and Yew Tee is still ice cold -- heh).
Caleb Hannan continues to hate on Vanderbilt in his obnoxious blog, "Pith in the Wind" (he predicted that VU would be slaughtered by the prize steers of the SEC, which included Auburn -- I can't figure out what his "beef" with us is -- any McGillites want to serve as Ambassadors and explain us to them?).
Brad Senkiw is sure that BoJo will be on Lake Hartwell by this February, if not sooner (Clemson University is located on that lake, in case you didn't catch it).
Fitsnews, in capable of dealing with a world where Vanderbilt is actually good, desperately clings to SOV, despite all evidence to the contrary (if I hope really hard, the 5 wins will go away).
The Murph ranks VU no. 12 in the country (with a ridiculously-hard-to-read block of white-on-black text -- just do a Control+F search for "Vanderbilt" -- he only mentions us once).
Anonymous1 says that the 'Dores are Nashville's darlings, even above the Titans (I don't know if I'd buy that, but certainly, Vanderbilt's success is more historic than the Titans', who've been to a Super Bowl).
Adam Rosenberg welcomes us to an alternate dimension, where Vanderbilt is good and, say it with me, "Yew Tee sucks!" (No fruit sucks like Puke Orange, right?).
Soda Pop, who has doubted the 'Dores, now believes, citing us twice in his Top 5 reasons that College Football is crazy this season (I agree with him, somewhat).
Dimon Kendrick-Holmes has a great piece giving his testimony as to how he became a Commodore (great, great stuff).
Lindsay Rutledge examines Tennessee's new football capital: Nashville (oh yeah, they play football in Knoxville, right?).
Bobby O'Shea runs through some VU press and announces that VSL will have a swap with some Mississippi State bloggers later this week (stay tuned for that).
The Burglar contrasts Mac and Chris, and I think he comes out in favor of Chris (though that doesn't mean, in his mind, that Chris automatically gets the start against State).
PhilipVU94 has his Week 6 power rankings, and he puts the Dores at no. 3 in the SEC (he also helpfully notes that every SEC team we've beaten promptly declares its team "useless" after losing to us).
Apparently, there's a big-time professional boxing match set for action in Memorial Gym on November 15 (it's not hosted by the University, we're just going to make a ton of money off hosting it -- think they'll have alcohol in the Fenway Park of College Basketball for the evening?).
Special note: S&S joins fellow Vanderbloggers VSL in wishing a fond farewell to Brett Hait, the Vanderbilt beat reporter for The Nashville City Paper. Brett did a great job on what was, for many years, a difficult beat, and his professionalism and journalistic talent were appreciated by sportsfans across the Music City. We wish Brett luck as he moves on to bigger and better things (i.e., si.com) in Atlanta.