It's been an ugly week in Vanderbilt sports.
It all started with the football Commodores' absolutely atrocious performance against the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest to end their season at a sour-taste-leaving 6-6 (4-4). It continued with men's basketball losing -- at Memorial! -- to Illinois-Chicago by a lop-sided 55-74.
And now it's finally come to an end with both the men's and women's basketball teams losing on the same day: the men, at Georgia Tech, 51-63, and the women at California-Riverside, 47-50.
Someone take a memo: Vanderbilt should avoid all games played the week after Thanksgiving.
No one would have blamed many Commodores fans for flipping the television over the SEC Championship Game to watch the Florida Gators and Alabama Crimson Tide battle for conference supremacy in the Georgia Dome a little early after watching the Black and Gold take on the Yellow Jackets down the street.
And certainly, CBS outdid itself with the pregame set-up video. Invoking the ghosts of championships past, including both Bear Bryant and the Ol' Ball Coach, CBS pitched the game as a clash between two of the SEC's traditional powerhouses. And, for once, the game lived up to the billing.
As a Commodore fan, it was nice to see that even Alabama's vaunted defense couldn't stop the juggernaut of the Florida Gators (who manhandled the Commodores 12-42 back in November in Nashville).
I was also grateful we didn't have to play Alabama this year (Lord only knows what the score would have been with our anemic offense against their amazing defense).
At the same time, it was tough to see Alabama's magical season come to an end. The Crimson Tide have exorcised several demons with this year's season, and one can't help but believe that next year, they're going to be back with a vengeance (and at the very least, they're assured of a great chance at opening up a new streak in the Iron Bowl, as Auburn welcomes a new head coach).
It was not a good year to be an SEC head coach, either. Track the ax:
• Auburn fired Tuberville
• Mississippi State "resigned" Croom
• Tennessee fired Fulmer
Meanwhile, Mark Richt at Georgia and Les Miles at LSU are both facing restless fan bases dissatisfied with what they see as disaster seasons (I'll tell you what, Georgia fans: I'll take a 9-3 season every single year over the traditional Vanderbilt 2-10 business).
With the firings come the speculation on hirings. We know, of course, that Yew Tee has chosen 33-year old Lane Kiffin, who coached 20 games for the NFL's Oakland Raiders before being fired, as its new head football coach. His prior experience also includes a short stint as offensive coordinator for the University of Southern California.
Any bets on how long he'll last on Rocky Top? I'd wager he'll coach about as many Vawls' games as he did Raiders' games.