Two weeks like no other

I asked somebody in the press box Saturday night if they were expecting some national or international media in town for the debate to be at the Vandy game. They said they knew of some. The next two weeks here will be like no other. Ever.

I don't believe there's ever been a bigger event in this state, from any standpoint, than the Presidential Debate. More than 3,000 world-wide media? Try to come up with something if you can. I can't.

In the meantime, most of our focus and yours is on Vandy. For years this game fell in late October, right before Ole Miss and LSU met on Halloween weekend. Now it's normally early in the season. Vandy always thinks it can beat Ole Miss. Ole Miss always thinks it can beat Vandy.

Two of the last thee years the Commodores have won this game, both times in Nashville. The last Vandy win in Oxford was the forgettable day in 1999 when a potential SEC championship Ole Miss ballclub let one get away in overtime. Why that happened could be, and has been, debated ad nauseam. And it was nauseating.

Vandy's requested more tickets for this one. They were available because season ticket sales here, while up, were not up enough. I hear the Commodores are bringing their whole band.

Vandy is 3-0, with wins over Miami (Ohio), South Carolina, and Rice, and pumped for the trip to Oxford.

There should be 60,000 at the game. No TV. Night contest. The Rebs' SEC opener. Who isn't attending this one?

Normally the weekly football press conference on Mondays during the season isn't necessarily something to get that excited about. But I'm looking forward to this one. I have to believe there will be a little bit different spring in their collective step, a little bit different tone in their voices, and that goes from players to coaches. They know this week will be, well, different.

Maybe it shouldn't be. They're all important, from Memphis to Wake Forest to Samford. They'll tell you that, too.

But human nature takes over and those three letters "SEC" just shake things up during the week leading up to gameday.

Houston Nutt will break a tie this weekend with the Commodores. He's 1-1 as a head coach against them in the past.

Vandy will be looking to continue its quest for a bowl bid for the first time since 1982, which is also the last time the Commodores had a winning season in football.

Wake Forest's 30-28 win over Ole Miss was the 400th victory for Demon Deacon football.

Saturday night in Oxford, the Rebels can win their 600th with a victory over Vandy.

Ole Miss has played Vanderbilt in football more than any other except Mississippi State and LSU. While this matchup may not bring the same fervor and passion playing those two rivals do, this is an important game for a lot of reasons.

Throw in all that surrounds the debate and you have two weeks the likes of which we've not seen in these parts.

Absorb it to the fullest.

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Fall baseball practice begins this weekend for the Rebels. Mike Bianco's ninth Ole Miss team will take the field - at Oxford High due to construction at its own ballpark - to take aim at the 2009 season.

Time gets away. Hard to believe he's coached here nearly a decade. But that's the case and there's been a lot of success.

He will once again field a talented team made even more experienced with the return of guys like Logan Power, Brett Basham, Scott Bittle, Brett Bukvich, Evan Button, Jordan Henry, and others.

We'll catch up with baseball later this week as fall ball begins.

We'll also look in and see what's going on with the Rebels and Lady Rebs at Tad Smith Coliseum. It'll be October before you know it and hoops practice will be upon us.


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