More Satisfying Upset: USC or UGA?

Something weird has happened with VU football over the past couple of years. Though the underdog moniker certainly still fits, it's being worn with a far more optimistic vibe than at any other time in school history. Sure, Vandy is not going to be favored in every game they play this fall, but the feeling that is being given off from the head coach down to the third string punter.. that the Commodores will have a shot every week this fall.

With thoughts and expectations like these it is natural for the fans to start talking in terms of a big time upset. We are talking the kind of upsets that help establish schools on the map, the upsets that increase the value of a program to the point that they stop being upsets and start becoming expected victories. With traditional rival Tennessee being down (would it even be a shock if Vandy took down the Volunteers?) the two programs most talked about in terms of the most wanted upset in 2012 are the South Carolina Gamecocks and the Georgia Bulldogs.

These games will pit the Commodores against the projected one and two finishers in the SEC East and will be a true test of just how far James Franklin has progressed his team so far. Both Georgia (#6) and USC (#9) were in the top ten when the preseason poll was released last week, and both upsets would be satisfying for different reasons.

An upset of the Gamecocks would be huge for Vanderbilt because of what it could mean for the program long term. It is the VERY first game of the college season for any FBS program, and it will be played under the new lights, on a newly renovated field, with the stands full in Nashville. Add in the fact that the matchup is to be nationally broadcast on ESPN and it becomes obvious how an upset would boost the (already outstanding) recruiting effort which James Franklin is pitching.

A win against the Bulldogs however would probably be more satisfying to Nashville locals, players, and fans of the Commodores. Everyone remembers the scenes after Georgia escaped the Commodores with a five point victory last season and the emotion continues to run high when any mention of the Bulldogs is made. With coaches involved in skirmishes, players from both sides ejected, and a general feeling of bad blood between the teams it is not hard to see why many would like to see Vandy end Georgia's run at the national title ended before the end of September.

Whichever side of the fence you sit on it is great to see Vandy being expected to rise up and challenge these teams. It does in fact say a lot about the program when one commenter, only half joking, pointed out that the best situation was an upset of USC, followed by a win over Northwestern, which would result in Vandy going into the game with the Bulldogs as the favorite.

That, as much as anything else, will tell you what James Franklin has the masses thinking about the state of VU football.

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