One of the most interesting parts about this opening game is the opposition. When the SEC gave Vandy the chance to open up the league schedule this was the obvious game to choose. South Carolina is a lot like the Commodores entering 2012 as this edition of the Gamecocks have become the most talked up in school history. With playmakers all over the field Gamecock fans are expecting nothing less than an easy victory over the Commodores as they have their eyes firmly set on representing the East in the SEC Title Game this fall.
Many around the program in Nashville however have other ideas.
Though our full preview for the game will be up later in the week it is certainly worth noting what happened the last time that ESPN rolled into town. Back on October 4th, 2008 the College Gameday crew set up on campus and the Commodores rose to the occasion taking down Auburn 14-13. That propelled Vandy to a 5-0 start and we can expect the 2012 squad to be similarly inspired on Thursday night.
"From a national point of view, clearly it's the biggest game we've had since ‘GameDay,'" Vanderbilt athletics director David Williams said. "We're coming off a good season, so there's a lot of excitement here, but there's a lot of excitement around the country about Vanderbilt.
"It's the first time I have listened to people since December say they can't wait for football to start again. My understanding is ESPN is bringing those hang-down cameras (over the field), which we've never had before. We've got a somewhat new stadium: a new jumbotron; the berm; we've got new lights; and we've got a new field (surface). So it's a big thing."
It has been a long time coming, with false dawns and shattered expectations along the way, but to Commodore fans in 2012 I have just one piece of advice.
Enjoy the ride.