Believing now good enough for Vandy fans

Times continue to change for Vanderbilt fans. In the past by late September Vandy fans would often find themselves asking when basketball season started. By contrast, over past basketball season VU fans were asking when football season started. You see, we are in a new era of Vanderbilt football, a winning era.

Times continue to change for Vanderbilt fans. In the past by late September Vandy fans would often find themselves asking when basketball season started. By contrast, over past basketball season VU fans were asking when football season started, with good reason. You see, we are in a new era of Vanderbilt football, a winning era.

Vanderbilt fans have always looked at the upcoming season with the similar hope and aspirations that fans of the other teams do. But they also knew that the deck was stacked against the Black & Gold and too often these diehard fans' craving for success would be dashed early on. All that has changed over the past two seasons thanks to a man named James Franklin and a Vanderbilt administration that is finally hell bent on fielding championship athletic teams.

Fifteen wins in two seasons. Fifteen. That might not seem like a big deal to supporters of Alabama, Ohio State and USC or even programs like Wake Forest or Iowa State but to Vanderbilt fans it's special. Consider that from 2000 until 2004, a period of five seasons, Vanderbilt won 11 total games, an average of 2.2 wins per season. Heck, in entire 1960s Vanderbilt won a total of 24 games.

The closest that Vanderbilt fans in so called modern history have come to experiencing 15 wins in two seasons was during the 1974 and 1975 seasons. Those teams won 14 games in two seasons. However, that VU administration chose to do nothing to continue the success. No money was invested in pitiful Dudley Stadium and following the fine 1974 season coach Steve Sloan along with defensive coordinator Bill Parcells headed to greener pastures. Vandy won seven games again in '75 under Fred Pancoast but things started to go downhill the following season with no support from the administration.

By contrast to the 1970s leadership debacle, the current administration pumped money into the program after Franklin's 2011 bowl season. Money was earmarked for a much needed indoor practice facility, locker rooms and improvements for Vanderbilt Stadium. Like 1974, Vanderbilt had an outstanding group of assistants. Thanks to the new VU leadership focused on fostering success, two years later Vanderbilt still has Franklin, defensive coordinator Bob Shoop and most of the staff of outstanding assistants.

Vanderbilt fans can finally breathe a sigh of relief. They no longer need to "Dare to believe", they can just BELIEVE. They have a winning coach along with a devoted university leadership team.

Later on this week a freshman class ranked No. 19 by Scout.com will take to the VU practice field for the first time. Mentoring them will be upperclassmen that have been to two consecutive bowl games. Coaching them will be a head coach and staff considered among the nation's best. Then on August 29, in a nationally televised game, Vanderbilt will host a very good Ole Miss team in jam packed Vanderbilt Stadium. The winner will likely be in the top 25 at the end of week 1.

Indeed, times are changing for the Vandy nation.

VandyMania.com Top Stories