You could call this one the Battle of the Rising Stars. When Ole Miss travels to Nashville to play Vanderbilt on Thursday, Aug. 29 -- the official kickoff of the SEC football schedule -- the two men grabbing the most attention will be the ones who wont play a down.
The teams leaders -- Hugh Freeze in his second season in Oxford and James Franklin in his third at Vanderbilt -- have generated more enthusiasm and excitement on their respective campuses than anyone would have dreamed possible just a few short years ago.
Now, a game that would have easily been branded the Who Cares Bowl in 2010 is a nationally-televised, must-see event.
How times have changed.
Just three football seasons ago, the Vanderbilt Commodores were commonly known as the Dore mats of the SEC, a witty nickname that they had earned. Vandy went 2-10 (1-7 SEC) in 2010. Its average margin of defeat was 23.1 points.
But as bad as the Dores were, their lone SEC victory that year came against Ole Miss, a team that ...