- Chris Low, ESPN Senior Staff Writer
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Not only is Vanderbilt headed to a bowl game for the second straight season and breaking down barriers along the way, but James Franklin and Co. are also providing everybody with a pretty extensive history lesson.
Vanderbilt (7-4, 5-3) is coming off its worst beating of in-state rival Tennessee in nearly 60 years last Saturday, a 41-18 battering that was the Commodores' first win against the Vols in Nashville in 30 years. Vanderbilt heads to Wake Forest this Saturday trying to get to eight regular-season wins also for the first time in 30 years.
It goes without saying that Franklin and his staff have done an amazing job of making Vanderbilt competitive in the SEC, and it's even more remarkable when you consider that this is only their second year on the job.
But to fully appreciate what these Commodores have accomplished, let's delve a little deeper into the history books:
Under Franklin, the Commodores are 5-2 in the month of November. In the decade before Franklin arrived on campus, Vanderbilt was 3-32 in November games.
The Commodores' 23-point win against the Vols was their largest margin of victory in the series since a 26-0 shutout in 1954. Vanderbilt's 41-point total was the most scored against Tennessee in the series since a 51-7 victory by the Commodores in 1923.
It was Vanderbilt's fourth game of 40-plus offensive points. The last time the Commodores tallied at least 40 points in four games was during World War I (1916).
The victory against Tennessee was Vanderbilt's fifth victory in SEC play, tying the team for its highest single-season win total in league play. The only other five-win SEC season came in 1935.
The Commodores have won four consecutive games in SEC play for the first time since 1949.
The seven regular-season wins are the most by the Commodores in three decades.
The Commodores travel to Wake Forest this weekend in search of their first six-game winning streak in nearly 60 years. Vanderbilt's last six-game spree came in 1955, a season that concluded with a 25-13 win against Auburn in the Gator Bowl.
Vanderbilt has won more SEC games this season than Tennessee has in the past three seasons combined.
7hEdward Aschoff and Greg Ostendorf