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Vanderbilt fans chanted ‘We want Bama’ after win over Kansas State. Bama’s up next.

The Commodores are 3-0, with a win over a ranked team and a great defense. Now the Tide are coming to Nashville.

Kansas State v Vanderbilt Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

NASHVILLE — It was faint, because 20,000 of the announced 38,000 sellout crowd in Vanderbilt Stadium were Kansas State fans, but you could hear it:


Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason made it a point to set a deadline for celebrating his program’s 3-0 start and 14-7 win over No. 18 Kansas State. At midnight coaches and players would begin to face down the inevitability that is No. 1 Alabama, headed to Nashville next week for a nationally televised CBS game.

“Man, give me my hour and 45 minutes, please,” Mason said at 10:15 p.m. local time.

Before they talk about the Tide, the Commodores deserve a moment. Vandy won its first game against a ranked nonconference opponent since 1946 and will likely be ranked when Bama arrives Saturday.

In an increasingly confusing SEC East (3-0 Kentucky! Bad Florida offense! Bad Tennessee defense!), the Commodores are as much a favorite for the division as just about anyone else is, excluding Missouri. After quietly finishing 6-7 last season, Vandy is 3-0 and now noticeably good again, especially on defense. Entering Saturday night, K-State averaged 8.36 yards per play against FCS Central Arkansas and Charlotte. Vandy’s defense almost cut that in half (4.4).

Wildcats quarterback Jesse Ertz threw for only 76 yards and was intercepted twice. Ertz was most effective for the Wildcats as a rusher (126 yards, 5.3 yards a carry and one touchdown), but the rest of the K State backfield was held to 75 yards.

And sure, Vanderbilt’s a historic doormat in the Southeastern Conference that compares poorly to the Tide in almost every meaningful category, but chanting “WE WANT BAMA” is less a taunt and now more of its own kind of celebration.

Just ask Washington! This was funny back in September of last season, then less so for the Huskies on New Year’s Eve. Entertaining when theoretical, not so much when practical.


Or Northern Illinois! The Huskies won in Lincoln on Saturday, so they’re probably feeling as salty as Vanderbilt fans. Will NIU get a chance to play Bama this year? No, and that’s probably great for NIU!


Although NIU does lead their all-time series vs. the Tide 1-0:

Or the Cleveland Browns! The NFL’s most commonly mentioned franchise in the “Could [Really good college program] beat [Really bad NFL team]?” debate isn’t scared.

On Saturday night in Nashville, it meant that a small fan base known for suffering lots of losing seasons felt good enough about their team to welcome to the most extreme football challenge possible.

Chanting “We Want Bama,” no matter how seemingly ill-advised, is OK. What happens when you get Bama is entirely different. Good luck.