One of the things I've always personally hated about Southeastern Conference expansion is that with so many teams in the league, some teams practically feel like they're not even in the same conference as Vanderbilt any more. (Can anybody tell me, without looking it up, the last time we played LSU in football? Because I can't even remember.) Rivalries happen when you play the same team over and over again, twice a year, sometimes more if you happen to play them in the SEC Tournament. It's nothing personal against Arkansas, South Carolina, Missouri, and Texas A&M -- but it feels like since the SEC has expanded, we've lost some old rivals.
But there are other ways to spawn rivalries... like, say, hiring a new coach who happens to be hated by an old rival for reasons we can't exactly put our fingers on...
Wait hold up Bryce Drew is now the Head Coach of Vandy? Great hire of a guy who played a not-so-great part in Ole Miss Basketball history.— Matt Barnthouse (@MattBarnthouse) April 6, 2016
That's right, Bryce Drew once hit a buzzer-beater to beat Ole Miss in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. In 1998. The Rebels' reaction to having Bryce Drew be the new coach of an SEC school is perhaps best expressed by Red Cup Rebellion:
It me, the Bryce Drew hater.— Bryce Drew Hater (@RedCupRebellion) April 6, 2016
That's right, Ole Miss's SBN blog is now going by "Bryce Drew Hater." But we have to admit, the Rebels are pretty damn creative in their hate for Vanderbilt's new coach.
@RedCupRebellion Bryce Drew writes Twilight fan fiction.— Danny Durkee (@DurtyFlip) April 6, 2016
@RedCupRebellion Bryce Drew never figured out Miley was also Hannah Montana— ChazReb (@chazreb) April 7, 2016
Bryce Drew's talmbout wantin' to go to KFC when there's a Popeye's around the corner smh— Bryce Drew Hater (@RedCupRebellion) April 6, 2016
@RedCupRebellion Bryce Drew has Maid in Manhattan DVR'ed and only watches it when everybody else is asleep.— Junny Bruski (@junnybruski) April 6, 2016
But seriously, guys. That was 1998. Maybe if Ole Miss had done anything in basketball, like, ever, you wouldn't be holding a grudge against the guy eighteen years later for ending what was basically your best season ever in basketball.
And it ended in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. As a 4-seed. And Vanderbilt's new basketball coach did it to you.
And you're still coached by Andy Kennedy.
Now, I think both Vanderbilt and Ole Miss should be petitioning the SEC office to have that game designated a "permanent rivalry," because it's about to be fun again. Good rivalries are fun as hell, and we may have a new-old rivalry on our hands. Thanks, Bryce Drew!