Vanderbilt, Missouri have differing perspectives in pursuit of first SEC win

One team is going to get its first SEC win Saturday.

Thus far in 2013, Vanderbilt has come up short more often than any of the league’s 14 members. Missouri, on the other hand, has yet to measure itself against anyone from college football’s dominant conference.

Thus, the Commodores and Tigers each, therefore, have all the motivation they need to want that first victory when they meet Saturday at Vanderbilt Stadium (6:30 p.m., CSS).

Vanderbilt (3-2, 0-2) is one of nine teams that already has played two SEC games but is the only one of the nine to lose them both. The Commodores dropped a 39-35 thriller to Ole Miss in the opener and fell 35-25 at South Carolina three weeks ago.

“They had Ole Miss and they had a chance to win,” Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said. “They were going to win it with a minute and half left in the football game. Ole Miss is a really good football team. They came back in the South Carolina game and had a chance to win that. They are really doing well. They've got a good football team. Very impressed with them.”

Three teams – Alabama, Florida and Georgia – enter the weekend 2-0 in conference play. Five others, including four in the Western Division, are 1-1.

Vanderbilt is one of four teams in the Eastern Division that has yet to win its first SEC game. That group includes Missouri, which has exhausted its non-conference schedule but is the only one in either division that has yet to face a conference opponent.

The Tigers (4-0, 0-0) have whipped up on Murray State, Toledo, Indiana and Arkansas State, which are a combined 9-10. Missouri’s average margin of victory in those games is 24.5 points.

“I do know South Carolina is a good football team,” Vanderbilt coach James Franklin said. “Ole Miss is a good football team.

“… I know [Missouri] is 4-0 and they’re confident. … They’re coming here with a plan and they’re excited about their opportunity.”

An opportunity to – finally – face an SEC opponent.