With the nation abuzz over Vanderbilt's undefeated start, a team motto has emerged within the Commodores' locker room and spilled over onto the gridiron.
Faced with a lengthy bowl drought, losing six players to the NFL Draft, and an inexperienced starting lineup heading into the season, the Commodores knew they could count on some inspiration from within to turn things around.
Four simple letters that reflect the mentality of the 2008 squad: Do Whatever It Takes.
Through three games, it's apparent that the team has embraced the slogan.
Case in point: Rather than fading in the late stages of the game, the Commodores have been extremely productive, outscoring opponents 45-10 in the second half to clinch their victories.
"We've played in a lot of close games in the past that we didn't pull out," said junior safety Ryan Hamilton. "We've been close to bowl games every year I've been here, and a lot of guys are just tired of it. We want to go out, and we want to win every game. So this is a big thing for us."
"Just to have DWIT as a representation of this organization and what we do, I think it's a perfect model for us, and I think we play with that mentality."
So how did it all start?
Junior center Bradley Vierling was in high school when his dad gave him the nickname DWIT. Vierling taped the motto to the top of his helmet as a reminder of the task at hand.
Fast forward to last spring's "It's Good to be Gold" film shoot, where Vierling shared his mindset on camera, not knowing it would become contagious with the rest of his teammates. The video was later discovered by senior co-captain Reshard Langford, and now the team is wearing black wristbands inscribed with the acronym.
"That's the kind of motto we need to have this year - do whatever it takes to win - because we have to change this program," said Langford. "We have a lot of goals to accomplish, so part of it's going to be doing whatever it takes to get there."
To Nickson, DWIT is bigger than football. It's the spirit of the players' lives on and off the field.
"Not only do whatever it takes to win, but do whatever it takes to help your teammates, do whatever it takes in the classroom, do whatever it takes in your spiritual growth, do whatever it takes in all aspects of life."
With a tough road ahead and only a quarter of the season finished, the Commodores know there's still work to be done to reach the destination for which they are striving.
"You're doing whatever it takes to get the job done and get the victory," Vierling said. "That's what it's all about."
Speaking of doing whatever it takes, Alfonso Ribeiro -- best known as Carlton from
Fresh Prince of Bel Air, gave 110 percent in this video with eye-popping moves like the centipede. One of my favorite parts is at the end when they say it takes 4-6 weeks to ship the entire package.
If only we had amazon.com when I was a kid... then I wouldn't have had to check the mailbox every day after school for a month in disappointment while I was waiting on my breakin' and poppin' collection.
and, if you watched that first video, I'll throw in this second one for free. I couldn't log off without showing footage of the final Carlton Dance. Enjoy.