Vanderbilt hopes Music City Bowl goes a long way toward solidifying local reputation

Sunday, December 2, 2012 at 10:20pm

Eight wins and a six-game win streak couldn’t get Vanderbilt out of town.

For the second time in five seasons, the Commodores will cross the Cumberland River and head to LP Field for the Music City Bowl. Awaiting Vanderbilt on New Year’s Eve will be ACC representative North Carolina State.

Though fans had hoped to cross state lines for this holiday season, the Commodores opted to look at the bright side – mainly that they’re in a bowl. That can’t be taken for granted at Vanderbilt.

This marks the program’s sixth bowl overall, third since 2008 and second straight.

“You can never be disappointed with a bowl game, especially when Vanderbilt has had so little in the program’s history,” quarterback Jordan Rodgers said after the announcement was made in front of a crowd of 1,200 at the Student Life Center on Sunday. “Any bowl game is great and it is another opportunity for us to win.”

Vanderbilt (8-4) ended its season with the program’s longest winning streak since 1955 by blowing out Wake Forest 55-21 in the regular-season finale. For the second time in as many games, the Commodores will face an ACC foe.

Vanderbilt and N.C. State have met just once, with the Commodores winning 7-0 in 1946.

The Wolfpack (7-5) are headed to a bowl for the third straight year. Who will be coaching them in the Music City Bowl has not been announced.

N.C. State hired Northern Illinois coach Dave Doeren on Saturday. Tom O’Brien was fired after the regular season and offensive coordinator Dana Bible was named the interim coach.

Former Vanderbilt assistant coach Des Kitchings coaches the N.C. State running backs.

Vanderbilt coach James Franklin has a history with N.C. State athletics director Debbie Yow. She named him coach-in-waiting in 2009 when both were still at Maryland.

The Commodores will receive an allotment of 12,000 tickets but hope to sell out LP Field, which has a capacity of 69,143. When Vanderbilt edged Boston College 16-14 in the 2008 Music City Bowl it was in front of a scarce crowd of 54,250.

“It is a great opportunity to stake our claim of being Nashville’s team,” Franklin said. “The numbers I threw out being able to sell 55,000 or so tickets I can truly believe we can do that. I don’t think that is a reach. I don’t think that is a stretch. I think that is a realistic thing we can do and make this the best Music City Bowl that has ever been played here. I’m excited about it and I think it makes sense in a lot of different ways.”

10 Comments on this post:

By: fightcrib on 12/2/12 at 11:56

Music City Bowl again???? What a joke.

All joking aside, maybe if Vandy had done one win better and ended at 9-3, we could have been upgraded to the Deez Nuts Bowl. Are you kidding me? What a joke.

By: Rasputin72 on 12/3/12 at 1:02

The Karl Dean supporters downtown will not like the choice very much but for Vanderbiltto win 14 games in two years is a comfort to me. If rhe Music City bowl is all they getthen that is reward enough.

I may never see again Vanderbilt winning five SEC games in one season.

By: wiseguy1 on 12/3/12 at 8:53

Well, had hoped for Gator ... Not sure how Mississippi State got the invite to Gator as VU is higher ranked and has better conf record. Could be opponent, Northwestern have met already this year. However, there is allot to like a Music City Bowl. First its a bowl game, post season play always parlays into props for recuriting. Second, team continues to practice together. Third, generates $1,125,000 ... a handsome bonus for David Willams to distribute among VU atletic programs.

By: wiseguy1 on 12/3/12 at 8:56

Raspy .. you plan on checking out soon? Or you just havinging another Eeyore moment?

By: drrichld on 12/3/12 at 7:40

To all 3 of you. We got Music City instead of Gator for two reasons. 1) Wisconsin beat Nebraska setting up Northwestern to go to Gator Bowl and Bowls don't allow teams to play twice. It had Nothing to do with Miss State vs Vandy. 2) Northern Illinois cracking the top 16 allowed them to get into BCS series bowls, denying teams like Oklahoma and Georgia to go, pushing the rest SEC and Big 12 down one notch in terms of pecking order. Even if we beat Northwestern and were 9-3, Miss State would go to Gator if Northwestern was headed there. Better way to look at it: Great opportunity to show the "bowls" how our fan base has improved.. Go Dores, send 50K to the bowl. Hopefully NC State can get 15-20 K and lets sell it out.

By: fightcrib on 12/4/12 at 1:44

This will be a protest bowl win for Vandy. Better watch out, though, NC State is really good in basketball.

Fightcrib, BNA

By: 4gold on 12/4/12 at 7:15

Vandy earned 6th place in SEC and Gator Bowl gets the #6 SEC team. Gator Bowl was nervous about VU traveling that far and was checking with schools on how many VU fans went to road games this year. Miniscule. Music City was pushing Gator to take them until Northwestern was sent and that made it a done deal for the Dores to stay home. Vandy got down graded by circumstance. If VU is ever to get out of town they have to sell out the Music City qne buy tickets from VU office only. Or they dont get credit.

Go Dores, Preds, Titans! Go Nashville a great place to live!

By: wiseguy1 on 12/4/12 at 11:21

Actually VU has a sizeable alum population in Jacksonville metro area as well as Florida in general. Gator Bowl would have been sweet since there were some firsts since 1955, VU's last Gator Bowl visit.

dr is right about ticket sales ... bowls are like everything else, a business, that relies on ticket sales. Best sell out Music City Bowl to show there is a fan base, at lest for a winning VU team, that will travel with the team.

I like the match up with NC State. NC State beat VU in baseball reagional last year, time for some pay back.

Common opponents are UT & Wake. NC State lost to UT in season opener. Hard to compre here as argueably both State & UT are different teams at the end of the season than the first. VU & State both beat Wake by 30+. Apparently State has problems with consistency. State lost to a 3-5 NC team by playing for the tie versu play to win. NC took a punt for a TD and won. The following week State loses big to 2-6 Virginia. Those 2 games probably contributed heavily to head coach dismissal. Gotta wonder whcih team will show up, the one that put up 48 in loss to Clemson or one that put up 6 in loss to Virginia.

By: wiseguy1 on 12/4/12 at 11:27

4gold ... one thing we always taught our scouts is that life is not necessarily fair. We cannot control what happens to us, such as Gator Bowl situation this year. However, we do control how we react, such as not griping about Gator Bowl and selling out Music City Bowl.

Time will tell if VU fans learn the lesson as well as our scouts did.

By: lemon1980 on 6/9/13 at 12:24

Not a bad idea at all, lols.... kidding aside, Vandy should focus more on offense trainings. The team has great potentials and its a shame to them losing.