Posts Tagged ‘Music City Bowl’

James-Franklin-Vanderbilt-Commodores-2012-football-570x374The Vanderbilt football team went 8-4 in the 2012 regular season. It was the first time that Vandy has recorded 8 wins since 1982. Their reward for their accomplishment is a trip to the Music City Bowl. If Vanderbilt beats North Carolina State in the bowl game, they will have their first 9-win season since 1915. This will be Vanderbilt’s 3rd trip to a bowl game in the last 5 seasons. It will be their second trip to the Music City Bowl. This will be the first time in Vanderbilt’s history that they will be playing in a bowl game in back-to-back seasons. This new success in the Vanderbilt football program has may fans excited about it’s future moving forward on West End.

The bowl selection experience is not as cut and dry as some fans might think. Vanderbilt fans are relatively new in this process due to the fact that before 2008, Vandy had not played in a bowl game since the early 80’s. Vanderbilt fans are starting to learn that in order to get into one of the bowl games played on New Years Day, it takes more than just a good football team. It takes a big fan base. Bowl committees are in the business to make money. When given the choice, they are going to choose the team that will put the most butts in the seats.

Because of this, the Gator Bowl passed on choosing Vanderbilt and invited Mississippi State to play Northwestern on New Years Day. Both Vanderbilt and Mississippi State have an 8-4 record. Vanderbilt’s SEC record was 5-3 while Mississippi State’s was 4-4. Both Vanderbilt and Mississippi State beat Tennessee and Auburn. Vanderbilt defeated Ole Miss while Mississippi State lost to their state rival. If you just judge by the numbers, you would guess that the Gator Bowl would invited Vanderbilt over Mississippi State. But that’s not what happened. Mississippi State travels better than Vanderbilt in term of their respective fan bases.

So how can Vanderbilt change the perception that their fans don’t travel. The first step must happen at the Music City Bowl. Vanderbilt fans must sellout LP Field (69,143 capacity), the site of the Music City Bowl. Vanderbilt will be going for its best record since 1915. The game is in its home city, Nashville. There is absolutely no excuse for a lack of fan support at the Music City Bowl. The old excuse used to be that if you put a product on the field, the fans would come. Well…the product is on the field. Let’s see if the fans come. The challenge has been sent to Vandy Nation.