So Much for Rumors
For many days, it was a foregone conclusion that Tennessee would be headed to Nashville for their first Music City Bowl appearance. But rumors from ‘insiders’ started to sprout on Saturday like flowers in May — the Vols were headed to Jacksonville on New Year’s Day for their reward of a perfect November.
This afternoon, the smoking jackets at the Outback Bowl proclaimed what they thought about South Carolina. Florida was claimed instead of the Gamecocks. Instead of a New Year’s Day present for their finest season in a light year, South Carolina gets to play their third-ever indoor game – their second in a month, in the same stadium to boot. That’s right, the reward for winning the SEC East this season is a New Year’s Day snub. And Florida, with a 5-loss season, earns the right to stay within the friendly confines of their peninsula.
Enter the sponsor-less Gator. Rumors speculated on the continuation of the screw-you process by a thumbing of noses at Mississippi State with a selection of Tennessee. Such a scenario would give ticket brokers a field day to handle all those Music City tickets purchased by the Vol faithful this past week. It would give Vol fans a crack at a national brand.
The rumors proved to be gossip. The Bulldogs West were invited to Jacksonville to face Michigan, forcing the Music City folks to choose between the Bulldogs East and the Vols. It was Tennessee for Nashville and Georgia for the Liberty in Memphis. Lowly Kentucky grabbed the scraps In Birmingham.
A Tennessee-North Carolina matchup is a good one for the Vols’ program as it presently stands. Although not as splashy nationally as a Gator Bowl tilt against Michigan would have been, it’s loads better than the Liberty.
And, of course, I can’t wait to read the tweets from Mike Hamilton…
BOWL LINEUP FOR SEC SCHOOLS (in order of prestige)National Championship Game (BCS) Auburn vs Oregon | Jan 10 | 8:30 ET | ESPN Sugar Bowl (BCS) Arkansas vs Ohio State | Jan 4 | 8:30 ET | ESPN Cotton Bowl LSU vs Texas A&M | Jan 7 | 8:00 ET | FOX Capital One Bowl Alabama vs Michigan State | Jan 1 | 1:00 ET | ESPN Outback Bowl Florida vs Penn State | Jan 1 | 1:00 ET | ABC Chick-Fil-A Bowl South Carolina vs Florida State | Dec 31 | 7:30 ET | ESPN Gator Bowl Mississippi State vs Michigan | Jan 1 | 1:30 ET| ESPN2 Music City Bowl Tennessee vs North Carolina | Dec 30 | 6:40 ET | ESPN Liberty Bowl Georgia vs Central Florida | Dec 31 | 3:30 ET | ESPN BBVA Compass Bowl Kentucky vs Pittsburgh | Jan 8 | 12:00 | ESPN