published Monday, December 6th, 2010

Tennessee Vols headed to Music City Bowl


by Wes Rucker

KNOXVILLE -- The University of Tennessee football program formally accepted a Sunday night invitation to play North Carolina in the Dec. 30 Music City Bowl at Nashville's LP Field.

UT administrators have thought for weeks that the Music City would be its most likely postseason destination, but a series of weekend events nearly put the Vols in Jacksonville for the Jan. 1 Gator Bowl. That was a potentially problematic possibility, because thousands of UT fans already had purchased tickets and reserved hotel rooms in Nashville.

"We kind of had to play a little bit of a waiting game, which is not unusual in other years," Music City Bowl President and CEO Scott Ramsey said. "It was maybe a little bit more nerve-racking this year."

UT (6-6, 3-5 Southeastern Conference) and UNC (7-5, 4-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) were scheduled to play next season in Chapel Hill, N.C., but the Vols bought out the home-and-home series after their request to delay it was declined.

First-year UT head coach Derek Dooley said he'd been "kicking back and relaxing" the past few days, because it's not his job to work out bowl game deals. Men's athletic director Mike Hamilton "gets paid the dollars to do that deal," Dooley added with a chuckle.

"Going into this week, all of our momentum has been focused on the distinct possibility that we were going to be in Nashville, and we've been excited about that all along," Hamilton said. "There was a little bit of a curve ball that kind of came up this week. That being said, we're very excited about the way it ended up, because this is kind of what we've focused on over the last two or three weeks."

Contact Wes Rucker at wrucker@timesfreepress.com or 865-851-9739. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/wesruckerCTFP or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tfpvolsbeat.

about Wes Rucker...

Twitter - @wesrucker Facebook - /tfpvolsbeat

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mthompson332 said...

I love how this article refers to a conflict / "series of weekend events," but fails to explain it. Very weak.

December 6, 2010 at 5:12 a.m.
ordinaryguy said...

6-6 and going to a bowl game...Just like society as a whole we reward mediocre performance...

December 6, 2010 at 5:55 a.m.
rosebud said...

As usual the cheerleading TFP leaves out just a few facts. Vol fans should be embarrassed about this team playing in a bowl game. Let's see, their "wins" came over six teams that South Pittsburg could have beaten (those teams had a combined record of 23-48), and they only "won" the UAB game in overtime after UAB's kicker missed five (5) field goals.

And yes, Tyler Bray is the 2nd coming of Peyton Manning, as long as he's playing against JV teams. But don't get me wrong. I'm glad they're playing against UNC in a low-level bowl game. It will be good for some laughs.

December 6, 2010 at 9:07 a.m.

I agree that we have too many bowl games allowing mediocre teams to play in the post-season. But if private corporations are willing to foot the bill then who can argue against it?

The only thing worse is when a state university with a mediocre team under NCAA penalties and bowl game restrictions schedules their own bowl game and opponent in Hawaii.

December 6, 2010 at 9:41 a.m.
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