Wolfpack, Vandy could meet in Music City Bowl
Posted November 27, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. — With coaching rumors swirling, one connection between North Carolina State and Vanderbilt universities appears to be a step closer to reality. The teams both being mentioned to play in the New Year's Eve Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tenn.
Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin has been widely rumored to be a likely successor in Raleigh to Tom O'Brien. In fact, in her press conference announcing the O'Brien was out, NC State Director of Athletics Debbie Yow took questions about the possibility.
She deflected them, saying, "I'm assuming James is not interested. If you read what James says about Vanderbilt, you know he is in the midst of doing something special there."
Now it looks like the Wolfpack, under interim head coach Dana Bible, could be on the same field with Franklin before the year is out.
The Music City Bowl is contracted to take the No. 6 team from the ACC and No. 7 team from the SEC, but NCAA woes and poor performances limit the pool of likely choices.
Should the Yellow Jackets (6-6) lose, as is likely, Saturday to 10-2 Florida State University in the ACC championship game, their losing record would historically preclude them from a bowl game. But with the University of North Carolina (8-4) serving an NCAA-imposed bowl ban and Miami having withdrawn from bowl competition as a pre-emptive move against NCAA sanctions, Georgia Tech is expected to petition the NCAA for a waiver of the rule that requires teams be 6-6 or better to qualify for a bowl.
The Jackets (5-3 ACC) would slot in as the ACC's No. 5 team and the Wolfpack (7-4, 4-4 ACC) would sit in sixth.
ESPN's pair of experts has both NC State and Vanderbilt in the Music City Bowl, but not playing against each other. One option would see NC State meeting Ole Miss, another Vanderbilt taking on Virginia Tech.
Scout.com has that same match-up.
CBS Sports puts Vandy in Nashville, but forecasts Bowling Green to take the ACC slot if the conference can't produce enough bowl-eligible teams.
None of the experts accounts for the likely Georgia Tech waiver that could put NC State across from Vanderbilt on Dec. 31.