The bowl speculation is over. N. C. State knew it would be playing somewhere-the Belk Bowl, the Russell Athletic Bowl, the Sun Bowl, or the Music City Bowl-since it won its sixth game in blowout fashion over Wake Forest in week 11. Most Wolfpack fans got their wish come true with the announcement that it will be the Music City Bowl in Nashville. The Sun would be the most difficult bowl to attend from a travel perspective, while the Belk and Russell bowls would feature yet another matchup with a Big East school that would have been State's fifth consecutive postseason contest against a school from that league. Instead, it will be a matchup of Debbie Yow's former coach in waiting at Maryland, James Franklin, and the team her recent hire, Dave Doeren, will pilot next season. Dana Bible will coach State in the bowl game with an interim tag, as head coach Tom O'Brien was fired after a lackluster seven-win season in a year when analysts expected the Wolfpack to challenge for the ACC's Atlantic Division title.
Franklin's Vanderbilt Commodores, who will effectively be the home team for the game since their campus is only a few miles from LP Field, finished the season 8-4 and enter the bowl contest riding a six-game winning streak. The bowl game is slated for a noon kickoff on New Year's Eve and will be the Wolfpack's 27th postseason contest; they are 6-2 in their last eight bowl trips. Stay tuned to BTP for ridiculous overkill in the game preview department.