Sunday, December 14, 2008

BOWL SEASON PREVIEW: Seven Vanderbilt opponents are going bowling

Seven of Vanderbilt's opponents are headed to bowl games, starting with Wake Forest on Saturday. The Commodores had a 4-3 record against those bowl teams, but went 1-4 against teams that will be staying home (and all of those coaches but one have lost their jobs).

Anyway, here's a rundown of those bowl-bound opponents:

• South Carolina (7-5, 4-4 SEC): Stunned by the Commodores 24-17 in Nashville in the second game of the season. Play Iowa in the Outback Bowl at 11 a.m. EST Jan. 1.

• Rice (9-3, 7-1 C-USA): Lost to Vanderbilt 38-21 in Nashville. Play Western Michigan at 8 p.m. EST Dec. 30 in the Texas Bowl.

• Ole Miss (8-4, 5-3 SEC): Dropped a 23-17 thriller to the Commodores in Oxford. Play highly ranked Texas Tech in the Cotton Bowl at 2 p.m. EST Jan. 2.

• Georgia (9-3, 6-2 SEC): Beat Vanderbilt 24-14 in Athens. Play Michigan State at noon EST Jan. 1.

• Florida (12-1, 8-1 SEC): Beat Vanderbilt 42-14 in Nashville. Play Oklahoma for the national championship at 8 p.m. Jan. 8 in Miami.

• Kentucky (6-6, 2-6 SEC): Lost to Vanderbilt 31-24 in Lexington. Play East Carolina at 5 p.m. EST Jan. 2 in the Liberty Bowl.

• Wake Forest (7-5, 4-4 ACC): Beat Vanderbilt 23-10 in Raleigh. Play Navy in the Eagle Bank Bowl at 11 a.m. EST Saturday, Sept. 20. Wake lost at home to Navy 24-17 earlier this season.

The following Commodore opponents will be staying at home this bowl season:

• Miami-Ohio (2-10, 1-7 MAC): Lost 34-13 to Vanderbilt in the season opener. Redhawk coach Shane Montgomery was forced to resign at the end of the season. Shane! Shane! Come back, Shane!

• Auburn (5-7, 2-6 SEC): Lost 14-13 to the Commodores in Nashville. Coach Tommy Tuberville was forced to resign at the end of the season and now Auburn is interviewing every second-tier coach on the face of the earth to take his place.

• Miss State (4-8, 2-6 SEC): Punched Vanderbilt in the mouth in Starkville and won 17-14. Sylvester Croom, last year's SEC Coach of the Year, was shown the door at season's end.

• Duke (4-8, 1-7 ACC): Stunned Vanderbilt 10-7 at homecoming in Nashville. Coach David Cutcliffe didn't win another game.

• Tennessee (5-7, 3-5 SEC): Overpowered Vanderbilt 20-10 in Nashville. Coach Phil Fulmer had already been forced to announce his resignation at the end of the season, but maintained his mastery over the Commodores.

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