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Vanderbilt Football: Music City Bowl Invite Is Blessing in Disguise

OXFORD, MS - NOVEMBER 10:  James Franklin, head coach of the Vanderbilt Commodores and quarterback Jordan Rodgers #11 celebrate a late score against the Ole Miss Rebels during a game at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on November 10, 2012 in Oxford, Mississippi.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images
Chad MintonCorrespondent IDecember 10, 2012

A lot of players and fans alike were probably a little disappointed at getting an invite to a bowl game that is just a few miles from campus for the Vanderbilt Commodores.

In what was the best regular season the Commodores have enjoyed in over two decades, these players who fought so hard will not get as great of a bowl experience, as they'll stay home in Nashville for the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl.

The Commodores will take on NC State, who finished with a 4-4 record in what was a very bad year for the ACC.

It will be the second time the Commodores will play in the Music City Bowl, with the first time coming in 2008 when they defeated Boston College on a late field goal.

As disheartening as it may be that the Commodores didn't get to travel and enjoy the full bowl experience, this could still be a very good thing for this rising program.

It's been reported that the Commodores have already sold their allotment of tickets and have put in a request for more.

That's something that didn't happen in 2008, and a ton of credit goes to head coach James Franklin for energizing this fan base like no one ever thought he could in such a short amount of time.

If the Commodores can come in with an obvious home-field advantage against NC State, then it will do wonders for the program's national image, as everyone will know they're playing in their hometown.

Nothing would look worse than having little fan support at a bowl game that is located just miles from your campus.

It looks like that won't be a problem for the Commodores here, but it could've been if they would've traveled hundreds of miles away.

If recruiting is going to continue to rise for the Vanderbilt football program, then they have to perform well in these bowl games behind strong fan support. Recruits do pay attention to stuff like that.

Then you have to shift attention to whom the Commodores will be playing, which is NC State. First of all, the Wolfpack should not be overlooked. They have a solid team that finished 7-5 and a huge win over then No. 3 Florida State to their credit.

However, this is a very winnable game for the Commodores. Most spreads have the Commodores being anywhere from a five to seven-point favorite.

The Commodores have a great opportunity to win nine games for the first time since Woodrow Wilson was President of the United States. That was 1915 for all you non-history buffs.

A much tougher opponent would've been waiting for them in the Gator Bowl, which was a possibility in the selection process.

Momentum in the recruiting process would have the likelihood of being damaged if the Commodores were to show up for a bowl game that they may not have been ready for as a program.

All of the other possible bowl destinations for the Commodores would not have gotten the same amount of national attention that a New Year's Eve bowl game like the Music City Bowl will get.

A bowl game outside of Nashville would've been more exciting for both fans and players, but equaling the school record for wins in a season will be even more exciting as long as the Commodores take care of business against a team they should beat.

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