Vanderbilt will make its first football postseason appearance in 26 years on New Year's Eve in Nashville when it plays Boston College in the 11th Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl at LP Field.
Vanderbilt accepted an invitation to the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl Sunday afternoon. Kickoff for the game is 2:30 p.m., CT.
The Commodores, 6-6 overall and 4-4 in the Southeastern Conference, will face a Boston College squad that advanced to the Atlantic Coast Conference championship in Tampa, Fla. The Eagles, 9-4 overall, lost to Virginia Tech Saturday in the ACC title game.
By accepting a bid to the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl, Bobby Johnson's Commodores will play in a postseason game with its roots tied to the Vanderbilt campus. The first Music City Bowl, matching Virginia Tech and Alabama on Dec. 29, 1998, was played at Vanderbilt Stadium before the game was moved to a newly constructed downtown stadium now known as LP Field.
Vanderbilt Vice Chancellor for University Affairs and Athletics David Williams II confirmed the Music City Bowl invitation and university acceptance.
"On behalf of the entire Commodore Nation, its players and coaches, its Board of Trust, students, staff, faculty, alumni and fans, I am delighted to accept the invitation to play in the 2008 Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl on New Year's Eve," Williams said. "As a member of the Vanderbilt and Nashville families, I am thrilled that our football team will be able to play here at LP Field so that so many of our loyal fans will have the opportunity to see Vanderbilt's return to bowl play.
"I know Coach Johnson and his staff as well as all of our student athletes are excited to represent this fine university and great city in one of America's great bowl games. I would like to congratulate Bobby, the coaching staff and all the players for returning Vanderbilt to postseason play and thank the members of the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl board and selection committee for honoring us by selecting our team. We are honored to play and represent the SEC in the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl on Dec. 31," Williams added.
The Commodores are 1-1-1 all-time in bowls, with their last appearance coming in the 1982 Hall of Fame Bowl in Birmingham, Ala. Vanderbilt won its first bowl - against Auburn in the 1955 Gator Bowl - then tied Texas Tech in the 1974 Peach Bowl in Atlanta and lost a shootout to Air Force in the Hall of Fame Bowl.
Johnson can't wait to lead his Commodores into the cross-town game. A former I-AA national coach of the year, standout player at Clemson and veteran of more than three decades of collegiate coaching, Johnson has never played or coached in a bowl.
"I'm excited, our staff is excited and our players are excited about getting a chance to experience a bowl game," Johnson said. "Getting to play in the Gaylord Music City Bowl is a fantastic reward for this football team and Vanderbilt University.
"I think it'll also mean a great deal to our fans. After supporting the Commodores as they have for so many years, I'm extremely happy for all of them. They probably deserve this bowl as much as my team does. I sure hope to see all of them at LP Field," Johnson added.
Tickets to the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl range from $50-70, and are available by clicking here.
Vanderbilt and Boston College have met twice previously, with the Eagles holding a 2-0 advantage from games played in 1962 and 1963.