The Clemson Tigers have fallen all the
way from a possible BCS-bowl berth to a trip to the Music CityBowl to play Kentucky.
Clemson (8-5) missed out on the Atlantic Coast Conference
championship with a 39-34 loss to No. 10 Georgia Tech on Saturday.
The Tigers will get a rematch of the 2006 Music City Bowl won by
Kentucky 28-20 in a pairing announced Sunday night.
The Tigers will bring ACC player of the year C.J. Spiller, and
athletic director Terry Don Phillips insisted they are excited to
"It was an outstanding experience for our program the first
time around. Nashville is a great city and has a lot to offer in
terms of entertainment for our fans. It is also a game that will
take place in a state-of-the-art NFL facility against Kentucky,"
Phillips said in a statement.
This will be the third trip to this bowl in four seasons for
Kentucky (7-5), and coach Rich Brooks already is spinning the game
as a plus for his Wildcats with the idea that they could have had a
worse bowl than another trip to Tennessee.
"I think the important thing is that it's our fourth straight
bowl," Brooks said earlier Sunday. "It's a surrounding we're
familiar with. Now we just need to keep our bowl and postseason
winning streak alive."
The Music City Bowl will be played Dec. 27 at LP Field, home to
the NFL's Tennessee Titans.
This isn't what the Kentucky Wildcats wanted either, not in a
season that featured a fourth straight year of bowl eligibility for
the first time in school history, a first win against Auburn since
1966 and first at Georgia since 1977. But they missed out on a
possible Florida vacation with a season-ending loss in overtime to
Kentucky wide receiver Randall Cobb, a Tennessee native, said a
trip back to the Music City Bowl brings some mixed emotions.
"We had our sights higher. Still, it'll be a great game," he
The Tigers finished the season with two straight losses after a
six-game winning streak under first-year coach Dabo Sweeney.
Phillips said few first-year coaches at the FBS-level won eight
games and played for a conference title this season.
"Dabo is a young, bright coach and we will continue to progress
under his leadership as the years go on," Phillips said.
This will be the Music City Bowl's fourth straight game pitting
the SEC and ACC. SEC teams have won the first three under the
current contract, with Kentucky taking two.
Kentucky junior tailback Derrick Locke called Nashville
essentially a home away from home, especially considering all the
support the Wildcats bring with them on the short drive across the
state border. Convening in Nashville on Dec. 22 and a Christmas
celebrated in that town is the bigger downer.
To Kentucky senior running back Alfonso Smith, one plus is the
"Everyone will be watching that Sunday. It'll be like Sunday
night football," he said.