The Music City Bowl was established in 1998, and like many of college football's postseason games, it has a colorful sponsorship history. The first edition of the contest was sponsored by American General Life & Accident -- "general life and accident" could serve as a pretty good theme for a lot of mid-tier bowls.
The game has in the past paired up the SEC with teams from the Big East and Big Ten, but now the SEC representative plays a team from the ACC.
Date and time, ET: Monday, Dec. 30, 3:15 p.m. ET
TV channel: ESPN
Location: Nashville, Tenn.
Stadium: LP Field (69,143)
Tickets: Find available seats here.
Last year's score: Vanderbilt 38, N.C. State 24
Last year's attendance: 55,801
Last year's TV rating: 1.4 (2 million viewers)
Last year's payout for each school: $1,837,500
Team with the most all-time appearances: Kentucky (four)
Team with the most all-time wins: Kentucky, Minnesota, Vanderbilt (two)
Ole Miss (7-5, 3-5 SEC)
After garnering plenty of preseason buzz as a sleeper in the SEC West on the heels of a surprisingly successful 2012 season and a top-five recruiting class, 7-5 Ole Miss came up just short of what were, in retrospect, pretty unreasonable expectations for Hugh Freeze’s second year in Oxford. The Rebels seemed to be in pretty good shape late in the season for a top-25 finish but stumbled in their final two games against Missouri and Mississippi State, the latter representing Ole Miss’ only loss to an unranked opponent.
The Rebels’ late-season swoon was concurrent with a lingering bone spur injury to the leg of running back Jeff Scott, which limited him for most of the second half of the season and kept him out of four games entirely. Though sophomore I’Tavius Mathers has overtaken Scott as Ole Miss’ leading rusher, the latter is the Rebels’ most efficient back, picking up 7.4 yards per carry during the 2013 season. Even if Scott isn’t 100 percent by the bowl game, Mathers, Laquon Treadwell, Donte Moncrief and Ja-Mes Logan should give junior quarterback Bo Wallace plenty of weapons to keep the Rebels offense humming.
Defensively, Ole Miss has cultivated an above-average SEC unit, led by a strong and youthful back seven starring Cody Prewitt and Serderius Bryant, who have combined for 140 tackles on the season. Because of his top-recruit billing and the fact that he’ll sometimes line up in the offensive backfield, Robert Nkemdiche gets most of the attention, but there’s a lot more to the Ole Miss defense than big No. 5.
Last bowl game: 2013 BBVA Compass Bowl vs. Pittsburgh, 38-17 win
Last year without a bowl: 2011
All-time bowl record: 22-12
Head coach's bowl record: Hugh Freeze, 1-1
Georgia Tech (7-5, 5-3 ACC)
As long as Paul Johnson is Tech’s head coach, the Yellow Jackets will be fairly predictable. You can count on seven to 10 wins, the best rush offense in the ACC and the conference’s worst passing attack. This season has met expectations in all three categories.
On offense, Johnson’s triple-option attack has produced four players with at least 400 yards, with running back David Sims leading the way with 846 yards and 11 touchdowns. GT averages 311.7 yards per game on the ground, which is 93.6 more per contest than the ACC’s second-best running team, Boston College. The Jackets have used that strong run game to put up the conference’s third-best scoring offense, averaging 36.6 points per game.
Tech is also pretty solid on the defensive side of the ball, giving up 22.7 points and 350.5 yards per game, ranking fourth in both categories. However, part of that is because the Yellow Jackets’ offense is designed to keep opposing offenses off the field as much as possible. They rank eighth in the ACC by allowing 5.5 yards per play. Nevertheless, they have two outstanding defensive linemen in Jeremiah Attaochu and Adam Gotsis. The duo has combined for 28.5 tackles for loss and 17 sacks.
Last bowl game: 2012 Sun Bowl vs. USC, 21-7 win
Last year without a bowl: 1996
All-time bowl record: 23-18
Head coach's bowl record: Paul Johnson, 3-6