The mindless expansion/watering-down of college football bowl games will continue, whether or not the NCAA ever decides to overturn the widely panned (to put it lightly) Bowl Championship Series and replace it with an honest-to-God playoff system. These games make far too many people far too much money for such clear-headed thinking. For newbies, it usually works like this: Two teams with a minimum of six wins are chosen to play a game in some far-flung city, whose inhabitants invariably know little about said teams. The whole thing is then given some ridiculous-sounding name usually chosen by a corporate sponsor--you know, like the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl, which this year matches up the ACC's 9-4 Boston College Eagles against our very own Vanderbilt Commodores (6-6). But even if the SEC keeps the 'Dores around just to boost the conference's graduation figures, fans of the hometown Black and Gold can be relied upon to fill seats in these troubling economic times. So expect a big crowd: Vandy faithful have been waiting a long time for their team to play in a Game That Matters--even if this one happens not to. Tickets are $15-70 and available at ticketmaster.com, musiccitybowl.com or by calling the Vandy box office at 322-4653.
Wed., Dec. 31, 2:30 p.m., 2008