2016 Music City Bowl Line: TBA
Location: Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN. Date and time: Friday, Dec. 30, 2016, 3:30 PM ET. Last year’s result: South Florida 35, Western Kentucky 45. Conference tie-ins: SEC, ACC Teams with the most all-time appearances: Kentucky, 4. Teams with the most all-time wins:Kentucky, 2
First played at Vanderbilt Stadium in 1998, the Music City Bowl is an annual game held in Nashville, Tennessee at the Nissan Stadium, home of the Tennessee Titans. The game initially featured a matchup between representatives of the Southeastern Conference and the Big East Conference. Starting in 2006, the Big Ten Conference was replaced by the Atlantic Coast Conference. The ACC also took part in the 2005 game, when Virginia appeared because the SEC did not have enough bowl-eligible teams.
In the same fashion as many other bowl games, the Music City Bowl had multiple sponsors. Previous sponsors of the bowl game included American General Life & Accident (now a subsidiary of AIG) in the inaugural 1998 game, and the now-defunct “homepoint.com” in the 1999 game. There was no sponsor in 2000 and 2001. In 2003, Bridgestone became the presenting sponsor of the game, but it dropped its presenting sponsorship following the 2007 game. Beginning with the 2010 game, Franklin American Mortgage served as title sponsor, though Gaylord still served as a major sponsor of the event. The new name is the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl.
The Music City Bowl is also known for its long history of upsets. The biggest underdog win was when Kentucky (+10) defeated Clemson 28–20 in 2006. Other big upsets include Minnesota (+7) defeating Arkansas 29–14 in 2002 and Virginia (+6) defeating Minnesota 34–31 in 2005. Boston College was a 4-point underdog when they defeated Georgia 20–16 in 2001, West Virginia was a 3-point underdog when they beat Mississippi in 2000, Syracuse was a 3-point underdog when they defeated Kentucky in 1999 and Minnesota was a 1-point underdog when they beat Alabama in 2004. Boston College also fell victim to an upset in the Music City Bowl in 2008, when the Vanderbilt Commodores (+4), making their first bowl appearance since 1982, defeated the 24th-ranked Eagles 16–14. The only favored teams to have won the Music City Bowl are Virginia Tech (−5) over Alabama in the first Music City Bowl in 1998, Auburn (−3) over Wisconsin in 2003, Kentucky (−7) over Florida State in 2007, Mississippi State (-6.5) over Wake Forest in 2011, and Vanderbilt (-7.5) over NC State in the 2012 Music City Bowl.
Favorites have also won and covered the spread in five of the last seven matchups. SEC teams have lost two straight after winning each of the previous three Music City bowl matchups. Last year, Louisville got past Texas A&M 27-21 to cash in as a 3-point favorite while the game’s 48 combined points played just Under the 51-point Over/Under total.