Mississippi State and Wake Forest will play in the 2011 Music City Bowl, event organizers announced Sunday as the entire postseason bowl schedule was set.
It will be the first appearance for both institutions in the 14-year history of the event, which this year will kick off 5:40 p.m. on Dec. 30 at LP Field and will be televised live on ESPN.
“We look forward to hosting the teams, fans, coaches and administrators from Mississippi State and Wake Forest at our 14th annual Bowl," president and CEO Scott Ramsey said. "We are proud of our affiliation with the SEC and ACC. We hope everyone from Mississippi State and Wake Forest will enjoy the first matchup of these two football programs and all that Music City has to offer over the New Year’s weekend."
Mississippi State went 6-6 and earned its 16th bowl appearance all-time. Under coach Dan Mullen it has earned consecutive bowl invitations since it made three straight appearances from 1998 through 2000.
"We're happy to accept this invitation and for the opportunity to play in such a great bowl and wonderful city," Mississippi State athletics director Scott Stricklin said. "I'm proud of our players and coaches for their efforts throughout the season, and we're all looking forward to seeing the huge crowd of Bulldog fans in Nashville."
Wake Forest went 7-5 as it earned its 10th all-time bowl bid, its first since 2008. It has won five of its last six bowl appearances.
"We couldn't be more excited to be playing in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl," coach Jim Grobe said. "Our players, coaches and fans are looking forward to this wonderful opportunity in Nashville. Traveling to Nashville during the Christmas holiday will be a great experience for our families and the players."
This is the sixth straight year the bowl matches teams from the Southeastern and Atlantic Coast Conferences. None of the previous five were decided by more than eight points, and in two of the last three the difference was three points or fewer.
Tickets for the contest are on sale through ticketmaster.com/MusicCityBowl or by phone at (800) 745-3000.