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Bowl Projections: No Keeping Vanderbilt Out Now

So, do you like Shreveport or Birmingham?

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NCAA Football: Tennessee at Vanderbilt Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

There will be no NCAA waiver needed; Vanderbilt is going bowling.

The Commodores beat arch-rival Tennessee on Saturday to clinch win No. 6 on the season and punch their ticket to the postseason. While Vandy would have received a bowl bid even with a five-win season thanks to the program’s high APR scores, the inherent sweetness of rallying past the Volunteers to extend the season an extra month was lost on no one.

Now, for the first time in three years, Vanderbilt awaits its postseason destination. With an SEC tie-in now official, the range of bowls the Commodores can play in has shrunk considerably. Rather than working as a fill-in wherever a team was needed to fill space, Derek Mason’s team is now getting one of the conference’s pre-established invitations.

That means destinations like Detroit, MI and Tempe, AZ are out. In? Shreveport, LA and Birmingham, AL.

Experts from across the internet have offered their prognostication on Vandy’s holiday destination and, well, at least it’ll be within driving distance.

SB Nation:

Bowl: The Independence Bowl, Shreveport, LA (a mere 550 miles from Nashville)
Opponent: North Carolina State

The Tennessean:

Bowl: The Independence Bowl, Shreveport, LA
Opponent: North Carolina State

CBS Sports:

Bowl: The Birmingham Bowl, Birmingham, AL (192 miles from Nashville)
Opponent: Tulsa

The Sporting News:

Bowl: The Birmingham Bowl, Birmingham, AL
Opponent: Tulsa

College Football Talk (who uses Vandy as its headline image):

Bowl: The Birmingham Bowl, Birmingham, AL
Opponent: Memphis

College Football News:

Bowl: The Birmingham Bowl, Birmingham, AL
Opponent: Memphis

All three of these matchups are interesting. NC State offers a rematch of the 2012 Music City Bowl. Tulsa would pit the nation’s No. 6 offense against Derek Mason’s high powered SEC defense. Memphis would offer the Commodores the chance to sweep the state of Tennessee’s FBS programs in 2016.

Personally? Give me the last one. I want a shirt that proclaims Vanderbilt the Tennessee State Champs (and lineal life champions) in Mason’s third year.