The 2011 Music City Bowl features teams from the ACC and the SEC that finished the season in the middle of the pack.
In fact, both Wake Forest and Mississippi State finished the season with 6-6 records.
The difference, obviously, was that Mississippi State lost all six of their games in the most competitive conference in college football. Four of their six losses came against ranked opponents. The two other teams they lost to, Auburn and Georgia, are now currently ranked.
When you compare this to some of Wake Forest's losses to teams like Syracuse and Vanderbilt, it's tough to even suggest the Demon Deacons have a chance in this one.
Don't count them out just yet.
They will surely have their hands full with a tough SEC opponent, but look a little further into Mississippi State's success. Yes, they lost to very difficult opponents. However, they didn't manage one win against a worthy competitor. Their most impressive win was a 28-16 win over Kentucky.
Wake Forest, although inconsistent, has taken on and beaten a much better team in Florida State.
While Mississippi State has the clear advantage on defense, Wake Forest will enter this game with the better offense.
The reason for the Demon Deacons' success this year has come far due to the improvement of sophomore quarterback Tanner Price. The young quarterback has been much more efficient and smart with the ball in his second season. He has thrown for 2,803 yards and 20 touchdowns to just six interceptions.
Wake Forest is going to need Price to step up and make plays on this Bulldog defense. He proved with his three touchdown performance against Florida State that he can rise to the occasion.
Don't count out these ACC underdogs just yet.
This one could actually come down to the wire.
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