Music City Bowl: Mississippi State Win Gets SEC Started off on Right Foot

Joel BarkerSenior Writer IDecember 31, 2011

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 30:  Marcus Green #32 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs celebrates with the trophy after a win over the Wake Forest Demon Deacons during the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl at LP Field on December 30, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. Mississippi State won 23-17.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Nashville, Tenn.— One point of pride for fans of Southeastern Conference teams in recent years has been the league’s success in head-to-head matchups with teams from other conferences.

Since 2006, SEC teams are 30-16 in bowl games. And, oh yeah, there’s also that five- (soon to be six-) year winning streak in the BCS National Title game.

The SEC's 2011 bowl season got started off on the right foot in Nashville Friday evening.

Mississippi State opened the SEC’s bowl season with a 23-17 win over the ACC’s Wake Forest Demon Deacons.

While there are still seven SEC bowl games left to play, it never hurts getting started with a win.

In last year’s 5-5 bowl season, SEC teams won just one of their first five bowl games. In 2009, SEC teams won three of their first seven games before sweeping the most important of their opportunities—two BCS bowl games.

In ’07 and ’08, when SEC teams went 7-2 and 6-2, respectively, in bowl games, the league began bowl season with at least three consecutive wins.

Mississippi State has already delivered on its end of the bargain in true SEC fashion. The Bulldogs defense took some lumps, but in the end that unit’s play was the difference in defeating Wake Forest. Mississippi State’s offense was able to take advantage of Demon Deacons' suspect defense with some home-run plays of its own.

Dan Mullen’s offense even handed the Demon Deacons the ball four times, yet Wake only capitalized on one of those turnovers.

If you believe in the whole “setting a tone” concept, the Bulldogs did just that for their SEC brethren in Nashville, TN on Friday night.

The “S-E-C” chant began with just two minutes remaining in Friday night’s Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl. If recent years' successes are any indication, we’ll hear those same chants plenty in the next couple of weeks.