NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Nebraska coach Mike Riley is a proud graduate of the University of Alabama. He played defensive back for Bear Bryant during Alabama’s dominance in the 1970s.
But Riley said on Thursday he actually was close to going to Vanderbilt, where he and his team will be practicing this week in preparation for the Music City Bowl.
In fact, he planned on coming to the Music City.
“I love Nashville, I love the school,” said Riley, a huge country music fan.
The Alabama grad said he wrote to Vanderbilt head coach Bill Pace “a couple of times” to try to garner interest.
Riley said he picked three schools in the South as options to go to school. His father, Bud Riley, was from the South, Riley said, so he wanted to travel that way and out of Corvallis, where his father coached at Oregon State.
But, as fate would have it, Riley said he visited Alabama, and that was that.
“And I had a chance to go to Vandy and I ended up down South a little bit,” Riley said.