Tennessee (10-2), despite beating Alabama (10-2) in the regular season and finishing with the same record, have finished No.6 in the final CFP rankings. The Crimson Tide finished at No.5 and are the first team out of the playoffs. The top six teams are all that have been unveiled, with Georgia being No.1, Michigan No.2, TCU No.3 and Ohio State No.4.
This ranking indicates that Tennessee is headed for the Sunshine State later this month to take on Clemson (11-2) in the Orange Bowl, while Alabama will head to the Sugar Bowl to play Kansas State.
The official announcement will come later today as the bowl games are officially unveiled starting at 2:30 pm ET that Tennessee and Clemson will square off on December 31st at 8pm.
The Vols will enter the game with Joe Milton at the helm, while the Tigers appear likely to start freshman QB Cade Klubnik, who is coming off an electric performance against North Carolina in Saturday night's ACC Championship.
Tennessee and Clemson have played 18 times before dating back to 1901. The Vols lead the all-time series 10-6-2, however, Clemson won the last matchup in the Peach Bowl in 2004, 27-13.
Tennesee heads into the matchup ranked No.6, just one spot ahead of Clemson, who moved up from No.9. The Tigers dominated North Carolina in last night’s ACC championship game after making a QB change early in the game.
In the following weeks, it will be key to watch which Vols opt into the bowl game, as multiple players are expected to start making NFL Draft decisions sooner than later, including Darnell Washington, Byron Young, Jalin Hyatt, and Cedric Tillman.