Could the Vols go to the Sugar Bowl?

Wes Rucker, Jayson Swain and Patrick Murray talk about the potential bowl destinations for the Vols.

The Vols are 8-3 with one game remaining in the season at Vanderbilt.

Tennessee will not be going to the SEC Championship Game, so the next thing to look forward to is a bowl game.

The two most likely options for the Vols seem to be the Citrus and Sugar Bowls.

The Sugar is a "New Year's Six Bowl," a part of the College Football Playoff rotation. It is not a playoff semifinal this year.

The Sugar Bowl is contracted to matchup the SEC champion with the Big 12 champion, or the next best team from each conference if the champion is in the playoff.

If Alabama beats Florida in the SEC Championship Game then the Sugar would have to take the next best SEC team.

In that case, Tennessee would likely be the second highest ranked team in the conference, if the Vols beat Vanderbilt in the regular season finale.

Besides Alabama, who will most likely be in the playoff, No. 15 Auburn and No. 16 LSU are currently the only SEC teams ahead of No. 19 Tennessee in last week's College Football Playoff rankings. LSU (6-4, 4-3 SEC) lost to Florida so the Tigers should fall below the Vols (8-3, 4-3) when the new rankings come out on Tuesday. Auburn (8-3, 5-2) still has to play on the road at Alabama.

No. 25 Texas A&M (8-3, 4-3) could possibly jump over the Vols, if it were to beat LSU next week and No. 23 Florida has a chance to add to its resume against No. 17 Florida State, but Tennessee stands a good chance of getting a Sugar Bowl bid for the first time since 1991.

The game would be played in the Superdome on January 2 at 7:30 p.m. It looks like the opponent will be either Oklahoma or Oklahoma State. The Sooners and Cowboys will play for the Big 12 title on December 3 in Norman.

If the Vols miss out on New Orleans, the likely landing spot would be Orlando and the Citrus Bowl, a game the Vols haven't played in since 2002.

Once the New Year's Six Bowls have their teams, the Citrus gets its pick of SEC schools.

The opponent for the December 31 game would be the second or third best team from the ACC. The likely teams would be Florida State or North Carolina, although it's possible that Louisville, Clemson or Virginia Tech could end up in the Citrus depending on how the rest of the season plays out.


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