The College Football Playoff Committee show will announce its top teams on Tuesday night and, unless something incredible happens, Tennessee won’t be among the top four or within striking distance of it.
Could the Vols still climb into the ranking? Possibly, but it seems like a long, long shot. Texas Christian would have to get beat really bad in the Big 12 Championship Game, Southern California would have to get beat in the Pac-12 Championship Game and the CFP committee would have to move the Vols past Alabama. In my opinion, Tennessee should be ahead of Alabama based on the head-to-head matchup, but the committee hasn’t called for my thoughts.
Either the way the Vols loss to South Carolina was just too much or the thoughts of Tennessee playing in the CFP without quarterback Hendon Hooker was far too painful. Whatever the reason, the committee made a statement by putting Alabama ahead of Tennessee last week and that’s probably not going to change considering neither team has a game left.
So what does that mean? It means the Vols are probably going to go to a snazzy bowl game that’s not in the College Football Playoff.
I have been a bit taken aback by the amount of Tennessee fans that would strongly prefer the Sugar Bowl over the Orange Bowl.
I certainly understand, whilst tipping my cap to the 1985 team, that the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans has some nostalgia appeal, but if bowl prognosticators are correct, the Orange Bowl is much more appealing. Why? Let’s delve.
Per Jerry Palm of CBS Sports, the Vols would likely face Clemson in the Orange Bowl while Alabama would face Kansas State in the Sugar Bowl. The Sugar Bowl will be played at noon on New Year’s Eve. The Orange Bowl will be played at 7:30 on Dec. 30. For Tennessee’s sake, I’d take the Orange Bowl in primetime for some obvious recruiting advantages. Prospects are much more likely to be attune to the Orange Bowl than the Sugar Bowl. Staking a 17-year-old in front of a television on a day off is about impossible. Trust me on this one.
The potential competitors are negligible. I don’t see any huge advantage in playing Clemson over Kansas State. However, the Tigers will draw in viewers from where Tennessee likes to recruit – in South Carolina. The Vols don’t recruit much in Kansas. Clemson is also a bigger name nationally than Kansas State – and there’s the orange possibilities.
The Vols would also love to set up a recruiting foothold in South Florida, which is much more likely to happen than in Louisiana. South Florida prospects have shown for decades that they’re willing to travel to play ball and the Orange Bowl is in Miami. Louisiana prospects are much more likely to stay at home if LSU comes calling and the Sugar Bowl is in New Orleans.
The only reason that I can surmise why Tennessee fans would rather play in the Sugar Bowl as opposed to the Orange Bowl is that it would mean that Alabama “beat” them to New Orleans. Well, if that’s your motivation, fine. However, playing in the Orange Bowl is better for the Vols.
Sugar or Orange? Leave your comment below