#Clemson draws Tennessee in Orange Bowl, CFP field and New Year’s Six Bowls set; Tigers 7th, #Gamecocks 19th in final CFP Ranking

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney draws Tennessee in the Orange Bowl (Photo by Taylor Banner/ACC)

In Miami, Fl., on December 30th, there will be “orange in the end zone,” … and on the sidelines, and in the stands, and on the stadium signage, and on the promotional material … because Clemson and Tennessee have been selected to play in the 2022 Orange Bowl. The Tigers (11-2) earned their slot by virtue of claiming their 21st ACC Championship in Charlotte, Saturday. The Volunteers were selected as an at-large team by the Orange Bowl committee following a 10-2 regular season highlighted by victories over Alabama and LSU.

In a twist of fate, it’s likely neither team will enter the game with same quarterbacks that started the bulk of their season. Cade Klubnik accounted for almost all of Clemson’s yardage in a 39-10 runaway victory over North Carolina in the ACC Championship and Joe Milton has been forced into action following the knee injury to Hendon Hooker.

The College Football Playoff Committee also issued its verdict, Sunday. Georgia (13-0) claimed the top seed and is looking to become the first program to repeat as national champions in the playoff era. Michigan (13-0) is seeded second and is also making its return to the four-team field after knocking off Purdue in the Big Ten Championship. Despite its overtime loss in the Big 12 title game, TCU (12-1) held on to the third seed and will make its first appearance in the College Football Playoff. Ohio State (11-1) slides in as the four-seed thanks to Utah’s victory over Southern Cal in the Pac-12 Championship. The Buckeyes are no stranger to the format, having made four appearances between 2014 and 2020.

The Bulldogs won’t have to travel far for its semifinal matchup as they’ll meet the Buckeyes in Atlanta for the Peach Bowl. The Wolverines and the Horned Frogs will tangle in Glendale, Ari. at the Fiesta Bowl.

Outside of the playoff structure, Penn State and Utah will meet in the Rose Bowl, Tulane and Southern Cal have been selected for the Cotton Bowl and Alabama will take on Kansas State in the Sugar Bowl.

This will mark Clemson’s seventh appearance in the Orange Bowl, dating back to 1951. The Tigers staked claim to their first national championship on Jan. 1st, 1982 with a 22-15 Orange Bowl triumph over Nebraska.

Clemson and Tennessee have met infrequently over the years, squaring off just once since 1976, a 27-14 Peach Bowl victory for the Tigers in 2003.

Final CFP Ranking

4Ohio State11-1
9Kansas State10-3
10Southern California11-2
11Penn State10-2
13Florida State9-3
14Oregon State9-3
19South Carolina8-4
21Notre Dame8-4
22Mississippi State8-4
23NC State8-4
Will Shipley runs to daylight against UNC Saturday night (Photo by Taylor Banner/ACC)

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