Nothing is ever straightforward with the Tennessee Volunteers.
Earlier on Sunday, it was reported by Brett McMurphy of WatchStadium.com that the Vols would be matched up with Louisville in the Music City Bowl. By all accounts, that was the move for the Nashville-based bowl game initially, and we here at RTI ran with that report and those confirming it.
Then, things changed.
According to multiple reports, Tennessee negotiated and fought their way back into consideration for the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl after it was reported the Kentucky Wildcats would end up there. After Louisville’s official football Twitter account posted that the Cardinals would be taking on the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the Music City Bowl, things really took a turn.
After all the speculation and all the changes, it finally looks like Tennessee — officially — has a bowl destination this postseason.
It’s now officially been announced that the Vols will face-off with Indiana in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl on January 2nd down in Jacksonville, Florida. The Vols and Hoosiers were confirmed by the official Tennessee Twitter account on Sunday afternoon, and the game will kick-off at 7:00 PM Eastern.
𝐃𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧: 𝐉𝐚𝐜𝐤𝐬𝐨𝐧𝐯𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐞, 𝐅𝐋 🌴
The Vols are headed to the 75th @taxslayerbowl to play Indiana.
— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) December 8, 2019
Tennessee is currently riding a five-game winning streak and has won six of their last seven games to go from 1-4 on the year to 7-5. The Vols finished the season 5-3 in SEC play, their best conference record since also going 5-3 in 2015.
Indiana is 8-4 on the year and ended the regular season with a 44-41 double-overtime victory over Purdue. The Hoosiers have won five of their last seven games, though those two losses were to then-No. 9 Penn State and then-No. 13 Michigan after a 7-2 start to the year.
Tennessee and Indiana have only played once in college football, with the Vols winning 27-22 in the Peach Bowl after the 1987 season.
The Vols’ last appearance in the TaxSlayer Bowl came after the 2014 season, a 45-28 victory for Tennessee over Big Ten opponent Iowa.