ATLANTA, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Officials of the Peach Bowl Thursday announced that Tennessee has been matched against Maryland for the New Year's Eve contest at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
The Volunteers, who had a disappointing and injury-filled season but won their last three games, will be making their 14th straight bowl appearance.
"We feel that by selecting Tennessee, we have created a nationally-significant matchup and chosen a first-class program with a rich winning tradition," said Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl President Gary Stokan.
"Our team is excited about this selection and ready to go down to Atlanta and compete in what is the best-attended non-BCS bowl game in the country," said Tennessee Coach Phillip Fulmer. "By the time we see Maryland, we'll be as healthy as we've been all year and we'll be ready to play."
The Vols were 8-4 this season, and 5-3 in the SEC East. They finished the campaign ranked No. 25 in the Bowl Championship Series.
Maryland (9-3) was 16th, and finished No. 19 in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll. The Terps won nine of their last 10 games after starting the campaign 1-2.
The Vols, who claimed the national championship after the 1998 season and never have won fewer than eight games in 10 years under Fullmer, had 18 starters, including quarterback Casey Clausen, miss games because of injuries in 2002.
All four of the Vols' losses were to nationally-ranked teams.
The two teams have met seven times previously, with Tennessee holding a 5-2 advantage.
"This is the best matchup we could have hoped for with both teams having strong national rankings," said Williams Pate, Peach Bowl Chairman. "This game will almost certainly guarantee our sixth straight sellout."
This year's anticipated $2 million per team payout will bring the Bowl's 35-year total payout to more than $58 million.
The Peach Bowl will be celebrating its 35th anniversary. The game pits the No. 5 team from the Southeastern Conference against the No. 3 team from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
With Thursday's announcement, four of the 28 bowl matchups are set.