Alabama, Kansas State to play in Sugar Bowl; Tennessee, Clemson in Orange Bowl

Alabama will face Kansas State in the Allstate Sugar Bowl after missing out on the College Football Playoff for just the second time since the playoff began in 2014.

The ninth-ranked Wildcats, who spoiled TCU's perfect season in the Big 12 championship game Saturday, will face the fifth-ranked Crimson Tide for the first time ever on the gridiron on Dec. 31.

Out of contention for another national title, Alabama is faced with an unfamiliar question: How many of the Tide's best players will play in their bowl game?

"I'm hopeful that players will see this as an opportunity to create value for themselves, even if they're older players and have a chance to get drafted this year and come out -- whether they're seniors or juniors,'' coach Nick Saban said in an interview with ESPN.

Meanwhile, Clemson and Tennessee are headed to the Capital One Orange Bowl.

Clemson earned its spot by winning the ACC; Tennessee was the highest-ranked team left after the Rose and Sugar bowls made their picks. It's the seventh trip to the Orange Bowl for the No. 7 Tigers and the fifth appearance in the game for the No. 6 Volunteers.

The game, which kicks off Dec. 30 at 8 p.m. ET, will mark the first time Tennessee and Clemson have met since the 2004 Peach Bowl.

Utah, which vaulted into the top 10 after upsetting USC in the Pac-12 title game, will face No. 11 Penn State in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 2.

The eighth-ranked Utes are the first team to make back-to-back Rose Bowl appearances since Stanford in 2012 and 2013.

USC, which fell just short of a CFP bid in coach Lincoln Riley's first season, will settle for an appearance in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl. The 10th-ranked Trojans will face No. 16 Tulane, which is making its first New Year's Six bowl game since the 1940 Sugar Bowl.

All four bowl games will air on ESPN.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.