The Vols will be playing on New Year’s Day for the first time in eight years.

Several reports suggest Tennessee (8-4) will square off with Northwestern (10-2) in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1. It’s the first time the Vols will be playing on the first day of the year since defeating Big Ten opponent Wisconsin 21-17 on Jan. 1, 2008.

This marks Tennessee’s second straight season after missing out on the postseason in each of the previous three seasons.

That was the school’s longest absence since a four-year stretch from 1975-78. That stretch came in the last two years of Bill Battle’s tenure and the first two years of Johnny Majors’ tenure as UT coaches.

Tennessee is currently riding a five-game winning streak,¬†the kind of run that the Vols haven’t enjoyed since 2007.

Meanwhile, Northwestern picked up a season-opening 16-6 victory over eventual Pac-12 champion Stanford along with a 13-7 win at Wisconsin. The Wildcats’ only two losses came in back-to-back beatdown at the hands of Michigan (38-0) and Iowa (40-10).

Tennessee has played¬†Northwestern once before, and that was also on New Year’s Day, but it was in the Citrus Bowl in the 1996-97 season. The Vols won that matchup 48-28.