|Allstate Sugar Bowl|
Allstate Sugar Bowl logo
|Location||New Orleans, Louisiana|
|Previous stadiums||Tulane Stadium (1934-1974)|
Georgia Dome[a] (2006)
|Previous locations||Atlanta, Georgia[a] (2006)|
|Conference tie-ins||SEC (unofficial 1935-1975, official 1976-present)|
Big 12 (2015-present)
|Payout||US$17,000,000 per team (As of 2014 )|
Sugar Bowl (1935-1987)
USF&G Sugar Bowl (1988-1995)
Nokia Sugar Bowl (1996-2006)
|2018 season matchup|
|Georgia vs. Texas (Texas 28-21)|
|2019 season matchup|
|Big 12 vs. SEC (January 1, 2020)|
The Sugar Bowl is an annual American college football bowl game played in New Orleans, Louisiana. It has been played annually since January 1, 1935, and celebrated its 75th anniversary on January 2, 2009. The Sugar Bowl, along with the Orange Bowl and Sun Bowl, are the second-oldest bowl games in the country, behind the Rose Bowl Game.
The Sugar Bowl was originally played at Tulane Stadium before moving to the Superdome in 1975. When the Superdome and the rest of the city suffered damage due to both the winds from and the flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the Sugar Bowl was temporarily moved to the Georgia Dome in Atlanta in 2006. Since 2007, the game has been sponsored by Allstate and officially known as the Allstate Sugar Bowl. Previous sponsors include Nokia (1996-2006) and USF&G Financial Services (1988-1995).
The Sugar Bowl has had a longstanding -- albeit not exclusive -- relationship with the Southeastern Conference (SEC) (which once had a member institution based in New Orleans, Tulane University; another Louisiana school, Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge, is still in the SEC today). Indeed, the Sugar Bowl did not feature an SEC team only four times in its first 60 editions, and an SEC team played in the game in every year but one from 1950 to 1995. The SEC's opponent varied from year to year, but, prior to the advent of the Bowl Championship Series was often the runner-up of the Big Eight or SWC, or a major independent.
The Sugar Bowl-SEC relationship has been altered over the past twenty years due to conference realignments and the emergence of a series of coalitions and alliances intending to produce an undisputed national champion in college football, but the ties between the Sugar Bowl and the SEC have persisted and have recently been strengthened. Since 2015, the Sugar Bowl, along with the Rose, Orange, Cotton, Peach, and Fiesta bowls, is one of the "New Year's Six" bowls in rotation for the College Football Playoff. It hosted a playoff semifinal following the 2017 season, and will next host one following the 2020 season. In other years, it will feature the best available teams from SEC and the Big 12 conferences, an arrangement nearly identical with the relationship between the Rose Bowl and the champions of the Big Ten and Pac-12.
As a member of the Bowl Championship Series, the Sugar Bowl hosted the BCS National Championship Game twice 2000 and 2004, as the national championship rotated between the bowls themselves until 2006 (when the national championship game became a standalone event separate from the four BCS bowls, but was still rotated among the venues and organizers of the bowls).
In 1890, Pasadena, California held its first Tournament of Roses Parade to showcase the city's mild weather compared to the harsh winters in northern cities. As one of the organizers said: "In New York, people are buried in snow. Here, our flowers are blooming and our oranges are about to bear [fruit]. Let's hold a festival to tell the world about our paradise." In 1902, the annual festival was enhanced by adding a football game.
In 1926, leaders in Miami, Florida, decided to do the same with a "Fiesta of the American Tropics" that was centered around a New Year's Day football game. Although a second "Fiesta" was never held, Miami leaders later revived the idea with the "Palm Festival" (with the slogan "Have a Green Christmas in Miami"). The football game and associated festivities of the Palm Festival were soon named the "Orange Bowl."
In New Orleans, Louisiana, the idea of a New Year's Day football game was first presented in 1927 by Colonel James M. Thomson, publisher of the New Orleans Item, and Sports Editor Fred Digby. Every year thereafter, Digby repeated calls for action, and even came up with the name "Sugar Bowl" for his proposed football game.
By 1935, enough support had been garnered for the first Sugar Bowl. The game was played in Tulane Stadium, which had been built in 1926 on Tulane University's campus (before 1871, Tulane's campus was Paul Foucher's plantation, where Foucher's father-in-law, Etienne de Bore, had first granulated sugar from cane syrup). Warren V. Miller, the first president of the New Orleans Mid-Winter Sports Association, guided the Sugar Bowl through its difficult formative years of 1934 and 1935. An unusual 2-0 score marked the 1942 Sugar Bowl, in which the sole scoring play was a safety.
Much controversy preceded the 1956 Sugar Bowl, when Pitt Panthers who were playing with Bobby Grier, an African-American, met the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. There had been controversy over whether Grier should be allowed to play due to his race, and whether Georgia Tech should even play at all due to Georgia's Governor Marvin Griffin's opposition to racial integration.
In November 1967, Army's success on the field made them a strong candidate to be selected for the 1968 Sugar Bowl. However, Pentagon officials, in the midst of the Vietnam War, refused to allow the team to play what would have been the academy's first bowl game ever--citing the "heavy demands on the players' time" as well as an emphasis on football being "not consistent with the academy's basic mission: to produce career Army officers."
Tulane Stadium hosted the game from 1935 through 1974. It has been played in the Louisiana Superdome since 1975. The Sugar Bowl's corporate title sponsor was USF&G Financial Services from 1987 to 1995 and Nokia cellular telephones of Finland from 1995 to 2006. In March 2006 Allstate Insurance was announced as the new title sponsor. ABC Sports televised the game from 1969 through 2006. Fox Sports televised the game from 2007 to 2009 as part of its contract with the BCS. ESPN started airing the game with the 2010-11 season, after outbidding Fox for the broadcasting rights.
The 2006 Sugar Bowl game was played at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia because of the extensive damage the Superdome suffered as a result of Hurricane Katrina. The Sugar Bowl has since returned to the refurbished Superdome.
Prior to the BCS, the game traditionally hosted the Southeastern Conference (SEC) champion against a top-tier at-large opponent. This was formalized in 1975, when the SEC champion was granted an automatic bid to the Sugar Bowl starting with the end of the 1976 season. This continued throughout the time of the Bowl Coalition, a precursor to the BCS. However, the Sugar Bowl agreed to release the SEC champion if necessary to force a national championship game. Under this format, the Sugar Bowl hosted the first Bowl Coalition national championship game, when SEC champion Alabama upended Miami at the end of the 1992 season. When the Bowl Coalition became the Bowl Alliance at the start of the 1995 season, the Sugar Bowl would still release the SEC champion to go to the national championship game if they were ranked in the top two in the nation.
Under the now-defunct BCS format, the Sugar Bowl continued to host the SEC champion against a top-tier at-large opponent, unless the SEC champion went to the BCS National Championship Game. When this happened, the Sugar Bowl usually selected the highest-ranked SEC team still available in the BCS pool. The SEC champion played for the national championship in every one of the eight final editions of the BCS (2006 to 2013).
The Sugar Bowl maintains an archive of past programs, images, newsreels, and other materials. The archive, originally housed in the Superdome, survived Hurricane Katrina, but a more secure home was needed. During the summer of 2007, the Sugar Bowl donated its materials to The Historic New Orleans Collection, designating it the permanent home of its archive.
The 2012 game, pitting the Michigan Wolverines against the Virginia Tech Hokies, was the first Sugar Bowl since 2000--and only the sixth since World War II--without an SEC team. Both of the SEC's BCS participants, Alabama and LSU, played in the National Championship Game, and under BCS rules only two teams per conference were eligible for BCS bowls.
In May 2012, the Big 12 and SEC announced plans to create a new bowl game, the "Champions Bowl", that would play host to the champions of those two conferences. That November, it was officially announced that the Champions Bowl had been awarded to New Orleans under a 12-year contract beginning in 2015, and would retain the Sugar Bowl name (stating that "Champions Bowl" was only a working title). In addition, it was announced that the Sugar Bowl would host one of two national semi-final games every three seasons (in the 2015, 2018, 2011, and 2024 seasons) as part of the new College Football Playoff system replacing the BCS.
Rankings are based on the AP Poll prior to the game being played. Italics denote a tie game
|Date Played||Winning team||Losing team||Attnd.||Notes|
|January 1, 1935||Tulane||20||Temple||14||22,026||notes|
|January 1, 1936||TCU||3||LSU||2||35,000||notes|
|January 1, 1937||Santa Clara||21||LSU||14||41,000||notes|
|January 1, 1938||Santa Clara||6||LSU||0||45,000||notes|
|January 2, 1939||#1 TCU||15||#6 Carnegie Tech||7||50,000||notes|
|January 1, 1940||#1 Texas A&M||14||#5 Tulane||13||73,000||notes|
|January 1, 1941||#4 Boston College||19||#6 Tennessee||13||73,181||notes|
|January 1, 1942||#6 Fordham||2||#7 Missouri||0||72,000||notes|
|January 1, 1943||#7 Tennessee||14||#4 Tulsa||7||70,000||notes|
|January 1, 1944||#13 Georgia Tech||20||Tulsa||18||69,000||notes|
|January 1, 1945||#11 Duke||29||Alabama||26||72,000||notes|
|January 1, 1946||#5 Oklahoma State||33||#7 Saint Mary's (CA)||13||75,000||notes|
|January 1, 1947||#3 Georgia||20||#9 North Carolina||10||73,300||notes|
|January 1, 1948||#5 Texas||27||#6 Alabama||7||72,000||notes|
|January 1, 1949||#5 Oklahoma||14||#3 North Carolina||6||82,000||notes|
|January 2, 1950||#2 Oklahoma||35||#9 LSU||0||82,470||notes|
|January 1, 1951||#7 Kentucky||13||#1 Oklahoma||7||82,000||notes|
|January 1, 1952||#3 Maryland||28||#1 Tennessee||13||82,000||notes|
|January 1, 1953||#2 Georgia Tech||24||#7 Ole Miss||7||82,000||notes|
|January 1, 1954||#8 Georgia Tech||42||#10 West Virginia||19||76,000||notes|
|January 1, 1955||#5 Navy||21||#6 Ole Miss||0||82,000||notes|
|January 2, 1956||#7 Georgia Tech||7||#11 Pittsburgh||0||80,175||notes|
|January 1, 1957||#11 Baylor||13||#2 Tennessee||7||81,000||notes|
|January 1, 1958||#7 Ole Miss||39||#11 Texas||7||82,000||notes|
|January 1, 1959||#1 LSU||7||#12 Clemson||0||82,000||notes|
|January 1, 1960||#2 Ole Miss||21||#3 LSU||0||83,000||notes|
|January 2, 1961||#2 Ole Miss||14||Rice||6||82,851||notes|
|January 1, 1962||#1 Alabama||10||#9 Arkansas||3||82,910||notes|
|January 1, 1963||#3 Ole Miss||17||#6 Arkansas||13||82,900||notes|
|January 1, 1964||#8 Alabama||12||#7 Ole Miss||7||80,785||notes|
|January 1, 1965||#7 LSU||13||Syracuse||10||65,000||notes|
|January 1, 1966||#6 Missouri||20||Florida||18||67,421||notes|
|January 2, 1967||#6 Alabama||34||#3 Nebraska||7||82,000||notes|
|January 1, 1968||LSU||20||#5 Wyoming||13||78,963||notes|
|January 1, 1969||#9 Arkansas||16||#4 Georgia||2||82,113||notes|
|January 1, 1970||#13 Ole Miss||27||#3 Arkansas||22||82,500||notes|
|January 1, 1971||#4 Tennessee||34||#11 Air Force||13||78,655||notes|
|January 1, 1972||#3 Oklahoma||40||#5 Auburn||22||84,031||notes|
|December 31, 1972||#2 Oklahoma||14||#5 Penn State||0||80,123||notes|
|December 31, 1973||#3 Notre Dame||24||#1 Alabama||23||85,161||notes|
|December 31, 1974||#8 Nebraska||13||#18 Florida||10||67,890||notes|
|December 31, 1975||#3 Alabama||13||#7 Penn State||6||75,212||notes|
|January 1, 1977||#1 Pittsburgh||27||#4 Georgia||3||76,117||notes|
|January 2, 1978||#3 Alabama||35||#9 Ohio State||6||76,811||notes|
|January 1, 1979||#2 Alabama||14||#1 Penn State||7||76,824||notes|
|January 1, 1980||#2 Alabama||24||#6 Arkansas||9||77,486||notes|
|January 1, 1981||#1 Georgia||17||#7 Notre Dame||10||77,895||notes|
|January 1, 1982||#10 Pittsburgh||24||#2 Georgia||20||77,224||notes|
|January 1, 1983||#2 Penn State||27||#1 Georgia||23||78,124||notes|
|January 2, 1984||#3 Auburn||9||#8 Michigan||7||77,893||notes|
|January 1, 1985||#5 Nebraska||28||#11 LSU||10||75,608||notes|
|January 1, 1986||#8 Tennessee||35||#2 Miami||7||77,432||notes|
|January 1, 1987||#6 Nebraska||30||#5 LSU||15||76,234||notes|
|January 1, 1988||#4 Syracuse||16||#6 Auburn||16||75,495||notes|
|January 2, 1989||#4 Florida State||13||#7 Auburn||7||61,934||notes|
|January 1, 1990||#2 Miami||33||#7 Alabama||25||77,452||notes|
|January 1, 1991||#6 Tennessee||23||Virginia||22||75,132||notes|
|January 1, 1992||#18 Notre Dame||39||#3 Florida||28||76,447||notes|
|January 1, 1993[b]||#2 Alabama||34||#1 Miami||13||76,789||notes|
|January 1, 1994||#8 Florida||41||#3 West Virginia||7||75,437||notes|
|January 2, 1995||#7 Florida State||23||#5 Florida||17||76,224||notes|
|December 31, 1995||#13 Virginia Tech||28||#9 Texas||10||70,283||notes|
|January 2, 1997[c]||#3 Florida||52||#1 Florida State||20||78,344||notes|
|January 1, 1998||#4 Florida State||31||#9 Ohio State||14||67,289||notes|
|January 1, 1999||#3 Ohio State||24||#8 Texas A&M||14||76,503||notes|
|January 4, 2000[d]||#1 Florida State||46||#2 Virginia Tech||29||79,280||notes|
|January 2, 2001||#2 Miami||37||#7 Florida||20||64,407||notes|
|January 1, 2002||#12 LSU||47||#7 Illinois||34||77,688||notes|
|January 1, 2003||#4 Georgia||26||#16 Florida State||13||74,269||notes|
|January 4, 2004[d]||#2 LSU||21||#3 Oklahoma||14||79,342||notes|
|January 3, 2005||#3 Auburn||16||#9 Virginia Tech||13||77,349||notes|
|January 2, 2006[a]||#11 West Virginia||38||#8 Georgia||35||74,458||notes|
|January 3, 2007||#4 LSU||41||#11 Notre Dame||14||77,781||notes|
|January 1, 2008||#4 Georgia||41||#10 Hawaiʻi||10||74,383||notes|
|January 2, 2009||#7 Utah||31||#4 Alabama||17||71,872||notes|
|January 1, 2010||#5 Florida||51||#4 Cincinnati||24||65,207||notes|
|January 4, 2011[e]||#6 Ohio State||31||#8 Arkansas||26||73,879||notes|
|January 3, 2012||#13 Michigan||23||#17 Virginia Tech||20||64,512||notes|
|January 2, 2013||#22 Louisville||33||#4 Florida||23||54,178||notes|
|January 2, 2014||#10 Oklahoma||45||#3 Alabama||31||70,473||notes|
|January 1, 2015[f]||#5 Ohio State||42||#1 Alabama||35||74,682||notes|
|January 1, 2016||#16 Ole Miss||48||#13 Oklahoma State||20||72,117||notes|
|January 2, 2017||#7 Oklahoma||35||#17 Auburn||19||54,077||notes|
|January 1, 2018[f]||#4 Alabama||24||#1 Clemson||6||72,360||notes|
|January 1, 2019||#14 Texas||28||#6 Georgia||21||71,449||notes|
|2019||January 1, 2020||Wednesday|
|2020||January 1, 2021||Friday|
|2021||January 1, 2022||Saturday|
|2022||January 2, 2023||Monday|
|2023||January 1, 2024||Monday|
|2024||January 1, 2025||Wednesday|
|2025||January 1, 2026||Thursday|
denotes game is a College Football Playoff semifinal
The Miller-Digby Award is presented to the Most Outstanding Player (MOP) in the Sugar Bowl, as voted by sports journalists covering the game. The award was initially established in 1948 following the death of Warren V. Miller, the first president of the Bowl; it was renamed the Miller-Digby Memorial Trophy in 1959, to also honor Fred J. Digby, the first general manager and fellow founding member of the Bowl.
Terrelle Pryor was later ruled ineligible and his statistics for the 2010 season, including the 2011 Sugar Bowl, were vacated.
Updated through the January 2019 edition (85 games, 170 total appearances).
Won (9): Baylor, Boston College, Duke, Fordham, Kentucky, Louisville, Maryland, Navy, Utah
Lost (10): Air Force, Carnegie Tech, Cincinnati, Hawai'i, Illinois, Rice, Saint Mary's (CA), Temple, Virginia, Wyoming
Updated through the January 2019 edition (85 games, 170 total appearances).
|Team||Record, Team vs. Opponent||Year|
|Most points scored (one team)||52, Florida vs. Florida State||1997|
|Most points scored (losing team)||35, shared by:
Georgia vs. West Virginia
Alabama vs. Ohio State
|Most points scored (both teams)||81, LSU (47) vs. Illinois (34)||2002|
|Fewest points allowed||0, eight times, most recent:
Oklahoma vs. Penn State
|Largest margin of victory||35, Oklahoma (35) vs. LSU (0)||1950|
|Total yards||659, Florida (482 pass, 177 rush) vs. Cincinnati||2010|
|Rushing yards||439, Oklahoma vs. Auburn||Jan. 1972|
|Passing yards||482, Florida vs. Cincinnati||2010|
|First downs||32, LSU vs. Illinois||2002|
|Fewest yards allowed||74, Ole Miss vs. LSU (-15 rush, 89 pass)||1960|
|Fewest rushing yards allowed||-39, Tennessee vs. Tulsa||1943|
|Fewest passing yards allowed||0, three times, most recent:
Pittsburgh vs. Georgia Tech
|Individual||Record, Player, Team vs. Opponent||Year|
|All-purpose yards||282, Kevin Williams, Miami (FL) vs. Alabama||1993|
|Touchdowns (all-purpose)||4, Domanick Davis, LSU vs. Illinois||2002|
|Rushing yards||230, Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State vs. Alabama||2015|
|Rushing touchdowns||4, Domanick Davis, LSU vs. Illinois||2002|
|Passing yards||482, Tim Tebow, Florida vs. Cincinnati||2010|
|Passing touchdowns||4, shared by four QBs, most recent:
Chad Kelly, Ole Miss vs. Oklahoma State
|Receiving yards||239, Josh Reed, LSU vs. Illinois||2002|
|Receiving touchdowns||3, shared by:
Ike Hilliard, Florida vs. Florida State
Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss vs. Oklahoma State
|Tackles||20, Tom Cousineau, Ohio State vs. Alabama||1978|
|Sacks||3, shared by six players, most recent:
Eric Striker, Oklahoma vs. Alabama
|Interceptions||3, shared by three players, most recent:
Bobby Johns, Alabama vs. Nebraska
|Long Plays||Record, Player, Team vs. Opponent||Year|
|Touchdown run||92, Ray Brown, Ole Miss vs. Texas||1958|
|Touchdown pass||82, Ike Hilliard from Danny Wuerffel, Florida vs. Florida State||Jan. 1995|
|Kickoff return||100, Andre Debose, Florida vs. Louisville||2013|
|Punt return||78, Kevin Williams, Miami (FL) vs. Alabama||1993|
|Interception return||80, Hugh Morrow, Alabama vs. Duke||1945|
|Fumble return||26, shared by:
Bobby Jackson, Illinois vs. LSU
Geneo Grissom, Oklahoma vs. Alabama
|Punt||76, Glenn Dobbs, Tulsa vs. Tennessee||1943|
|Field goal||53, Oklahoma vs. Auburn||Jan. 1972|
|Miscellaneous||Record, Team vs. Team||Year|
|Game attendance||85,161, Notre Dame vs. Alabama||1973|
In recent years, television broadcast rights to the Sugar Bowl have been part of the BCS contract. From 1999-2006, the game aired on ABC as part of its BCS package, where it had also been televised from 1969 through 1998. The Sugar Bowl was the only Bowl Alliance game to stick with ABC following the 1995, 1996 and 1997 seasons; the Fiesta and Orange Bowls were televised by CBS. Prior to that, NBC aired the game for several years. From 2006 to 2010, Fox broadcast the game, while ESPN picked up the Sugar Bowl after picking up the rest of the BCS beginning in the 2009-10 season. For 2013, ESPN Deportes introduced a Spanish language telecast of the game.
In November 2012, ESPN announced that it had reached a deal to maintain broadcast rights to the Sugar Bowl through 2026. ESPN pays $55 million yearly to broadcast the game beginning in the 2014-15 season under the new contract, which took effect upon the establishment of the College Football Playoff. ESPN made a similar deal to maintain broadcast rights to the Orange Bowl following the discontinuation of the BCS as well.