Sugar Bowl

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Sugar Bowl
Allstate Sugar Bowl
Sugar Bowl logo.svg
Allstate Sugar Bowl logo
StadiumMercedes-Benz Superdome
LocationNew Orleans, Louisiana
Previous stadiumsTulane Stadium (1934–1974)
Georgia Dome (2006)[1]
Previous locationsAtlanta, Georgia (2006)[1]
Conference tie-ins

SEC (unofficial 1935–1975, official 1976–present)

Big 12 (2015–present)
PayoutUS$17,000,000 (As of 2006)
USF&G Financial Services (1988–1995)
Nokia (1996–2006)
Allstate Insurance (2007–present)
Former names
Sugar Bowl (1935–1987)
USF&G Sugar Bowl (1988–1995)
Nokia Sugar Bowl (1996–2006)
2014 matchup
Oklahoma vs. Alabama (Oklahoma 45–31)
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For other uses, see Sugar Bowl (disambiguation).
Sugar Bowl
Allstate Sugar Bowl
Sugar Bowl logo.svg
Allstate Sugar Bowl logo
StadiumMercedes-Benz Superdome
LocationNew Orleans, Louisiana
Previous stadiumsTulane Stadium (1934–1974)
Georgia Dome (2006)[1]
Previous locationsAtlanta, Georgia (2006)[1]
Conference tie-ins

SEC (unofficial 1935–1975, official 1976–present)

Big 12 (2015–present)
PayoutUS$17,000,000 (As of 2006)
USF&G Financial Services (1988–1995)
Nokia (1996–2006)
Allstate Insurance (2007–present)
Former names
Sugar Bowl (1935–1987)
USF&G Sugar Bowl (1988–1995)
Nokia Sugar Bowl (1996–2006)
2014 matchup
Oklahoma vs. Alabama (Oklahoma 45–31)

The Sugar Bowl is an annual American college football bowl game played in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Sugar Bowl 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.[2] The Sugar Bowl is also a member of the Bowl Championship Series. Presently, its official title is the Allstate Sugar Bowl after its current sponsor.

The Sugar Bowl has had a longstanding--albeit not exclusive--relationship with the Southeastern Conference (which once had a member based in New Orleans, Tulane University; another Louisiana school, Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, is still in the SEC today). From 1950 to 1995, only once did the Sugar Bowl not feature an SEC team. That 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. Starting in January 2015, the Sugar Bowl game will be in a three-year rotation with the Rose, Orange, Cotton, Peach, and Fiesta bowls where they'll host a semifinal game the first year and feature the SEC and Big 12 conference champions the next two,[3] an arrangement nearly identical with the relationship between the Rose Bowl and the champions of the Big Ten and Pac-12. Coincidentally, the SEC added two former Big 12 members in 2012 - Missouri and Texas A&M.

As a member of the Bowl Championship Series, the Sugar Bowl hosted the BCS National Championship Game twice (2000 and 2004). However, from the 2006 season to the 2013 season, the BCS National Championship Game had been a stand-alone event, following one week after the New Year's Day bowl games. This means that, under the now-defunct BCS format, no traditional bowl game hosted the BCS National Championship Game, but that game was played at the venue of one of those traditional major bowls, rotating amongst the four sites, including the Superdome.

The payout for the 2006 game was $14–17 million per participating team. According to Sports Illustrated, the 2007 salary for Sugar Bowl CEO Paul Hoolahan was $607,500.[4]

Sugar Bowl in Tulane Stadium in the 1940s


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. Let's hold a festival to tell the world about our paradise." In 1902, the annual festival was enhanced by adding a football game.[5]

2004 Sugar Bowl, Louisiana State University vs. Oklahoma; January 4, 2004

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."[6]

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.[7]

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.

Much controversy preceded the 1956 Sugar Bowl, when Bobby Grier's Pitt Panthers met the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. There had been controversy over whether Grier should be allowed to play, and whether Georgia Tech should even play at all due to Georgia governor Marvin Griffin's opposition to integration.[8][9][10]

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 "not consistent with the academy's basic mission: to produce career Army officers."[11]

Superdome for the 2005 Sugar Bowl

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 will start airing the game with the 2010–11 season, after outbidding Fox for the broadcasting rights.[12]

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. When the Bowl Coalition became the Bowl Alliance at the start of the 1995 season, Sugar Bowl would still allow the SEC champion to go to the national championship game if they were ranked in 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.[13] When this happened, the Sugar Bowl usually selected the highest-ranked SEC team still available in the BCS pool. The SEC champion had been to the BCS title game since the end of the 2006 season through the 2013 season, the final year of the BCS.

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.

2011 Sugar Bowl winner Ohio State vacated its Sugar Bowl victory over Arkansas in response to National Collegiate Athletic Association allegations over a memorabilia-for-cash scandal.[14]

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.[15] However, by November 2012, it was decided instead that the Sugar Bowl will play host to the champions of the Big 12 and SEC, beginning in January 2015.[3] If one of those teams takes part in the national semifinal, a team from the same conference will take their place. Also, it will become one of the bowls that will rotate as a spot for a national semifinal game.

Game results[edit]

Italics denote a tie game

AnnualDate PlayedWinning TeamLosing Team
1stJanuary 1, 1935Tulane20Temple14
2ndJanuary 1, 1936#4 TCU3#7 LSU2
3rdJanuary 1, 1937Santa Clara21LSU14
4thJanuary 1, 1938Santa Clara6LSU0
5thJanuary 2, 1939#1 TCU15#6 Carnegie Tech7
6thJanuary 1, 1940#1 Texas A&M14#5 Tulane13
7thJanuary 1, 1941#4 Boston College19#6 Tennessee13
8thJanuary 1, 1942#6 Fordham2#7 Missouri0
9thJanuary 1, 1943#7 Tennessee14#4 Tulsa7
10thJanuary 1, 1944Georgia Tech20Tulsa18
11thJanuary 1, 1945#11 Duke29Alabama26
12thJanuary 1, 1946#5 Oklahoma State33#7 Saint Mary's (CA)13
13thJanuary 1, 1947#3 Georgia20#9 North Carolina10
14thJanuary 1, 1948#5 Texas27#6 Alabama7
15thJanuary 1, 1949#5 Oklahoma14#3 North Carolina6
16thJanuary 2, 1950#2 Oklahoma35#9 LSU0
17thJanuary 1, 1951#7 Kentucky13#1 Oklahoma7
18thJanuary 1, 1952#3 Maryland28#1 Tennessee13
19thJanuary 1, 1953#2 Georgia Tech24#7 Mississippi7
20thJanuary 1, 1954#8 Georgia Tech42#10 West Virginia19
21stJanuary 1, 1955#5 Navy21#6 Mississippi0
22ndJanuary 2, 1956#7 Georgia Tech7#11 Pittsburgh0
23rdJanuary 1, 1957#11 Baylor13#2 Tennessee7
24thJanuary 1, 1958#7 Mississippi39#11 Texas7
25thJanuary 1, 1959#1 LSU7#12 Clemson0
26thJanuary 1, 1960#2 Mississippi21#3 LSU0
27thJanuary 2, 1961#2 Mississippi14Rice6
28thJanuary 1, 1962#1 Alabama10#9 Arkansas3
29thJanuary 1, 1963#3 Mississippi17#6 Arkansas13
30thJanuary 1, 1964#8 Alabama12#7 Mississippi7
31stJanuary 1, 1965#7 LSU13Syracuse10
32ndJanuary 1, 1966#6 Missouri20Florida18
33rdJanuary 2, 1967#6 Alabama34#3 Nebraska7
34thJanuary 1, 1968LSU20#5 Wyoming13
35thJanuary 1, 1969#9 Arkansas16#4 Georgia2
36thJanuary 1, 1970#13 Mississippi27#3 Arkansas22
37thJanuary 1, 1971#4 Tennessee34#11 Air Force13
38thJanuary 1, 1972#3 Oklahoma40#5 Auburn22
39thDecember 31, 1972#2 Oklahoma14#5 Penn State0
40thDecember 31, 1973#3 Notre Dame24#1 Alabama23
41stDecember 31, 1974#8 Nebraska13#18 Florida10
42ndDecember 31, 1975#3 Alabama13#7 Penn State6
43rdJanuary 1, 1977#1 Pittsburgh27#4 Georgia3
44thJanuary 2, 1978#3 Alabama35#9 Ohio State6
45thJanuary 1, 1979#2 Alabama14#1 Penn State7
46thJanuary 1, 1980#2 Alabama24#6 Arkansas9
47thJanuary 1, 1981#1 Georgia17#7 Notre Dame10
48thJanuary 1, 1982#10 Pittsburgh24#2 Georgia20
49thJanuary 1, 1983#2 Penn State27#1 Georgia23
50thJanuary 2, 1984#3 Auburn9#8 Michigan7
51stJanuary 1, 1985#5 Nebraska28#11 LSU10
52ndJanuary 1, 1986#8 Tennessee35#2 Miami7
53rdJanuary 1, 1987#6 Nebraska30#5 LSU15
54thJanuary 1, 1988#4 Syracuse16#6 Auburn16
55thJanuary 2, 1989#4 Florida State13#7 Auburn7
56thJanuary 1, 1990#2 Miami33#7 Alabama25
57thJanuary 1, 1991#6 Tennessee23Virginia22
58thJanuary 1, 1992#18 Notre Dame39#3 Florida28
59th+January 1, 1993#2 Alabama34#1 Miami13
60thJanuary 1, 1994#8 Florida41#3 West Virginia7
61stJanuary 2, 1995#7 Florida State23#5 Florida17
62ndDecember 31, 1995#13 Virginia Tech28#9 Texas10
63rd^January 2, 1997#3 Florida52#1 Florida State20
64thJanuary 1, 1998#4 Florida State31#9 Ohio State14
65thJanuary 1, 1999#3 Ohio State24#8 Texas A&M14
66th*January 4, 2000#1 Florida State46#2 Virginia Tech29
67thJanuary 2, 2001#3 Miami37#7 Florida20
68thJanuary 1, 2002#12 LSU47#7 Illinois34
69thJanuary 1, 2003#4 Georgia26#16 Florida State13
70th*January 4, 2004#2 LSU21#1 Oklahoma14
71stJanuary 3, 2005#3 Auburn16#8 Virginia Tech13
72ndJanuary 2, 2006#11 West Virginia38#7 Georgia35
73rdJanuary 3, 2007#4 LSU41#11 Notre Dame14
74thJanuary 1, 2008#5 Georgia41#10 Hawaiʻi10
75thJanuary 2, 2009#6 Utah31#4 Alabama17
76thJanuary 1, 2010#5 Florida51#3 Cincinnati24
77thJanuary 4, 2011#6 Ohio State31#8 Arkansas26
78thJanuary 3, 2012#13 Michigan23#11 Virginia Tech20
79thJanuary 2, 2013#21 Louisville33#3 Florida23
80thJanuary 2, 2014#11 Oklahoma45#3 Alabama31

+ Denotes Bowl Coalition Championship game

^ Denotes Bowl Alliance Championship game

* Denotes BCS National Championship Game

† Played in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia

‡ Ohio State vacated its 31-26 victory over Arkansas due to NCAA sanctions

Most Outstanding Players (Miller-Digby Award)[edit]

Year playedMVPTeamPosition
1948Bobby LayneTexasQB
1949Jack MitchellOklahomaQB
1950Leon HeathOklahomaFB
1951Walt YowarskyKentuckyT
1952Ed ModzelewskiMarylandFB
1953Leon HardemannGeorgia TechHB
1954Pepper RodgersGeorgia TechQB
1955Joe GattusoNavyFB
1956Franklin BrooksGeorgia TechG
1957Del ShofnerBaylorHB
1958Raymond BrownMississippiQB 15
1959Billy CannonLSUHB
1960Bobby FranklinMississippiQB
1961Jake GibbsMississippiQB
1962Mike FracchiaAlabamaFB
1963Glynn GriffinMississippiQB
1964Tim DavisAlabamaK
1965Doug MoreauLSUFL
1966Steve SpurrierFloridaQB
1967Ken StablerAlabamaQB
1968Glenn SmithLSUHB
1969Chuck DicusArkansasFL
1970Archie ManningMississippiQB
1971Bobby ScottTennesseeQB
1972Jack MildrenOklahomaQB
1973Tinker OwensOklahomaFL
1974Tom ClementsNotre DameQB
1975Tony DavisNebraskaFB
1976Richard ToddAlabamaQB
1977Matt CavanaughPittsburghQB
1978Jeff RutledgeAlabamaQB
1979Barry KraussAlabamaLB
1980Major OgilvieAlabamaRB
1981Herschel WalkerGeorgiaRB
1982Dan MarinoPittsburghQB
1983Todd BlackledgePenn StateQB
1984Bo JacksonAuburnRB
1985Craig SundbergNebraskaQB
1986Daryl DickeyTennesseeQB
1987Steve TaylorNebraskaQB
1988Don McPhersonSyracuseQB
1989Sammie SmithFlorida StateRB
1990Craig EricksonMiami (Fla.)QB
1991Andy KellyTennesseeQB
1992Jerome BettisNotre DameFB
1993Derrick LassicAlabamaRB
1994Errict RhettFloridaRB
1995Warrick DunnFlorida StateRB
1996Bryan StillVirginia TechWR
1997Danny WuerffelFloridaQB
1998E. G. GreenFlorida StateWR
1999David BostonOhio StateWR
2000Peter WarrickFlorida StateWR
2001Ken DorseyMiami (Fla.)QB
2002Rohan DaveyLSUQB
2003Musa SmithGeorgiaTB
2004Justin VincentLSURB
2005Jason CampbellAuburnQB
2006Steve SlatonWest VirginiaRB
2007JaMarcus RussellLSUQB
2008Marcus HowardGeorgiaDE
2009Brian JohnsonUtahQB
2010Tim TebowFloridaQB
2011Terrelle PryorOhio StateQB
2012Junior HemingwayMichiganWR
2013Teddy BridgewaterLouisvilleQB
2014Trevor KnightOklahomaQB

† Terrelle Pryor (QB, Ohio State) was ruled ineligible afterwards and his entire record was vacated from the 2010 season. 15 Ray Brown voted the only unanimous MVP in sugar bowl history

Appearances by team[edit]

8Florida State64-2
12Georgia Tech44-0
12Notre Dame42-2
12Ohio State42-2
12Penn State41-3
12Virginia Tech41-3
20West Virginia31-2
22Santa Clara22-0
22Texas A&M21-1
22North Carolina20-2
31Boston College11-0
31Oklahoma State11-0
31Air Force10-1
31Carnegie Tech10-1
31Saint Mary's (CA)10-1


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 2009-2010 season.[12] For 2013, ESPN Deportes introduced a Spanish language telecast of the game.[16]

In November 2012, ESPN announced that it had reached a deal to maintain broadcast rights to the Sugar Bowl through 2026. ESPN will pay $55 million yearly to broadcast the game beginning in the 2014-15 season under the new contract, which will take effect following the conclusion of ESPN's contract with, and subsequent discontinuation of the BCS. ESPN made a similar deal to maintain broadcast rights to the Orange Bowl following the discontinuation of the BCS as well.[17]


  1. ^ a b Temporarily relocated because of damage from Hurricane Katrina
  2. ^ "Sugar Bowl". Retrieved 6 January 2009. 
  3. ^ a b "New Orleans to host Big 12-SEC game". ESPN. 2012-11-07. Retrieved 2012-11-15. 
  4. ^ Murphy, Austin, and Dan Wetzel, "Does It Matter?", Sports Illustrated, 15 November 2010, p. 45.
  5. ^ "Tournament of Roses History". Pasadena Tournament of Roses. Retrieved 5 December 2006. 
  6. ^ "History of the Orange Bowl". FedEx Orange Bowl. Archived from the original on 3 November 2006. Retrieved 5 December 2006. 
  7. ^ "Sugar Bowl History". Allstate Sugar Bowl. Archived from the original on 23 February 2007. Retrieved 5 December 2006. 
  8. ^ Mulé, Marty - A Time For Change: Bobby Grier And The 1956 Sugar Bowl. Black Athlete Sports Network, December 28, 2005
  9. ^ *Zeise, Paul - Bobby Grier broke bowl's color line. The Panthers' Bobby Grier was the first African-American to play in Sugar Bowl Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 07, 2005
  10. ^ Thamel, Pete - Grier Integrated a Game and Earned the World's Respect. New York Times, Published: January 1, 2006.
  11. ^ (,1834709&dq=sugar-bowl+controversy&hl=en)
  12. ^ a b Fox pulls out of bidding for next round of BCS games
  13. ^ = 27 November "Selection Procedures". BCS. Retrieved 2006. 
  14. ^ = 8 July "Ohio State vacating Sugar Bowl win, other 2010 victories". WWL-TV. Retrieved 2011. 
  15. ^ "SEC, Big 12 use bowl game deal to get leverage in BCS playoff - Stewart Mandel -". 2012-05-18. Retrieved 2012-09-11. 
  16. ^ "BCS National Championship and Bowl Games on ESPN Deportes". ESPN. Retrieved 24 December 2012. 
  17. ^ "ESPN Reaches 12-Year College Football Agreement With Orange Bowl". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 16 November 2012. 

External links[edit]