Sugar Bowl History

The Sugar Bowl was created in 1935 with two other college bowl games. The first game was played because of the success of the Rose Bowl. The actual idea for the bowl and its name came from James Thompson, publisher of the New Orleans Item and the newspaper’s sports writer. The Sugar Bowl is one of the Bowl Championship Series games and a New Years Day bowl game. As a member of the BCS, the Sugar Bowl hosted the BCS National Championship in both 2000 and 2004. However now that the championship game is a separate event, the Sugar Bowl will never be the site of the game. The game has cycled through a few corporate sponsors including USF&G Financial Services, Nokia, and most recently Allstate Insurance. Even though the Sugar Bowl has been played every year since 1935, there is technically no winner in 2011. That year Ohio State defeated Arkansas but was later forced to vacate the victory due to a memorabilia for cash scandal. Over the game’s history Alabama and LSU are tied for the most total appearances while Alabama has the most Sugar Bowl victories with eight.

Sugar Bowl Participants and Qualification

During the early years of the Sugar Bowl the game would feature a matchup of the South Eastern Conference conference champion against another highly ranked team. After the 1975 year this system was set in stone by giving the SEC victor an automatic bid to the game. If the SEC champion receives a bid to play in the National Championship Game then the Sugar Bowl will select the next highest ranked SEC team to take their place. The SEC has been so good that the conference champion has not played in the Sugar Bowl since 2006 because that team has played in the championship game. If two SEC teams are selected to play in the National Championship game then the Sugar Bowl can chose two at-large teams. Normally the opponent to the SEC team is an at-large team selected from the field. The Sugar Bowl selects its at-large teams after the Rose Bowl has filled both its open slots, and depending on the year, may have to let other BCS bowls select their at-large teams first.

Sugar Bowl Location

During the first four decades of the Sugar Bowl’s existence the game was played in Tulane Stadium at the university’s campus. In 1976 the venue moved to the Louisiana Superdome. In 2006 Hurricane Katrina ravaged the stadium so badly that the event had to be moved to the Georgia Dome, in Atlanta. After that year the game was returned to the newly refurbished Superdome. Although the Sugar Bowl will not host the BCS National Championship the Louisiana Superdome is one of the four stadiums that the championship game cycles through. In addition to hosting the BCS championship game, the Superdome has hosted the NFL’s Super bowl and is the host of the game in 2013.

Sugar Bowl Betting

Since the Sugar Bowl is a BCS bowl, it is a highly gambled upon game every year. When deciding who to wager on there are several things to consider. Since the game is played within the Superdome, the weather is not a factor. The Sugar Bowl usually features a team from the South Eastern Conference so the strength of that conference is normally important. The SEC has been one of, if not the best conference in division one football. The dominance of the SEC means that the conference representative in the Sugar Bowl is often favored to win the game. The SEC has another advantage in the location of the game. Since the Superdome is in Louisiana, many of the SEC teams have a small home field advantage over their opponents.