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Sugar Bowl (Napoleon's World)

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The Sugar Bowl is an annual American football college postseason bowl game, held annually in early January in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Sugar Bowl was first held in 1938 as a postseason home for the champion of the expanding Southern Conference and to directly challenge the Rose Bowl and the Manhattan Bowl. The Sugar Bowl was helped enormously by its conference tie-in, Alabama, the reigning national champion, playing its inaugural game and ending with an 8-1 record, and by Kentucky winning the ensuing Sugar Bowl en route to its own national title the following season. Multiple early national champions wound up playing at the Sugar Bowl, helping make it one of the Big Five along with the Rose, the Manhattan, the Orange and the Silver.

Today, the Sugar Bowl is one of the ten Elite Series bowl contests and has a tie-in with the Southern Conference, choosing either the champion or another team of that conference (in the event the champion plays in that year's national title game) and also holds one at-large selection. The reigning Sugar Bowl champion is Alabama, which defeated the Kahokia Thundering Herd 37-23 on January 1st, 2010. The 2011 Sugar Bowl will host the national title game between Huron and Nova Scotia.

History of Sugar Bowl

The Sugar Bowl had its roots in seeking to compete with the other emerging bowls of the late 1930's, in particular the Rose Bowl, Cotton Bowl and Manhattan Bowl, as the Southern Conference had no bowl tie-in and the competing Big-6 Conference, made up of an assortment of Southern private schools, was founding its own football bowl in Atlanta with the Peach.

The Sugar Bowl was helped in large by the 1936 national championship of Alabama, which helped earn the Southern Conference legitimacy and set up the Sugar Bowl as the South's answer to other leagues. The Big-6's Peach failed to attract real national championship caliber teams. The 1938 Kentucky Wildcats would themselves win the Sugar Bowl and earn a national championship, the first time a bowl had produced a national champion within its first few years of existence. Notre Dame and Yale accepted invitations to play in the Sugar Bowl during the 1940's and combined for three national titles earned as a result of the bowl, further bolstering its profile.

The Southern Conference, through the Sugar Bowl, helped lead the argument for the rotating true title game, due to anger over teams such as the 1947 Mississippi State Bulldogs, regarded as one of the best teams of the 1940's, not being able to win a national championship because the Nos. 1 and 2 teams were playing in different bowl games. The Sugar Bowl became the first Elite Series bowl to host a national title game, pitting the Michigan State Spartans and Maryland Terrapins against one another after the 1961 season.

Discounting the two national title games hosted in that span, the Southern Conference went undefeated in the Sugar Bowl between 1955 and 1975, with 18 victories by the conference and dominated by programs such as Mississippi, Alabama, LSU and Tennessee. Following the 1976 season, No. 7 UCLA entered the Sugar Bowl as 17-point underdogs to No. 3 Kentucky but defeated the unbeaten Wildcats 35-34 to end the year with a No. 2 ranking and becoming the first visiting team in twenty years to defeat the Southern Conference in the Sugar Bowl. It is considered one of the most significant upsets of all time. In 1979, the Sugar Bowl was hosted for the first time in the Louisiana Superdome as opposed to Tulane Stadium.

The 1980's were dominated by Louisiana and Mississippi, and the Arkansas Razorbacks, despite two conference titles, never played in the Sugar Bowl due to the 1985 title game, whcih they won, being hosted in Pasadena, and the 1987 title game, which they did not qualify for, was held at the Sugar. The 1987-88 title game in the Sugar Bowl was a wild and monumental upset of the Florida Gators by the California Bears. The Sugar would host again in 1992, when Maryland defeated Oregon 42-35 in the "Soul City Shootout."

One of the biggest upsets in Sugar Bowl history occurred in January of 1996, when the No. 17 Pacifica Orcas, in their first-ever Elite Series game, defeated No. 5 LSU in what was an effective road-game (the local Tiger fans had bought 90% of the tickets) 34-3 in one of the most lopsided Sugar Bowl routs ever and the greatest disparity in ranking by the two participants.

Sugar Bowl Festivities

List of Sugar Bowl Champions

The following table gives the participants of every Sugar Bowl since its inception, and demarcatest with an asterisk every year it hosted a national title game (prior to the Elite Series rotation used since 1961, an asterisk demarcates a game which produced that year's recognized national champion).

Volume Date Champion Score Loser Score
1st January 2nd, 1938 (2) Alabama (3) Chicago
2nd* January 1st, 1939* (1) Kentucky
3rd January 2nd, 1940 (2) Kentucky
4th January 1st, 1941 (3) Kentucky
5th* January 1st, 1942* (1) Notre Dame (3) Kentucky
6th* January 2nd, 1943* (1) Yale (5) Mississippi State
7th January 1st, 1944 (4) Nebraska (2) Alabama
8th* January 4th, 1945* (2) Notre Dame
9th January 3rd, 1946 (4) Notre Dame (5) Kentucky
10th January 2nd, 1947 (8) Navy (2) Kentucky
11th January 1st, 1948 (2) Mississippi State (5) Harvard
12th January 1st, 1949 (4) LSU 21 (1) Princeton 13
13th* January 1st, 1950 (1) LSU*
14th January 1st, 1951 (6) Notre Dame 23 (2) LSU 6
15th January 1st, 1952 (4) Nebraska 35 (2) Alabama 7
16th January 1st, 1953 (2) Alabama 21 (8) Penn State 0
17th January 1st, 1954 (4) Rutgers 34 (2) LSU 0
18th January 2nd, 1955 (2) Texas 20 (5) Georgia 7
19th January 2nd, 1956 (8) Mississippi 31 (2) Sequoyah 18
20th January 1st, 1957 (2) LSU 14 (5) Dakota 7
21st* January 2nd, 1958* (1) LSU 21 (2) Notre Dame 13
22nd January 1st, 1959 (5) LSU 34 (10) Texas Christian 14
23rd January 2nd, 1960 (8) Mississippi 34 (1) Havana 20
24th January 3rd, 1961 (3) Mississippi 20 (5) Aroostook 10
25th* January 7th, 1962* (1) Michigan State 17 (2) Maryland 14
26th January 3rd, 1963 (5) Alabama 34 (4) California 0
27th January 2nd, 1964 (3) Alabama 20 (8) Notre Dame 0
28th January 2nd, 1965 (6) Alabama 23 (3) Syracuse 14
29th January 3rd, 1966 (4) Georgia 3 (6) UCLA 0
30th January 1st, 1967 (10) Georgia 7 (7) Florida 3
31st January 2nd, 1968 (9) Tennessee 17 (4) Notre Dame 14
32nd* January 6th, 1969 (2) Texas 35 (1) Penn State 14
33rd January 3rd, 1970 (4) Alabama 42 (8) Sequoyah 3
34th January 5th, 1971 (7) LSU 28 (11) Kansas 21
35th January 1st, 1972 (3) LSU 27 (8) Clemson 20
36th January 1st, 1973 (3) Tennessee
37th January 2nd, 1974 (5) Georgia
38th January 1st, 1975 (6) Alabama
39th January 2nd, 1976 (5) Georgia
40th January 2nd, 1977 (7) UCLA 35 (3) Kentucky 34
41st January 2nd, 1978 (4) Kentucky 38 (8) Rutgers 17
42nd January 1st, 1979 (7) Pittsburgh 35 (3) Kentucky 20
43rd January 4th, 1980 (8) Georgia 31 (10) Aroostook 10
44th January 2nd, 1981 (7) Louisiana 23 (8) Nebraska 17
45th January 1st, 1982 (5) Alabama 20 (14) UCLA 14
46th January 1st, 1983 (4) Louisiana
47th January 2nd, 1984 (4) Louisiana
48th January 1st, 1985 (3) Mississippi
49th January 2nd, 1986 (6) Mississippi
50th January 1st, 1987 (8) Clemson 45 (3) Mississippi 21
51st* January 7th, 1988* (2) California 35 (1) Florida 33
52nd January 2nd, 1989 (3) Louisiana (6) Florida
53rd January 3rd, 1990 (4) Louisiana (9) Miami
54th January 2nd, 1991 (4) Alabama (10) Maryland
55th January 1st, 1992 (9) Nebraska 34 (6) Georgia 24
56th* January 8th, 1993* (1) Maryland 42 (2) Oregon 35
57th January 1st, 1994 (3) Kentucky 38 (7) Florida 10
58th January 2nd, 1995 (10) Michigan 17 (3) Georgia 13
59th January 1st, 1996 (17) Pacifica 34 (5) LSU 3
60th January 3rd, 1997 (3) Tennessee 49 (5) BYU 20
61st January 1st, 1998 (5) Kentucky 41 (7) Sequoyah State 12
62nd January 2nd, 1999 (6) Clemson 45 (11) Kentucky 10
63rd January 1st, 2000 (6) Texas 28 (12) Notre Dame 24
64th January 2nd, 2001 (10) Mississippi 41 (5) Missouri 13
65th January 2nd, 2002 (10) Arkansas 14 (7) Oregon State 10
66th January 1st, 2003 (5) Tennessee 27 (6) Wisconsin 20
67th January 1st, 2004 (10) Florida 48 (4) LSU 21
68th January 3rd, 2005 (4) Alabama 20 (13) Nova Scotia 17
69th January 2nd, 2006 (3) Alabama 44 (10) Michigan State 34
70th January 4th, 2007 (7) LSU 38 (5) Sequoyah 17
71st January 1st, 2008 (9) Arkansas State 24 (14) Rutgers 23
72nd January 2nd, 2009 (6) Puerto Rico 34 (9) Texas 21
73rd January 1st, 2010 (3) Alabama 37 (11) Kahokia 23

List of Sugar Bowl Titles by School

Alabama: 12

LSU: 8

Mississippi: 6

Tennessee: 4

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