Dec. 7, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide will face the No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015, inside the Mercedes-Benz Supderdome.
The 81st annual Allstate Sugar Bowl will be televised by ESPN and will kick off at 7:30 p.m. (CT). Southeastern Conference champion Alabama (12-1 overall) and Big Ten champion Ohio State (12-1) have met three times in their storied histories, but will be meeting for the first time since Jan. 2, 1995 (Citrus Bowl). The Crimson Tide owns a 3-0 series lead over the Buckeyes with two of the games taking place in the postseason.
The teams first met in the 1978 Sugar Bowl (1977 season) when the Crimson Tide won a 35-6 verdict over the OSU in the Superdome. The squads matched up again to start the 1986 season with Alabama claiming a 16-10 win at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Tide won the last meeting between the two schools at the 1995 Citrus Bowl (1994 season) in Orlando, Fla., by a score of 24-17.
The Crimson Tide will be making a record 15th appearance in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. Alabama owns the Sugar Bowl record with eight wins in the game. The last Sugar Bowl appearance for the Tide was following last season when Alabama took on Oklahoma. The Crimson Tide was also hosted by the Allstate Sugar Bowl for the 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship Game, when the Crimson Tide knocked off LSU, 21-0, for Alabama’s 14th national title. The Crimson Tide also secured national championships with wins in the Sugar Bowl in 1962, 1979, 1980 and 1993.
“We could not be more excited to be going to New Orleans to play in the first College Football Playoff,” said Crimson Tide senior quarterback Blake Sims. “We have made a couple of trips to the Sugar Bowl and it has always been a great experience. That being said, we are going there to win a football game and that has to be our mindset. I know we are looking forward to the challenge.”
The Crimson Tide is making its seventh straight New Year’s Day Bowl appearance and under Saban. The Crimson Tide also played in the 2009 Sugar Bowl (2008 season – a 31-17 loss to Utah), the 2010 BCS National Championship Game (2009 season – a 37-21 victory over Texas), the 2011 Capital One Bowl (2010 season – a 49-7 win over Michigan State), the 2012 BCS National Championship Game (2011 season – a 21-0 victory over LSU), the 2013 BCS National Championship Game (2012 season – a 42-14 victory over Notre Dame) and the 2014 Sugar Bowl (2013 season – a 45-31 loss to Oklahoma).
Alabama will be playing a post-season game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for the 10th time in school history and the Crimson Tide has a 6-3 record in those nine prior contests. Overall, this will be Alabama’s 16th bowl game appearance in the city of New Orleans with the Tide owning an 8-7 record. Alabama also participated in the Sugar Bowl in 1945 (a 29-26 loss to Duke), 1948 (a 27-7 loss to Texas), 1962 (a 10-3 win over Arkansas), 1964 (a 12-7 win over Ole Miss), 1967 (a 34-7 win over Nebraska), 1973 (a 24-23 loss to Notre Dame), 1975 (a 13-6 win over Penn State), 1978 (a 35-6 win over Ohio State), 1979 (a 14-7 win over Penn State), 1980 (a 24-9 win over Arkansas), 1990 (a 33-25 loss to Miami), 1993 (a 34-13 win over Miami), 2009 (a 31-17 loss to Utah), 2012 (a 21-0 win over LSU) and 2014 (a 45-31 loss to Oklahoma).
Alabama has played in more bowl games (62, not counting one vacated appearance and including the upcoming Allstate Sugar Bowl) and earned more bowl wins (34) than any school in college football history. The Crimson Tide has posted a 34-23-3 all-time bowl record. The Crimson Tide is making its eighth consecutive bowl appearance under head coach Nick Saban and the 11th straight overall for the school. Saban is 5-2 in bowl games at Alabama, defeating Notre Dame in the 2013 BCS National Championship Game, defeating LSU in the 2012 BCS National Championship Game, defeating Michigan State in the 2011 Capital One Bowl, defeating Texas in the 2010 BCS National Championship Game and defeating Colorado in the 2007 Independence Bowl. The Tide’s bowl losses under Saban came in the 2009 and 2014 Sugar Bowls.
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