NEW ORLEANS — The Allstate Sugar Bowl has been awarded the host site of the post-season football bowl game following the 2014 regular season, featuring the champions of the Southeastern Conference and the Big 12 Conference, conference and bowl officials announced Tuesday.
The awarding of the site to the Allstate Sugar Bowl is a culmination of a process that began shortly after the May 18, 2012 announcement of the game. The game will be played at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, with the first matchup of the SEC and Big 12 teams on Jan. 1, 2015. The agreement is for 12 years. In the event that the bowl is selected as a semifinal game in the new BCS structure, the game would not host the SEC – Big 12 matchup in that year.
The champions of the two conferences will be in the matchup unless one or both are selected to play in the new four-team model to determine the national championship. Should that occur, another deserving team from the conference(s) will be selected for the game.
“New Orleans and the Sugar Bowl are synonymous with post-season college football. For many years, fans have enjoyed the color and pageantry that New Orleans offers,” said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. The Mercedes-Benz Superdome has hosted many Super Bowls, Sugar Bowls and National Championship Games and having teams from the Big 12 and the SEC in a post-season college football game together only adds to this list. “We look forward to competing against the Big 12 as a new championship tradition begins on New Year’s Day.”
“From the moment this game was announced, there has been tremendous excitement associated with the collaboration between these two conferences. That excitement is reflected in the bids received to host this game. There were great cities, attractive destinations, and impressive venues to consider,” commented Big 12 Conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby. Now Big 12 fans can look forward to a New Year’s tradition and coming to New Orleans to support their team. We are thrilled about our long-term association with our SEC colleagues and to be in partnership with the Allstate Sugar Bowl. “
“We’re pleased to have been selected to host this great game. This gives us the chance to extend the Sugar Bowl’s long-standing relationship with the Southeastern Conference and to develop a new relationship with the Big 12 Conference,” said Paul Hoolahan, Chief Executive Officer of the Allstate Sugar Bowl. “The result will be, without a doubt, one of college football’s best bowl games on an annual basis, one that brings tremendous national prestige and millions of dollars in economic impact to our city and state over the New Year’s holiday. We look forward to the tremendous promise this game, and these two great conferences, have to offer.”
“This is a great day for the Sugar Bowl Committee, the city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana. What this means for our city and state is hard to fully explain,” said Jack Laborde, President of the Allstate Sugar Bowl. “With the privilege of hosting this game comes a national spotlight, a position at the top of the college football world and untold tourism dollars. We couldn’t be happier and are grateful for the opportunity.”
During the 14-year history of the Bowl Championship Series the Big 12 and SEC lead the nation with 11 seasons in which each conference has had at least one team ranked in the top four of the final BCS standings. Both conferences share the top spot all-time with 14 teams each that have finished in the top four of the final BCS Standings. The two conferences have combined for 16 appearances in the BCS National Championship Game, with the Big 12 ranking second behind the SEC’s nine appearances with seven trips to the National Championship Game.
The two league champions have met twice in BCS bowl games since 1998, both in BCS National Championship Games. In 2010, Alabama defeated Texas, 37-21, in Pasadena, Cal., and in 2009, Florida defeated Oklahoma, 24-14, in Miami, Fla.