A short history of the Sugar Bowl (1/3/12)

There are a few interesting notes to the 78th Annual Sugar Bowl tonight between Michigan and Virginia Tech. First off, no team from the SEC is playing in it — which is only the sixth time since World War II that no team from the SEC has played. Second, it features two teams that did not even win their conference.

Virginia Tech lost to Clemson in the ACC Title game (Clemson is playing tomorrow in the Orange Bowl) and both Michigan State (lost to Georgia in the Outback Bowl) and Wisconsin (lost to Oregon in the Rose Bowl) finished ahead of the Wolverines in the Big Ten. The fact that two SEC teams are playing in next Monday night’s BCS National Championship Game have really messed with the Sugar Bowl.

This will be only the second appearance for Michigan — the last time was a 9-7 loss against Auburn in 1984 — and the fourth appearance for Virginia Tech.

The Sugar Bowl was first played in 1935 and is tied for the second oldest bowl game behind the Rose Bowl — both the Orange Bowl and the Sun Bowl were also started in 1935. The Sugar Bowl got its name from the fact that it was played at Tulane Stadium, which was located on the former site of Paul Foucher’s Plantation — which was where granulated sugar was formed from cane syrup.

The Sugar Bowl has been sponsored by USF&G Financial Services, Nokia, and is currently sponsored by AllState Insurance. It was played at Tulane Stadium from 1935-1974 and then moved to the Superdome in 1975. It was played at the Georgia Dome in 2006 due to the damage done to the Superdome in Hurricane Katrina.

Alabama and LSU have made the most appearances at the Sugar Bowl — both with 13. Georgia comes in next with nine appearances followed by Ole Miss and Florida with eight appearances each. Georgia Tech is a perfect 4-0 in Sugar Bowl appearances — the only team that has a perfect record who has appeared in three or more Sugar Bowls.

 

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