Clemson and Alabama to Meet in College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl
(December 3, 2017) – Clemson, from the Atlantic Coast Conference, and Alabama, from the Southeastern Conference, will be featured in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Monday, January 1, 2018, in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The game is scheduled to kick off at 7:45 p.m. (Central) and will be televised by ESPN.
This year’s game will mark the second time the Sugar Bowl has hosted a Playoff Semifinal. Following the 2014 season, eventual national champion Ohio State defeated Alabama, 42-35.
While the game is officially sold out, there remain multiple options for fans to purchase ticket through hospitality and travel packages and via secondary market.
The winner of this year’s game, the 84th annual Sugar Bowl Classic, will advance to the College Football Playoff Championship on Monday, January 8, in Atlanta. The other Playoff Semifinal pits No. 2 Oklahoma against No. 3 Georgia and will be played at the Rose Bowl, which kicks off at 3:30 p.m. (Central), also on ESPN.
“We’re very excited to once again host a Playoff Semifinal game here at the Allstate Sugar Bowl,” said Stanley Cohn, the President of the Sugar Bowl Committee. “Once again we have two outstanding teams but this year the stakes are even higher with a berth in the National Championship Game hanging in the balance. Of course, this will be a wonderful opportunity for us to welcome thousands of fans to New Orleans and to show off all it has to offer – world-class cuisine, trend-setting music, outstanding gridiron competition and more. We’re looking forward to hosting the players, coaches, administrators and fans from these two great universities.”
“With the hype and season-long buildup to the Playoff, it’s nice when it finally arrives and you have two great programs in your game,” said CEO Paul Hoolahan. “This year’s Clemson-Alabama matchup will be a great opportunity to host two giants in the game and two of the country’s most passionate fan bases. It’s shaping up to be a great New Year’s in New Orleans.”
Clemson (12-1, 7-1 ACC) was ranked No. 1 by the College Football Playoff (CFP) Selection Committee in last week’s CFP Rankings and it remained at the top following a 38-3 win over No. 7 Miami in the ACC Championship. The champion of the ACC, Clemson will be the 88th conference champion to play in the Sugar Bowl. After being ranked No. 5 in last week’s CFP Rankings, Alabama (11-1, 7-1 SEC) moved up to No. 4 in today’s rankings due to a loss by then-No. 4 Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship game.
Clemson and Alabama have significant history in the first three years of the College Football Playoff (CFP). The two teams played in the last two CFP National Championships – the Crimson Tide held off the Tigers, 45-40, in the title game following the 2015 season, but then Clemson gained revenge with a touchdown in the final seconds of last year’s Championship, winning 35-31.
While Clemson is making just its second appearance in the Sugar Bowl (the first was a 7-0 loss to LSU in the 1959 game), the Crimson Tide will be making a record 16th appearance in the Sugar Bowl; Alabama’s eight wins in the game is also a record. In addition to its 14 previous Sugar Bowl appearances, the Tide was hosted by the Allstate Sugar Bowl for the 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship game, when it upended LSU, 21-0, for its 14th national title. The Crimson Tide also secured national championships with wins in the Sugar Bowl in 1962, 1979, 1980 and 1993.
The New Orleans Mid-Winter Sports Association was founded in 1934 by a group of civic-minded businessman and professionals interested in promoting amateur athletic events for the purpose of bringing visitors to New Orleans during what had traditionally been a slow period for tourism. Now known as the Sugar Bowl Committee, the organization remains a voluntary group whose members serve without remuneration. A full-time staff is retained to assist the Committee in managing its affairs and is headed by CEO Paul Hoolahan and COO Jeff Hundley, who have over 40 years of combined experience running postseason college football games.
Since the first Sugar Bowl on January 1, 1935, the organization has hosted 27 national champion teams, 92 Hall of Fame players, 48 Hall of Fame coaches and 17 Heisman Trophy winners. In addition to football, the Sugar Bowl Committee is involved with various community initiatives through hosting and sponsorships of sporting events, awards and clinics. Through over 50 annual activities, the organization supports and honors nearly 100,000 student-athletes each year, while injecting over $2.5 billion into the local economy in the last decade.