Jacksonville Sports Day

No. 5 Georgia and No. 7 Baylor to Meet in Allstate Sugar Bowl

NEW ORLEANS – No. 5 Georgia, from the Southeastern Conference, and No. 7 Baylor, from the Big 12 Conference, will be featured in the 86th annual Allstate Sugar Bowl on Wednesday, January 1, 2020, in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

This is the fourth match-up of teams from the SEC and the Big 12 since an agreement was signed by the Allstate Sugar Bowl and the two elite conferences.

The Sugar Bowl will host the top available teams from those conferences five times in the next seven years – in the other two seasons (2020 and 2023), the Sugar Bowl will serve as a College Football Playoff Semifinal. The agreement runs through the 2025 season.

“The Allstate Sugar Bowl is honored and excited to host two of the best teams in the country,” said Monique Morial, the President of the Sugar Bowl Committee. “For 85 years, the Sugar Bowl has built a tradition of hosting great college football action, and thanks to the SEC and the Big 12 we have the chance to build on that this year. This match-up between the Bulldogs and the Bears not only represents great football but also great fun.”

The Allstate Sugar Bowl is the designated destination for the champions of both the SEC and the Big 12. However, with SEC Champion LSU and Big 12 Champion Oklahoma both qualifying for the College Football Playoff (CFP) based on their top-four national rankings, replacement teams were designated by both conferences. The SEC assigned Georgia (11-2, 7-1 SEC) as the Bulldogs own the SEC’s second-highest CFP ranking while Baylor (11-2, 8-1 Big 12) is the Big 12’s designee as the conference runner-up.

“This Sugar Bowl match-up is ideal for the Bowl and for New Orleans,” said Sugar Bowl CEO Jeff Hundley. “Not only do we get to welcome two top-seven teams, we get to renew an old friendship with Georgia, who was just here last year, and start a new one with Baylor as the Bears make their first Sugar Bowl trip in over 60 years. It’s going to be a special week for everyone involved.”

This will be the fifth all-time meeting between Georgia and Baylor – the Bulldogs won all four meetings by an average of just 6.8 points and all four were played in Athens. The teams’ first match-up was a 24-14 decision in 1972 while the last meeting was a 15-3 Georgia win in 1989. The Bulldogs also won 16-14 in 1978 and 17-14 in 1985.

This will be the 15th Sugar Bowl meeting between teams that now make up the Big 12 and SEC. The first meeting came in the second Sugar Bowl in 1936 when TCU and Hall-of-Famer Sammy Baugh held off LSU and its own Hall-of-Fame quarterback Abe Mickal, 3-2, in a quagmire. Those teams split national championship recognition that season. The last Big 12-SEC meeting in the Sugar Bowl was the 2019 game when Texas posted a 28-21 victory over Georgia. The Big 12 holds a 9-5 advantage entering this year’s game.

Georgia will be making its 11th Sugar Bowl appearance and is the 20th team to make back-to-back appearances in the game – the Bulldogs played in three straight Sugar Bowls from 1981-83. Georgia has a 4-6 all-time mark, including a 1981 victory over Notre Dame which capped an undefeated national championship season for head coach Vince Dooley’s squad. Baylor will be making its second Sugar Bowl appearance – the Bears upended Tennessee in the 1957 Sugar Bowl as Baylor legend Del Shofner earned Most Outstanding Player recognition.

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart is making his second Sugar Bowl trip as a head coach while Baylor’s Matt Rhule will become the 98th different coach to lead a team to the game.

Schools that are currently in the SEC have registered an all-time mark of 36-43-1 (.456) in the Sugar Bowl, while this will be the 23rd appearance in the game by a current member of the Big 12, with an overall record of 14-8 (.636).

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