Allstate Sugar Bowl Notes: Kansas State vs. Alabama

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Allstate Sugar Bowl
(Photo: Parker Waters)

89th Annual Allstate Sugar Bowl
December 31, 2022 – Caesars Superdome – New Orleans, La.
No. 5 Alabama vs. No. 9 Kansas State

Pregame Notes

Sweet Appearances
Alabama is making its record 17th Sugar Bowl appearance with a record 10 victories. Meanwhile, Kansas State is making its Sugar Bowl debut, the 51st different school to play in the Classic.

Top Ten
This year’s game marks the 61st time that a pair of top 10 teams (based on AP Poll) have matched up in the Sugar Bowl. The first time was in the 1936 contest when No. 4 TCU topped No. 1 LSU, 3-2. The most recent time was last year’s Allstate Sugar Bowl when No. 7 Baylor upended No. 8 Ole Miss, 21-7.

Double Digit Wins
Alabama recorded its 43rd 10-win season in 2022 – the 15th straight year the Crimson Tide has hit double figures in victories. Meanwhile, Kansas State wrapped up the 11th 10-win season in its history with Big 12 Championship victory. This will be the 35th Sugar Bowl match-up between 10-win teams.

Nice to Meet You
While Alabama and Kansas State have combined to play 2,598 football games in their histories, this will be the first time they have met each other on the gridiron.

The Coaches
This year’s Sugar Bowl head coaches have established themselves to be among the nation’s elite. Among coaches with 10 or more seasons, Alabama’s Nick Saban, in his 16th year at Alabama. ranks No. 2 with an .801 winning percentage (284-69-1) and Kansas State’s Chris Klieman is No. 4 at .761 (102-32). Saban has earned seven FBS national titles (six at Alabama and one at LSU), while Klieman, in his fourth year in Manhattan, won four FCS national championships at North Dakota State. Saban has a 4-3 record in the Sugar Bowl (2-0 at LSU and 1-3 at Alabama) while Klieman will be the 102nd coach to lead a team into the Sugar Bowl.

Champion Wildcats
The Big 12 Champion Kansas State Wildcats will be the 92nd conference champion to play in the Sugar Bowl. Alabama has sent 11 SEC champion team to the Bowl (1962, 1963, 1967, 1973, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1990, 1993 – years listed are the years of the Sugar Bowl).

Alabama will be making its NCAA record 69th overall bowl appearance with an all-time record of 40-25-3. This will be the 24th bowl appearance for Kansas State, including its 11th in the past 13 years. The Wildcats have an all-time bowl mark of 10-13.

The SEC and Big 12 in the Sugar Bowl
This is the sixth match-up of teams from the Big 12 and the SEC since an agreement was signed by the Allstate Sugar Bowl and the two conferences in 2014. Overall, it will be the 17th 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 Big 12 holds a 10-6 advantage entering today’s game.

New Year’s Eve Parties
This will be the sixth Sugar Bowl to be played on New Year’s Eve. The first 38 Sugar Bowls were played on January 1 (or January 2 when January 1 fell on a Sunday). The 39th annual Sugar Bowl, following the 1972 season, was the first of four in a row to be played on December 31. In that first New Year’s Eve match-up, No. 2 Oklahoma defeated No. 5 Penn State, 14-0. In addition to those four, the 62nd annual Sugar Bowl is the only other to be played on New Year’s Eve as Virginia Tech defeated Texas, 28-10, on December 31, 1995.

New Year’s Eve Sugar Bowls
12/31/72: No. 2 Oklahoma def. No. 5 Penn State, 14-0
12/31/73: No. 3 Notre Dame def. No. 1 Alabama, 24-23
12/31/74: No. 8 Nebraska def. No. 18 Florida, 13-10
12/31/75: No. 4 Alabama def. No. 10 Penn State, 13-6
12/31/95: No. 13 Virginia Tech def. No. 9 Texas, 28-10

Breakfast at the Sugar Bowl
This will be the 46th Sugar Bowl to be played during the day versus 43 day games. The last day game for the Sugar Bowl was on January 1, 1988, when No. 4 Syracuse and No. 6 Auburn played to the only tie (16-16) in Sugar Bowl history. Alabama won three straight day-time Sugar Bowls from 1978-80, including the classic 1979 victory over No. 2 Penn State which delivered a national title to Bear Brayant. Bryant also corralled a national championship with the 1980 victory over Arkansas. The last Sugar Bowl to kick off in the morning was the 1977 game which featured Tony Dorsett running for a then-Sugar Bowl record 202 yards in a 27-3 win over Georgia to clinch a national title for the Panthers.

Consensus All-Americans
K-State junior Deuce Vaughn and Alabama junior Will Anderson were both selected as consensus All-Americans for the 2022 season. The pair were also consensus All-Americans for the 2021 season making them the only repeat honorees this year. Consensus All-Americans are determined by most appearances on the All-American teams selected by the following five organizations: the American Football Coaches Association, the Associated Press, the Football Writers Association of America, The Sporting News, and the Walter Camp Foundation.

Louisiana to Alabama
Alabama has two Louisiana high schoolers on its roster. Freshmen wide receivers Kendrick Law and Shazz Preston are both from the Pelican State. Law is a Shreveport product who attended Captain Shreve and Preston is from St. James, La. The latter has Superdome experience as he helped St. James High School to the 2019 LHSAA Class 3A state championship in the ’Dome.

Louisiana to Kansas
There are no Louisiana products on the Kansas State roster. Maybe the most prominent K-State-to-Louisiana connection would be Wildcat legend Darren Sproles. Sproles, a member of the Kansas State Hall of Fame, played for the Wildcats from 2001-04, setting 22 school record, including the all-time rushing mark (4,979). He went on to play for the New Orleans Saints from 2011-13, setting an NFL record for single-season all-purpose yards with 2,696 yards in 2011.

Random Stat History
In the first 88 editions of the Sugar Bowl, the higher-ranked team has posted a 51-36-1 record – however, over the past four decades (since 1980), the lower-ranked teams have kept things even at 21-21-1. This year’s game will be the 10th Sugar Bowl to be played on a Saturday. For what it’s worth, rankings haven’t mattered as the all-time mark on Saturdays is 5-4 between higher- and lower-ranked teams. Despite having played in 16 previous Sugar Bowls, this will be the first Saturday Sugar Bowl for Alabama.

Hall of Fame
The Allstate Sugar Bowl will introduce four legends as the fifth class of the Sugar Bowl Hall of Fame during the pregame of this year’s Classic. The inaugural Hall of Fame class, introduced in 2017, was composed of 16 stars of the annual New Orleans football classic. This year’s class of Hall of Famers includes one of the greatest coaches in the history of the game and three Sugar Bowl MVPs.

Allstate Sugar Bowl Hall of Fame – Class of 2022

Name, School, Sugar Bowl(s)
Bobby Bowden, Florida State, 1989, 95, 97, 98, 2000, 03
Glynn Griffing, Ole Miss, 1963
Bobby Scott, Tennessee, 1971
Peter Warrick, Florida State, 2000

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