Latest Team Rankings
Free Rivals Alerts
|College Teams||High Schools|
December 27, 2013
Alabama, Sugar Bowl have long history
NEW ORLEANS | The University of Alabama football program has a long, rich history with the Sugar Bowl.
The last time the Crimson Tide played in the Superdome, it held the crystal ball.
"Well, you know, the Superdome has been a special place for me personally, as well as there's a great history of Alabama football and the Sugar Bowl and most recently that's all sort of occurred in the Superdome," UA coach Nick Saban said Friday afternoon at his Sugar Bowl press conference. "I think it's a special place for us. It's a special venue for us. I think we all look forward to it. Obviously, when you play quality opponents here in big games, that makes it even more special. I think our players really look forward to it."
Saban has claimed two national championships in the venue (2003 with LSU and 2011 with Alabama) and two of the Crimson Tide's last four national titles have come in the Superdome (1992, 2011).
But, with all respect to the city of New Orleans, the Sugar Bowl isn't where UA hoped its season would conclude.
How it responds to that reality, Saban said, will likely determine the outcome of the game.
"Teams that are the most motivated play the best in bowl games," Saban said. "I would 100 percent agree with that. I think that the way your team approaches a bowl game and the pride that they have in performance and understand the importance of, our senior class has had a lot of success here. I think as a team we need to come together for them and their opportunity that they have to finish their career the right way."
That's been a big motivational factor during practice. The senior class, which won two national championships and a Southeastern Conference title (three national and two SEC titles if you count the fifth-year seniors from the 2009 team), helped lay the groundwork for what the Alabama football program has become. They want to go out on top.
"We all came in together," wide receiver Kevin Norwood said. "We've all done a lot of things together, worked hard for everything we've done. We just want to finish strong, just go out with a bang."
Norwood's class, which also includes fifth-year seniors AJ McCarron and Kenny Bell among others, has a five-year record of 60-6. Fourth-year seniors such as linebacker C.J. Mosley have compiled a 46-6 career record.
"That's been one of the main focuses," Mosley said. "You always want to play for something, and for us it's about pride and the seniors leaving this football, leaving this university the right way, and that's with a win."
This year's game marks the 14th time Alabama's played in the Sugar Bowl, the most all-time in the bowl's history and the Crimson Tide's most frequented bowl game.
"It's great for us to be back in New Orleans," Saban said.
Reach Aaron Suttles at email@example.com or at 205-722-0229.