Sugar Bowl Winners By Year: A Rich History of All-Time Champions [2023 Updated]


The Sugar Bowl was born in 1935 and is the brainchild of New Orleans sportswriter James M. Thomson who yearned for a bowl game to rival the Rose Bowl. It is tied with the Orange Bowl and Sun Bowl as the second-oldest bowl games in the country, right behind the Rose Bowl.

The first-ever Sugar Bowl game took place on January 1, 1935, in New Orleans, Louisiana, between Tulane Green Wave and Temple Owls which was attended by 22,206 spectators. The game was spectacular in and of itself as Temple had a 14-0 lead before Tulane came back and won the game with the final score of 20-14.

2023 Sugar Bowl Game

The 2022-23 Sugar Bowl, formally known as the Allstate Sugar Bowl, was the 89th annual Sugar Bowl game, held on December 31, 2022. The matchup was Kansas State vs. Alabama, which was played at Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The match was attended by over 60k people and was televised on ESPN. The final score was 45-20 with Alabama taking home the gold and BryceYoung (Quarterback) winning the MVP award.

Sugar Bowl Winners By Year

The Sugar Bowl has hosted some of the greatest teams and players in college football history. Here are the Sugar Bowl winners of the past twenty years (2003-23).

YearWinner (Score)Loser (Score)
2003Georgia (26)Florida State (13)
2004LSU (21)Oklahoma (14)
2005Auburn (16)Virginia Tech (13)
2006West Virginia (38)Georgia (35)
2007LSU (41)Notre Dame (14)
2008Georgia (41)Hawaiʻi (10)
2009Utah (31)Alabama (17)
2010Florida (51)Cincinnati (24)
2011Ohio State (31)Arkansas (26)
2012Michigan (23)Virginia Tech (20)
2013Louisville (33)Florida (23)
2014Oklahoma (45)Alabama (31)
2015Ohio State (42)Alabama (35)
2016Ole Miss (48)Oklahoma State (20)
2017Oklahoma (35)Auburn (19)
2018Alabama (24)Clemson (6)
2019Texas (28)Georgia (21)
2020Georgia (26)Baylor (14)
2021Ohio State (49)Clemson (28)
2022Baylor (21)Ole Miss (7)
2023Alabama (45)Kansas (20)

Notable Sugar Bowl Moments

Sugar Bowl Winners List

The Sugar Bowl has been a host of countless iconic moments and unforgettable games throughout its history. Picking the “most notable” can be subjective, but here are some widely recognized ones:

  • 1973 Notre Dame vs. Alabama: Dubbed “The Game of the Century,” this duel of undefeated titans featured a last-minute field goal by Notre Dame to secure a 24-23 victory and the unofficial national championship.
  • 1956 Pitt vs. Georgia Tech: This game marked the Sugar Bowl debut of the first African-American player Bobby Grier, paving the way for greater integration in college football.
  • 1991 Tennessee vs. Virginia: Down 16-0 at halftime, the Volunteers staged a dramatic comeback, scoring 23 uncontested points in the second half to snatch a 23-22 win.
  • 2006 West Virginia vs. Georgia: Facing a 21-0 deficit in the first quarter, the Mountaineers roared back to win 38-35 in a high-scoring thriller.
  • 2003 LSU vs. Oklahoma: Serving as the de facto BCS National Championship, LSU’s 21-14 victory cemented their dominance and shot Nick Saban into national stardom.

Sugar Bowl Records And Statistics

Many records have been set and broken in the Sugar Bowl. Let’s take a look at some of the individual and team accomplishments.

Individual Dominance

  • Most passing yards– Tim Tebow’s 482 yards for Florida in 2010
  • Most rushing yards– Ezekiel Elliott’s 2230 yards for Ohio State in 2015
  • Most tackles– Tied by Terrel Bernard and Tom Cousineau for 20 tackles in total.

Team Excellence

  • Most appearance– Alabama with 17 appearances
  • Most wins– Again, Alabama with 9 wins
  • Largest margins– Oklahoma’s 35-point win over LSU in 1950.

Sugar Bowl Legacy And Impact

Sugar Bowl is more than just a football game, It’s a Mardi Gras of touchdowns, parades, cheers, and a tradition steeped in Southern charm. It’s a celebration of New Orleans’ vibrant culture.

Sugar Bowl has a rich football history from Bear Bryant’s Alabama Crimson Tide dominating the 60s to Archie Manning’s electrifying touchdown runs for Ole Miss, the Sugar Bowl has been a proving ground for greatness.

Prikshit Malik
Prikshit Malik
Prikshit is a die-hard basketball fan who has been following the NBA for over a decade. Though he is a Gen-Zer, he likes to consider himself old-school. He is always trying to come up with better arguments for why Michael Jordan is the GOAT, and he will debate anyone on why Kobe and LeBron are a strong second or third. With a passion for sports and his love of writing, he is always excited to see where his words will take him next.


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