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20 years of bowls, LSU upper tier in SEC

December 17, 2018
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Twenty years ago, the BCS format began for college football. The BCS system remained in place through the 2013 season. The College Football Playoff system started in 2014.

During the BCS period, there were four upper-tier bowl games – Fiesta, Orange, Rose and Sugar. When the CFP format went into place, there were six upper-tier bowl games – Cotton, Fiesta, Orange, Peach, Rose and Sugar.

Beginning with the 1998 bowl season, Alabama has appeared in the most upper-tier bowl games among SEC teams. The Crimson Tide has participated in 13 games – all but one with Nick Saban as coach. Florida is second with seven. LSU. Auburn and Georgia have been in five upper-tier bowls.

All of those teams except for Auburn will be in a New Year’s Six Bowl game this season. Alabama will play Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl, Florida will play Michigan in the Peach Bowl, LSU will play Central Florida in the Fiesta Bowl and Georgia will play Texas in the Sugar Bowl.

When all bowls are included, Georgia has participated in the most among SEC teams with 21. The Bulldogs were in two upper-tier bowls in 2017 – beating Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl and losing to Alabama in the national title game.

Alabama has been in 20 total bowl games, while both LSU and Florida have played in 18. Auburn is next with 16. So, over the past 20 years, these have been the top five football programs in the SEC. Thanks to Saban’s success, the Crimson Tide is No. 1 – ahead of the other four schools.

 

Here is a breakdown of bowl appearances by SEC schools from 1998-2018. The schools are listed according to upper-tier bowl games.

ALABAMA

Upper-tier bowl appearances: 13 (8-5)

1999: lost to Michigan in the Orange Bowl

2008: lost to Utah in the Sugar Bowl

2009: beat Texas in the national title game

2011: beat LSU in the national title game

2012: beat Notre Dame in the national title game

2013: lost to Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl

2014: lost to Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl (semifinal game)

2015: beat Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl (semifinal game)

2015: beat Clemson in the national title game

2016: beat Washington in the Peach Bowl (semifinal game)

2016: lost to Clemson in the national title game

2017: beat Clemson in the Sugar Bowl (semifinal game)

2017: beat Georgia in the national title game

Total bowl appearances: 20 (12-8)

NOTE: Alabama will play Oklahoma in this season’s Orange Bowl, a semifinal game.

 

FLORIDA

Upper-tier bowl appearances: 7 (5-2)

1998: beat Syracuse in the Orange Bowl

2000: lost to Miami in the Sugar Bowl

2001: beat Maryland in the Orange Bowl

2006: beat Ohio State in the national title game

2008: beat Oklahoma in the national title game

2009: beat Cincinnati in the Sugar Bowl

2012: lost to Louisville in the Sugar Bowl

Total bowl appearances: 18 (10-8)

NOTE: Florida will play Michigan in this season’s Peach Bowl.

 

LSU

Upper-tier bowl appearances: 5 (4-1)

2001: beat Illinois in the Sugar Bowl

2003: beat Oklahoma in the national title game

2006: beat Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl

2007: beat Ohio State in the national title game

2011: lost to Alabama in the national title game

Total bowl appearances: 18 (11-7)

NOTE: LSU will play Central Florida in this season’s Fiesta Bowl.

 

GEORGIA

Upper-tier bowl appearances: 5 (3-2)

2002: beat Florida State in the Sugar Bowl

2005: lost to West Virginia in the Sugar Bowl

2007: beat Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl

2017: beat Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl (semifinal game)

2017: lost to Alabama in the national title game

Total bowl appearances: 21 (15-6)

NOTE: Georgia will play Texas in this season’s Sugar Bowl.

 

AUBURN

Upper-tier bowl appearances: 5 (2-3)

2004: beat Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl

2010: beat Oregon in the national title game

2013: lost to Florida State in the national title game

2016: lost to Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl

2017: lost to Central Florida in the Peach Bowl

Total bowl appearances: 16 (9-7)

NOTE: Auburn will play Purdue in this season’s Music City Bowl.

 

OLE MISS

Upper-tier bowl appearances: 2 (1-1)

2014: lost to TCU in the Peach Bowl

2015: beat Oklahoma State in the Sugar Bowl

Total bowl appearances: 11 (9-2)

NOTE: Ole Miss was ineligible for a bowl this season as part of NCAA sanctions.

TENNESSEE

Upper-tier bowl appearances: 2 (1-1)

1998: beat Florida State in the national title game

1999: lost to Nebraska in the Fiesta Bowl

Total bowl appearances: 14 (7-7)

NOTE: Tennessee did not earn bowl eligibility this season.

 

ARKANSAS

Upper-tier bowl appearances: 1 (0-1)

2010: lost to Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl

Total bowl appearances: 15 (6-9)

NOTE: Arkansas did not earn bowl eligibility this season.

 

MISSISSIPPI STATE

Upper-tier bowl appearances: 1 (0-1)

2014: lost to Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl

Total bowl appearances: 12 (9-3)

NOTE: Mississippi State will play Iowa in this season’s Outback Bowl.

 

KENTUCKY

Upper-tier bowl appearances: 0

Total bowl appearances: 9 (3-6)

NOTE: Kentucky will play Penn State in this season’s Citrus Bowl.

MISSOURI (joined SEC in 2012)

Upper-tier bowl appearances: 0

Total bowl appearances: 3 (2-1)

NOTE: Missouri will play Oklahoma State in this season’s Liberty Bowl.

 

SOUTH CAROLINA

Upper-tier bowl appearances: 0

Total bowl appearances: 13 (8-5)

NOTE: South Carolina will play Virginia in this season’s Belk Bowl.

TEXAS A&M (joined SEC in 2012)

Upper-tier bowl appearances: 0

Total bowl appearances: 6 (3-3)

NOTE: Texas A&M will play North Carolina State in this season’s TaxSlayer Bowl.

 

VANDERBILT

Upper-tier bowl appearances: 0

Total bowl appearances: 5 (3-2)

NOTE: Vanderbilt will play Baylor this season’s Texas Bowl.

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