No Surprise: Tide Vs. Utah In Sugar

There was no surprise when the BCS selections were announced Sunday night. Although conspiracy theorists may have made some in Gainesville and Norman nervous, the national championship game is just as expected, Florida vs. Oklahoma in Miami on January 8. And there is no surprise for Alabama, either.

As expected, the loser of the Southeastern Conference Championship Game has a nice consolation prize. Alabama was disappointed to fall to Florida on Saturday night in Atlanta, but on Sunday night the Crimson Tide learned it is going to New Orleans. Bama will take on Utah at 7 p.m. Friday, January 2, in the Louisiana Superdome. Fox Sports will televise the game.

Both teams in the 75th annual Sugar Bowl will come in with 12 victories. Alabama, which was ranked number one for most of the last half of the season, is at 12-1, while Utah is 12-0.

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Big bowl games are old hat for Alabama, but not for current Crimson Tide players. Bama has not been in a BCS bowl game since the 1999 Alabama team lost to Michigan, 35-34, in overtime in the Orange Bowl. It will be the Tide's first Sugar Bowl game since the 1992 team destroyed Miami, 34-13, to win the national championship.

The biggest bowl game current Tide players have been to is the Cotton Bowl when a handful of seniors wee on the squad that defeated Texas Tech, 13-10. The two most recent bowl appearances for Alabama are Independence Bowl outings in Shreveport, a 30-24 win over Colorado last year, a 34-31 loss to Oklahoma State at the end of the 2006 season.

But Alabama is the biggest name in college football bowl games.

Coach Nick Saban's 2008 team will be extending the Bama national record of bowl appearances to 56.

Alabama will also be attempting to extend its national record for bowl victories to 32. Alabama is 31-21-3 in bowl games.

And Alabama will be making its second attempt to post all-time victory number 800. The first attempt came Saturday in the GeorgiaDome and came up short, 31-20, to Florida.

Alabama has an 8-4 record in Sugar Bowl games.

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