This will be Alabama’s third straight BCS bowl appearance and fifth in six years under Nick Saban.
“Every bowl game is an opportunity for your team to sort of prove who they are,” Saban said during a Sugar Bowl conference call with reporters Sunday night. “Certainly a game that you want to play for your seniors, who in our particular circumstance have had a great career and have done a great job for us. Even though there’s some disappoint in terms of how we finished our season this year, we’re not disappointed at all in the opportunity we have to play in the Sugar Bowl and play against a great team.”
Alabama (11-1) finished the regular season ranked third in the BCS standings, while Oklahoma (10-2) was 11th. The Sooners finished third in the Big 12 Conference.
The Tide and Sooners last met in 2003, a 20-13 Oklahoma victory at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The two met in the 1970 Bluebonnet Bowl, which ended in a 24-24 tie. Oklahoma leads the series 2-1-1.
“I know Alabama and the Sugar Bowl have a rich tradition together, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to play such a tremendous program like the University of Oklahoma,” Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron said. “The Sugar Bowl gives us a chance to play our final game together on one of the grandest stages college football has to offer.”
It is the Tide’s first trip to the Sugar Bowl (non-BCS championship game) since 2008 when Alabama fell to Utah 31-17. The last time Alabama played in the Superdome was January 2012 when the Tide defeated LSU 21-0 in the national championship game.
“It is going to be exciting for us to go to New Orleans and play in another BCS bowl game,” Tide senior linebacker C.J. Mosley said. “I grew up in Mobile so it will be great to play my final game at Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, so close to my friends and family. That being said, we are going there to win a football game and that has to be our mindset. I know we are looking forward to the challenge.”