The Sugar Bowl sees two of college football's most historic programs pitted against each other for just the fifth time, as Alabama will play Oklahoma in New Orleans. Television coverage starts at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Alabama is the winner of the last two national title games, and entered the 2013 season as the overwhelming favorite for a third straight championship. After 11 straight wins to start the season, including victories over LSU and Texas A&M, the Tide were just three wins away from completing the dream. Alabama lost the Iron Bowl to Auburn in a frantic finish at the end of regulation, and suddenly find themselves in the Sugar Bowl. The Tide will be without all-SEC offensive guard Anthony Steen, who underwent surgery after the regular season.
Oklahoma took a decidedly different path to this game, and not many people expected the Sooners to be playing in a BCS Bowl after blowout losses to Texas and Baylor and a win over Texas Tech quickly losing its shine. Bob Stoops' team finished the year with three straight wins, including a shocking upset of Oklahoma State, to sneak its way back in to the BCS picture and rob its in-state rivals of the conference title.
Rankings and records: Alabama is ranked No. 3, while Oklahoma is ranked No. 11. The Tide went 11-1 this season, finishing second in the West with a 7-1 conference record. The Sooners are 10-2, finishing second in the Big 12 with a 7-2 record in conference play. Oklahoma holds the all-time series lead, 2-1-1.
Vegas: Alabama is a 15-point favorite. The over/under is 51.5 points.
Weather: Mid 50s outside, perfect dome weather inside.
Three names to know
C.J. Mosley. Quite possibly the best linebacker in the nation, Mosley had 102 tackles, with nine for a loss, seven quarterback hurries and five passes deflected this season.
T.J. Yeldon. The Tide running back is averaging more than six yards per carry and has scored 13 touchdowns. He's a powerful back with great speed, and is one of a multitude of talented playmakers for Alabama.
Blake Bell. The Belldozer isn't the nation's best passer, but he possesses a unique combination of skills that makes him a dangerous player — even though he scored zero touchdowns on the ground this season, he could be called upon in goal-line situations.
Two things at stake
Alabama could further its stronghold on the Sugar Bowl with its record ninth win in the game.
Oklahoma made a BCS Bowl game against the odds, and it will be looking to prove it deserves to be considered among the country's elite teams from this season.
How to witness
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Stadium: Superdome; 72,000 capacity
Tickets: Find available seats here.
Last year's score: Louisville 33, Florida 23
Last year's attendance: 54,178
Last year's TV rating: 6.4 Nielsen
Last year's payout for each school: $17 million per team
Team with the most all-time appearances: Alabama and LSU are currently tied with 13 appearances. This will be Alabama's 14th appearance.
Team with the most all-time wins: Alabama, 8-5