Who plays in the Sugar Bowl this year? Teams, date, schedule for 2020 CFP semifinal game

The Sugar Bowl is back in New Orleans for its 87th annual iteration, although this one will be a bit different than all the rest.

For the less obvious reason, the Sugar Bowl is one of the College Football Playoff’s national semifinal sites on Jan. 1, 2021, along with the Rose Bowl. The usual SEC affiliation of the Sugar Bowl should work out just fine to feature Alabama against one of Notre Dame, Clemson or Ohio State. Then, of course, there’s the matter of 3,000 people spread out across the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

If Alabama is indeed the choice to play in this year’s Sugar Bowl, it’ll extend the Crimson Tide’s record number of appearances in the game. Alabama has featured in the Sugar Bowl 16 times, winning nine of those contests. 

Here, you’ll find the info you need to know about watching the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, 2021, along with what to expect from the teams chosen by the CFP committee to play in the game. 

When is the Sugar Bowl 2021?

  • Date: Jan. 1
  • Time: 8:45 p.m. ET
  • TV broadcast: ESPN
  • Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana.

The 2021 Sugar Bowl is one of two bowl games serving as the national semifinals in the College Football Playoff, and it’s the second to kick off on Friday, Jan. 1. The winner of this year’s Sugar Bowl advances to the national championship game, where it’ll face off with the winner of the Rose Bowl, which kicks off at 5 p.m. ET on Jan. 1.

Who plays in the Sugar Bowl 2021?

The final College Football Playoff rankings release of the season takes place on Dec. 20 at noon ET. That’s when the participants in the 2021 Sugar Bowl will be announced. 

Sugar Bowl projections

The Sugar Bowl will feature one of the College Football Playoff national semifinal matchups. The four favorites to advance to the College Football Playoff are Alabama, Notre Dame, Clemson and Ohio State. 

Sporting News’ Bill Bender projects that the Sugar Bowl will feature Alabama vs. Notre Dame, a matchup of two of college football’s most-storied programs. It’s also possible that either Ohio State or Clemson is placed in the Sugar Bowl instead.

It’s unlikely a team outside the top-four will slide into the College Football Playoff, with Texas A&M presenting a possibility.

Sugar Bowl odds

Sporting News will have Sugar Bowl odds when they become available.

Where is Sugar Bowl being played in 2021?

The Sugar Bowl is being played in its usual city of New Orleans, Louisiana, which first hosted the game in 1935. It was originally played at Tulane Stadium before being moved to the Superdome. 

There will be a limited number of fans allowed at the 2021 Sugar Bowl, with masks required at all times other than eating and drinking. The total fans allowed in will be 3,000. That’s 3,000 more than the other semifinal, as the Rose Bowl won’t have any fans.

New Year’s Six Bowl schedule 2021

All of this year’s New Year’s Six Bowl games are televised on ESPN.

Date Bowl Matchup Time (ET)
Dec. 30 Cotton Bowl TBD 7:15 p.m.
Jan. 1 Peach Bowl TBD 12:30 p.m.
Jan. 1 Rose Bowl TBD 5:00 p.m.
Jan. 1 Sugar Bowl TBD 8:45 p.m.
Jan. 2 Fiesta Bowl TBD 4:00 p.m.
Jan. 2 Orange Bowl TBD 8:00 p.m.

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