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Sugar Bowl Picks: Alabama Crimson Tide vs Kansas State

The RBR staff predicts the final score.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 01 Sugar Bowl - CFP Semifinal - Alabama v Clemson
Alabama won their last Sugar Bowl against Clemson 24-6 in a 2018 semifinal game.
Photo by Scott Donaldson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images


Alabama football has had a love/hate relationship with the Sugar Bowl.

Date Played Winning team Losing team
January 1, 1945 #11 Duke 29 Alabama 26 Many players were off at war
January 1, 1948 #5 Texas 27 #6 Alabama 7 Red Drew's first season
January 1, 1962 #1 Alabama 10 #9 Arkansas 3 Bryant's first National Championship
January 1, 1964 #8 Alabama 12 #7 Ole Miss 7 Finished #8/9
January 2, 1967 #6 Alabama 34 #3 Nebraska 7 National Champs with Ken Stabler
December 31, 1973 #3 Notre Dame 24 #1 Alabama 23
Bryant's only Sugar Bowl loss
December 31, 1975 #3 Alabama 13 #7 Penn State 6 Controversial #2 ranking.
January 2, 1978 #3 Alabama 35 #9 Ohio State 6 Controversial #2 ranking.
January 1, 1979 #2 Alabama 14 #1 Penn State 7 National Champ with the goal line stand
January 1, 1980 #2 Alabama 24 #6 Arkansas 9 National Championship with Major Ogilvie
January 1, 1990 #2 Miami-FL 33 #7 Alabama 25
The final brick through the window
January 1, 1993 #2 Alabama 34 #1 Miami-FL 13 George Teague ran down Lamar Thomas
January 2, 2009 #7 Utah 31 #4 Alabama 17 Letdown game
January 2, 2014 #10 Oklahoma 45 #3 Alabama 31 Another letdown
January 1, 2015 #5 Ohio State 42 #1 Alabama 35 CFP semifinal game, God bless Blake Sims
January 1, 2018 #4 Alabama 24 #1 Clemson 6 CFP semifinal game with Jalen Hurts

Paul W. “Bear” Bryant loved the SuperDome but Nick Saban has had his struggles. The Tide’s current head coach finally got over that hump in the 2017-18 game. Saban may be familiar with New Orleans, but it will be the first trip to the Big Easy for anyone on the roster and all but Pete Golding on the coaching staff.

There used to be a time that Alabama fans would relish any opportunity to traverse down to the Nawlins for some jambalaya from the Gumbo Shop, Po-Boys from Johnny’s, Hurricanes at Pat O’Brien’s, and beignets from Café Du Monde. Sadly, we have been spoiled by the conquests of Joyless Murderball and have become entitled LPs that can’t be bothered by a “consolation bowl”. I fear that it will be a poor fan turnout for the crimson and white this year.


Alabama is an uber-talented underachieving bunch who has derped their way out of the College Football Playoff. The real question is what version of the Tide will we see on Saturday? There are renditions such as the 2008 and 2014 groups who blew the Iron Bowl and looked like they had no interest in being in the Sugar Bowl against Utah and Oklahoma respectively. And then there are those like the 2010 and 2019 squads who came in pisst off and focused and proceeded to rip Michigan State and Michigan new ones, both in Orlando. To hear Saban talk about it, the Crimson Tide practices have gone well. He has spoken of the “attitude” and “intensity” of practices on several occasions.

Kansas State is a tough pesky team that has the motivation that most Tide opponents have and that is to knock off the “Kings of College Football”. Will the Wildcats field a team of Stephen Garcias on Saturday? Expect their best effort led by speedy 5’6” Deuce Vaughn who ran for 1,425 yards this season. The Wildcats are third in the nation in turnover margin at +14. They don’t make a lot of mistakes.


One good thing about the Transfer Portal is that before bowl season begins, teams can rid themselves of players who probably will not be giving 100%. Saban has performed yet another miracle by not having a single opt-out - including the two players that very well could go 1-2 in next spring’s NFL Draft. As mentioned before, the Tide is reportedly focused and primed for this game.

The Wildcats also have no opt-outs, and why would they? What college player is going to give up perhaps their only chance ever to suit up against the greatest coach and greatest college football program of all time?


The very first odds posted by DraftKings opened with Alabama as a 5.5 point favorite. With rumors of Young, Anderson, and others possibly not playing, the line dropped as low as -3. Then after the announcements of no opt-outs, it rose back to -6 and now sits at -6.5. The Over/Under has moved a few ticks here and there and currently resides at 56.

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See for details.


Josh: BAMA 38 K-State 17 - Cover, Under

Roger: BAMA 42 K-State 17 - Cover, Over

Erik: BAMA 31 K-State 23 - Cover, Under

Brent: K-STATE 31 Bama 24 - No Cover, Under

CB: BAMA 34 K-State 31 - No Cover, Over



This poll is closed

  • 79%
    Alabama by more than 6.5
    (550 votes)
  • 10%
    Alabama by less than 6.5
    (76 votes)
  • 6%
    K-State by less than 6.5
    (48 votes)
  • 3%
    K-State by more than 6.5
    (22 votes)
696 votes total Vote Now


Over or Under 56 points?

This poll is closed

  • 61%
    (311 votes)
  • 36%
    (182 votes)
  • 1%
    Push (56 exactly)
    (10 votes)
503 votes total Vote Now

What say you? Give us your score predictions in Comments.