The Allstate Sugar Bowl is set for a showdown for the ages between two blue blood programs, Texas football and the Georgia Bulldogs.
The stakes are very high for both Texas football and the Georgia Bulldogs in what will be the final postseason game before the College Football Playoff National Championship Game. The Allstate Sugar Bowl between Texas football and Georgia is the final kick-off of a loaded bowl slate for New Years Day, as it’s set for 7:45 p.m. CT at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA.
Moreover, the home of the New Orleans Saints will be the site of one of the most intriguing bowl games of the entire 2018-19 postseason. Outside of the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, set for Jan. 7 between the Alabama Crimson Tide and Clemson Tigers, the Sugar Bowl could wind up as one of the most impactful and entertaining New Year’s Six Bowl games.
What’s mainly on the line for Texas football in the Sugar Bowl is notching another marquee victory this year and reaching the mark of double-digit wins for the first time since 2009. For Georgia, this game is mainly about following up on a disappointing end to the SEC Championship Game loss to Alabama by proving that the Selection Committee should’ve included them in the four-team field.
A loss for Georgia in the Sugar Bowl would also be a significant step back heading into the off-season for the Dawgs compared to what the team was able to do under head coach Kirby Smart last season. Last year, Georgia was just one play away from claiming a national title victory over conference rival Alabama. Losses to Alabama and the LSU Tigers leading up to the postseason placed the Dawgs on the outside looking in for the Playoff-field.
The difference between what’s on the line for the Texas Longhorns and Georgia in this game is largely thanks to the progress of each program. Smart has the Dawgs on track to be a prominent national title contender year in and year out already. The way Georgia is recruiting and the fact that it already got into the Playoff recently shows that the program is a few years ahead of the Horns.
Meanwhile, head Texas football coach Tom Herman is in just his second year of the rebuilding project he took over after Charlie Strong departed. He went from a decent first year that saw him win seven games and the Texas Bowl over the Mizzou Tigers to nine wins this season, and a chance for 10 in the Sugar Bowl.
Texas has a lot of key pieces returning to the Forty Acres next year too. Sophomore quarterback Sam Ehlinger should be a bona fide Heisman contender next season from the progress he showed during the 2018 campaign. Texas also brings back a lot of talent on both sides of the ball for 2019 along with Ehlinger.
The expectations for the Texas football program will really jump sky-high next season with what Herman has done so far. But, regardless of what happens in the Sugar Bowl against the Dawgs on New Years Day 2019, Herman had a successful year by all considerations.
This is also a great way for the Horns to send out the senior class, after a few years of disappointing results under Herman and Strong. Texas made its way back into the top 10 for both polls over a significant portion of the regular season, made an appearance in the Big 12 Championship Game, and is representing in the conference in a New Year’s Six Bowl game.
Georgia is a pretty large favorite over the Horns in the Sugar Bowl. This is the first time that Texas is a double-digit underdog this season. The motivation to reach double-digit wins and prove the pundits and doubters wrong for this game would be the best way that this 2018 campaign could round out for the Horns.