Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game

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Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game
Chick-fil-a college kickoff.PNG
Former logo used form 2008 until 2012
Stadium Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Location Atlanta, Georgia
Previous stadiums Georgia Dome
Operated 2008–present
Payout US$1,900,000 per team
Sponsors
Chick-fil-A (2008–present)
2017 matchup
Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Florida State Seminoles (Sept 2)
Tennessee Volunteers vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (Sept 4)
2018 matchup
Auburn vs. Washington (September 2)

The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game is an annual college football game played on the opening weekend of the NCAA Division I FBS season in Atlanta, Georgia. The event coincides with Labor Day weekend in the United States. From its inception in 2008 until 2016, the game was held in the Georgia Dome. The Georgia Dome's replacement, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, hosts the game starting in 2017.

History[edit]

Organizers intended for the game to become a national spotlight game, on par with the Kickoff Classic held in the Meadowlands from 1983–2002, and the Disneyland Pigskin Classic in the 1990s. In 2008, ESPN's College Gameday broadcast from Downtown Atlanta, while ESPN corporate sponsors and local Atlanta-based companies featured prominent displays at Fanzones in Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Park.[1]

Payout to each team depends on the amount of revenue gained in excess of the Kickoff's $5.5 million budget. In 2008, Clemson and Alabama were both expected to receive more than $2 million.[1]

Series summary[edit]

The first game, known that year as the Chick-fil-A College Kickoff, was played on August 30, 2008, the opening Saturday of the 2008 season. Alabama defeated Clemson 34–10.

Alabama returned to the Chick-fil-A Kickoff for the 2009 game, defeating Virginia Tech to begin the 2009 season.

Auburn and UCLA were initially slated to play in 2010, but Auburn officials later backed out of the offer. ABC attempted to replace Auburn with Georgia Tech, but the switch prompted UCLA to opt out entirely because the game would essentially be a home game for the Atlanta-based Yellow Jackets, with no scheduled return trip to Los Angeles.[2][3] Finally, an agreement was reached in which LSU and North Carolina would match up. The 2010 game also saw the introduction of a trophy awarded to the winner, the Old Leather Helmet.[4]

The 2011 edition was the first Chick-fil-A Kickoff to feature a team that was not a member of the ACC or SEC, the two conferences with tie-ins to the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Boise State of the Mountain West Conference, one of the most successful programs from a non-BCS automatic qualifier conference in recent years, defeated Georgia 35–21.

The Chick-fil-A Kickoff consisted of two games in 2012. Tennessee defeated NC State 35–21 on Friday night prior to Clemson defeating Auburn 26–19 in the headliner on Saturday. The dual-game idea was first mentioned in the Miami Herald in May 2010, when Gary Stokan, president of the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, told the newspaper that there was the possibility of having Alabama face Miami in a rematch of the 1993 Sugar Bowl.[5]

The 2013 edition was a rematch of the 2009 game. Alabama, the two-time defending BCS national champions, once again defeated Virginia Tech, this time by a score of 35–10.

2014 would again feature two games. Ole Miss defeated Boise State 35–13 in a Thursday night game. Alabama would defeat West Virginia 33–23 in the headliner on Saturday afternoon. It marked the first ever meeting between Alabama and West Virginia in any sport.

The 2015 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, which moved to CBS that season, returned to a single game with the ACC's Louisville Cardinals taking on the SEC's Auburn Tigers. Auburn defeated Louisville, 31–24.

The 2016 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, which moved back to ESPN, featured North Carolina and Georgia, both making their second appearances in the kickoff series. The Bulldogs defeated the Tar Heels 33–24 in the final edition of the game played the Georgia Dome.

The 2017 event was the third doubleheader in the series. Alabama defeated Florida State on Saturday evening by a score of 24–7, serving as the Saturday Night Football season opener. Tennessee defeated Georgia Tech 42–41 in double overtime on Monday evening. The two games were the first in the series to be played in the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Downtown Atlanta.

Game results[edit]

Season Date Winning team Losing team Attendance
2008 August 30, 2008 24 Alabama Crimson Tide 34 9 Clemson Tigers 10 70,097
2009 September 5, 2009 5 Alabama Crimson Tide 34 7 Virginia Tech Hokies 24 74,954
2010 September 4, 2010 21 LSU Tigers 30 18 North Carolina Tar Heels 24 68,919[6]
2011 September 3, 2011 5 Boise State Broncos 35 19 Georgia Bulldogs 21 73,614
2012 August 31, 2012 Tennessee Volunteers 35 NC State Wolfpack 21 55,529
September 1, 2012 14 Clemson Tigers 26 Auburn Tigers 19 75,211
2013 August 31, 2013 1 Alabama Crimson Tide 35 Virginia Tech Hokies 10 73,114[7]
2014 August 28, 2014 18 Ole Miss Rebels 35 Boise State Broncos 13 32,823
August 30, 2014 2 Alabama Crimson Tide 33 West Virginia Mountaineers 23 70,502
2015 September 5, 2015 6 Auburn Tigers 31 Louisville Cardinals 24 73,927
2016 September 3, 2016 18 Georgia Bulldogs 33 22 North Carolina Tar Heels 24 75,405
2017 September 2, 2017 1 Alabama Crimson Tide 24 3 Florida State Seminoles 7 76,330
September 4, 2017 25 Tennessee Volunteers 42 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 41 2OT 75,107

Rankings are from the AP Poll.

Future games[edit]

  • 2018 – Auburn vs Washington
  • 2019 – Alabama vs Duke (Saturday)[8]
  • 2020 – Florida State vs. West Virginia (Saturday)[9]
  • 2020 – Georgia vs. Virginia (Monday)[10]
  • 2021 – Alabama vs Miami (Saturday/Monday)[11]
  • 2021 – Louisville vs. Ole Miss (Saturday/Monday)[12]

Records[edit]

By team[edit]

Rank Team Apps Record Win %
1 Alabama 5 5–0 1.000
2 Tennessee 2 2–0 1.000
3 LSU 1 1–0 1.000
Ole Miss 1 1–0 1.000
5 Auburn 2 1–1 .500
Boise State 2 1–1 .500
Clemson 2 1–1 .500
Georgia 2 1–1 .500
9 Louisville 1 0–1 .000
N.C. State 1 0–1 .000
West Virginia 1 0–1 .000
12 North Carolina 2 0–2 .000
Virginia Tech 2 0–2 .000

By conference[edit]

Rank Conference Apps Record Win %
1 SEC 13 11–2 .846
2 Mountain West 2 1–1 .500
3 ACC 10 1–9 .100
4 Big 12 1 0–1 .000

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "'Kickoff' aims for college football spotlight". sportsbusinessjournal.com. 
  2. ^ "Auburn-UCLA game in 2010 nixed". AL.com. 
  3. ^ Nestor. "Auburn A.D. (Jay Jacobs) Is Under Intense Criticism For Ducking UCLA". Bruins Nation. 
  4. ^ "A College Football Celebration". Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. Archived from the original on February 20, 2014. 
  5. ^ "College Gridiron 365 – Football Blog – Orlando Sentinel". orlandosentinel.com. 
  6. ^ "LSU Tigers vs. North Carolina Tar Heels Box Score". ESPN.com. Retrieved September 5, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Virginia Tech Hokies Box Score". ESPN.com. Retrieved August 31, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Sources: Duke, Alabama to open 2019 college football season in Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game". Retrieved 2016-11-21. 
  9. ^ "Sources: FSU, WVU near deal for game in 2020". Retrieved 2016-07-27. 
  10. ^ Butt, Jason (September 19, 2016). "Georgia slated to return to Chick-Fil-A Game in 2020 to face Virginia". The Telegraph. Retrieved September 20, 2016. 
  11. ^ Richards, George (September 5, 2017). "Miami Hurricanes to renew football rivalry with Nick Saban and Alabama". Miami Herald. Retrieved September 5, 2017. 
  12. ^ Culpepper, Katie (August 16, 2017). "Report: Louisville, Ole Miss to face off in 2021 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game". Atlanta Journal Constitution. Retrieved September 3, 2017. 

External links[edit]