Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game

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This article is about the college football kickoff game. For the college football bowl game, see Peach Bowl.
Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game
Chick-fil-a college kickoff.PNG
Stadium Georgia Dome
Location Atlanta, Georgia
Operated 2008–present
Payout US$1,900,000 per team
Chick-fil-A (2008–present)
2015 matchup
Auburn vs. Louisville (31–24)
2016 matchup
Georgia vs. North Carolina (September 3)

The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game is an annual college football game played on the opening weekend of the college football season in Atlanta, Georgia at the Georgia Dome.


Organizers intend 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. Led by Steve Robinson, Chick-fil-A’s chief marketing officer, the Chick-fil-A Kickoff wants to become the centerpiece of ESPN's Kickoff Week; 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]

Robinson intends for the game to become the headliner of a three-day football weekend in Atlanta, beginning with a college game at the Georgia Dome on the opening Thursday of the season, followed by a high-profile high school game in Atlanta on Friday night, and a concert on Saturday along with FanZone and an A-list game that night. While the first three games have been ACC-SEC contests, Robinson hopes to make the game a national affair, by offering "national brand-name" teams, such as Michigan, Ohio State, and Texas, the opportunity to participate.[1]

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 would defeat Clemson 34–10.

Alabama returned to the Chick-fil-A Kickoff for the 2009 game, defeating Virginia Tech to start the 2009 season which later ended with Alabama being undefeated and winning the 2009 BCS National Championship.

Auburn and UCLA were contacted about playing in the Georgia Dome in 2010, but Auburn backed out of the offer. ABC then attempted to substitute Georgia Tech for the Tigers, but UCLA opted out because the game would essentially be a home game for the Atlanta-based Yellow Jackets, with no return trip to Los Angeles.[2][3] Finally, an agreement was reached with North Carolina and LSU to face off in the 2010 game. 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 SEC or ACC, the two conferences that provided teams to play in the Chick-fil-A Bowl at the end of each football season at the same location. Boise State, a team from the Mountain West Conference that had one of the best teams from a "non-BCS AQ" conference in recent years, defeated Georgia 35–21.

The Chick-Fil-A Kickoff consisted of two games in 2012; Tennessee defeated N.C. 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 the Alabama Crimson Tide face the Miami Hurricanes in a rematch of the 1993 Sugar Bowl.[5]

The 2013 game was a rematch of the 2009 game. Alabama, which had won the last two BCS National Championship games, once again defeated Virginia Tech, this time with 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 in a Saturday afternoon game. 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.

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]

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 Georgia Bulldogs North Carolina Tar Heels

Rankings are from the AP Poll.

Future games[edit]

  • 2016 – Georgia vs. North Carolina[8]
  • 2017 – Alabama vs. Florida State (Saturday Game) [9]
  • 2017 – Tennessee vs. Georgia Tech (Monday Game) [10]
  • 2020 – Florida State vs. West Virginia [11]


By team[edit]

Rank Team Apps Record Win %
1 Alabama 4 4–0 1.000
2 LSU 1 1–0 1.000
Ole Miss 1 1–0 1.000
Tennessee 1 1–0 1.000
3 Auburn 2 1–1 .500
Boise State 2 1–1 .500
Clemson 2 1–1 .500
4 Georgia 1 0–1 .000
Louisville 1 0–1 .000
N.C. State 1 0–1 .000
North Carolina 1 0–1 .000
West Virginia 1 0–1 .000
5 Virginia Tech 2 0–2 .000

By conference[edit]

Rank Conference Apps Record Win %
1 SEC 10 8–2 .800
2 Mountain West 2 1–1 .500
3 ACC 7 1–6 .143
4 Big 12 1 0–1 .000


External links[edit]