|1993 USF&G Sugar Bowl|
|National Championship Game|
|Date||January 1, 1993|
|Location||New Orleans, Louisiana|
|MVP||Alabama RB Derrick Lassic|
|Favorite||Miami by 8 points (36) |
|Referee||Rogers Redding (SWC)|
|United States TV coverage|
|Announcers||Keith Jackson and Bob Griese|
The 1993 Sugar Bowl took place on January 1, 1993, in the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. It was the final game of the 1992 college football season and served as the first National Championship game selected by the Bowl Coalition, predecessor to the Bowl Alliance and later the Bowl Championship Series. The game featured two unbeaten teams in the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Miami Hurricanes. Alabama would get the win over Miami, 34–13, to finish the season 13-0 and lay claim to the 12th national championship in program history.
Main article: 1992 Miami Hurricanes football team
Miami, out of the Big East conference, was led by Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Gino Torretta, and was playing for back-to-back undefeated seasons and consecutive National Championships.
Main article: 1992 Alabama Crimson Tide football team
Alabama also entered the matchup undefeated, following their 28–21 victory over the Florida Gators in the inaugural SEC Championship Game.
This was the inaugural season of the Bowl Coalition, which was intended to ensure that the national championship would be decided on the field. Its formula worked perfectly, as it forced the first bowl matchup between the consensus #1 and #2 teams in the nation since the end of the 1987 season. As Big East champion, #1 Miami was not contractually obligated to a bowl. The Hurricanes were thus free to face #2 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, which the Crimson Tide hosted as SEC champion.
Miami was heavily favored and came into the game on a 29-game winning streak; the Hurricanes hadn't lost since a 29–20 loss to Notre Dame in 1990. Alabama's defense held the Hurricanes to just 13 points, intercepting Torretta three times, en route to a consensus national championship. Alabama rushed for 267 yards—67 more yards than the Hurricanes had allowed all season. At one point, the Tide lined up all eleven players on the line of scrimmage. The confused Torretta was picked off by George Teague, who returned it for a touchdown.
A legendary play in Alabama football lore, known as "The Strip", occurred when Miami wide receiver Lamar Thomas caught a deep pass from Torretta and was sprinting for what seemed like an 89-yard touchdown. However, Teague caught Thomas from behind, stripped the ball from him, and started running the other way before being tackled. The play became famous following Thomas's pre-game comments regarding the SEC, the superiority of the Miami receiving corps, and the manhood of the Alabama defensive backs. While the play was negated by an Alabama offside penalty, it still ultimately prevented a Miami touchdown, as Miami would have simply declined the penalty had the strip not taken place.
Torretta threw three interceptions after only throwing four in the entire season. It drew parallels to Vinny Testaverde's five-interception performance in the 1987 Fiesta Bowl. Following the poor performance, some reporters began to question whether Torretta deserved the Heisman.
The Crimson Tide's victory meant not only their 12th national championship but the first since legendary coach Paul "Bear" Bryant died in 1983 less than five weeks after coaching his last game. Alabama's coach Gene Stallings was one of the Junction Boys, the group of Texas A&M players who endured Bryant's punishing 1954 summer camp.
|1||10:56||Alabama||19–yard field goal by Michael Proctor||3||0|
|7:49||Miami||49–yard field goal by Dane Prewitt||3||3|
|2||10:48||Alabama||23–yard field goal by Michael Proctor||6||3|
|6:09||Alabama||Sherman Williams 2–yard touchdown run, Michael Proctor kick good||13||3|
|0:00||Miami||42–yard field goal by Dane Prewitt||13||6|
|3||10:12||Alabama||Derrick Lassic 1–yard touchdown run, Michael Proctor kick good||20||6|
|9:56||Alabama||George Teague 31–yard interception return for touchdown, Michael Proctor kick good||27||6|
|4||12:08||Miami||Kevin Williams 78–yard punt return for touchdown, Dane Prewitt kick good||27||13|
|6:46||Alabama||Derrick Lassic 4–yard touchdown run, Michael Proctor kick good||34||13|
... I thought it correct to label Gino "good, and successful" but not "great, and best player in the land."