University of Louisville and Auburn University will meet to on Saturday, Sept. 5, to open the 2015 football season in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Chick-fil-A Bowl officials announced today.
The game is expected to air nationally on primetime on ESPN or ABC.
The BCS-style season-opening Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game’s tradition for matching top-ranked teams at a neutral site in the season’s opening weekend continues. Both teams have a history of producing nationally ranked programs with the Cardinals starting the year ranked ninth nationally in both polls and the Tigers having won the national championship in 2011.
“The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game has an outstanding tradition of putting together great match-ups, and facing Auburn in this type of event is great for our program and university,” UofL head coach Charlie Strong said. “We look forward to opening the 2015 season against a great SEC opponent like Auburn. I’m very excited for our fans that will get the opportunity to be a part of a great game and an exciting atmosphere. The exposure our football players and our program will get from a match-up like this is tremendous as we continue to build this program, and it is going to be a great experience for our fans.”
Tickets to the game will be evenly split between the two teams, creating a true neutral-site game. All tickets to the game will be sold through the university ticket offices. No tickets will be sold through the Chick-fil-A Bowl office.
“We are thrilled to be a part of such an exciting matchup with Auburn,” Vice-President/Director of Athletics Tom Jurich said. “It’s an outstanding way for our program to open the season and we are honored to be considered to play in this terrific matchup. History has proven that our fans will travel anywhere and I expect us to pack the Georgia Dome for this great event. We had discussions about getting into this game a few times in recent years are excited for this opportunity. We sincerely appreciate the Chick-fil-A Bowl group selecting Louisville for this signature event against a great program like Auburn.”
Louisville and Auburn have met only once on the gridiron, dating back to 1974. The Tigers defeated the Cardinals 16-3 at Legion Field in Birmingham.
Louisville is 13-30 all-time against teams from the SEC, with its most recent match-up ending in a victory over fourth-ranked Florida in the 2013 Allstate Sugar Bowl. Louisville has won three-straight contests against foes from the SEC.
In the game, Louisville and Auburn will battle for The Old Leather Helmet Trophy, one of college football’s newest rivalry style icons. Traditionally, winners of The Old Leather Helmet don the helmet on the field after the game, starting with the head coach and then rotating to different players as the team celebrates its victory.
Past games and winners of the Old Leather Helmet are listed below:
Year Match-Up Winner
2012 No. 14 Clemson vs. No. 24 Auburn Clemson 26-19
2012 No. 25 NC State vs. Tennessee Tennessee 35-21
2011 No. 5 Boise State vs. No. 19 Georgia Boise State 35-21
2010 No. 16 LSU vs. No. 18 North Carolina LSU 30-24
2009 No. 5 Alabama vs. No. 7 Virginia Tech Alabama 34-24
2008 No. 9 Clemson vs. No. 24 Alabama Alabama 34-10
Future games that will continue the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game’s legacy as the preeminent opening game to the college football season are as follows:
2014 Ole Miss vs. Boise State
Alabama vs. West Virginia
2015 Louisville vs. Auburn
For more information, visit Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game.com and follow the organization on Twitter, @chickfilabowl.