For the first time in school history, Louisville and Mississippi will face off on the gridiron when the two programs meet in the 2021 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The exact date, start time and television network will be finalized at a later date.
The Cardinals are making their second appearance in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff games, falling to No. 5 Auburn to open the 2015.
The Rebels are also playing in the game for the second time, defeating Boise State 35-21 to open the 2014 season.
To date, the ACC and SEC have met 10 times in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, with the SEC holding a 9-1 advantage over the ACC in those games.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming both Louisville and Ole Miss back to Atlanta in what will be another exciting ACC vs. SEC showdown in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game,” said Gary Stokan, Peach Bowl, Inc. CEO and president. “An electric crowd in the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium should be the perfect setting for the first-ever game between these two storied programs.”
“To have the opportunity to play in this game again for the second time is a huge win for our program,” Louisville Vice-President/Director of Athletics Tom Jurich said. “We are honored to be welcomed back by the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, which is a tremendous testament to our loyal fan base, who helped pack the stadium in 2015. Our fans have a great history of traveling, and to have the opportunity to play a great program like Ole Miss in this brand-new facility will certainly be a hot ticket for the fans. Gary Stokan and the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl group do a tremendous job with this game and we appreciate them selecting Louisville for what has become the premier game to kick off the season.”
The game averages 68,887 – higher than the attendance of 37 bowl games last year – and has an average payout of $5.2 million. Television viewership is also traditionally strong with more than 59.7 million viewers tuning in to the series since its inaugural game in 2008.
The teams 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 from player to player as the team celebrates its victory.
Past and Future Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game match-ups include:
Year: Match-Up: Winner:
2008 (9) Clemson vs. (24) Alabama Alabama 34-10
2009 (5) Alabama vs. (7) Virginia Tech Alabama 34-24
2010 (16) LSU vs. (18) North Carolina LSU 30-24
2011 (5) Boise State vs. (19) Georgia Boise State 35-21
2012 (14) Clemson vs. (24) Auburn Clemson 26-19
2013 (1) Alabama vs. Virginia Tech Alabama 35-10
2014 (18) Ole Miss vs. Boise State Ole Miss 35-13
2014 (2) Alabama vs. West Virginia Alabama 33-23
2015 (25) Louisville vs. (6) Auburn Auburn 31-24
2016 (18) Georgia vs. (22) North Carolina Georgia 33-24
2017 Tennessee vs. Georgia Tech Tennessee 42-41 (2 OT)
2018 Washington vs. Auburn
2019 Alabama vs. Duke
2020 West Virginia vs. Florida State
2020 Georgia vs. Virginia
2021 Alabama vs. Miami
2021 Louisville vs. Ole Miss
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