A Bulldog at the BCS?

Talk about perfect timing.

First, Luke Bryan is possibly the hottest performer in country music right now, having won nine American Country Awards in December, including artist of the year (as voted by the fans) and launching his first tour as a headliner.

Second, country singers are getting more recognition at big college football games. Jake Owen played Tuesday night's Orange Bowl, and Lee Brice performed Monday at the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas.

And third, there's the title of Bryan's most-recent album, 2011's "Tailgates and Tanlines." He just may be the perfect guy to play college football's game of the year in sunny South Florida.

Bryan will headline the Bud Light Championship Game Day Fan Zone activities Monday night outside Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens. The event will take place in the parking lots across from Gates G and H, and will include interactive games and exhibits, food and beverages and performances by team bands, cheerleaders and local performers.

Bryan, who recently picked up his first American Music Award as Favorite Male Country Artist, earned three No. 1 singles in 2012: "Country Girl (Shake It for Me)," "I Don't Want This Night To End" and "Drunk On You." Bryan, from Leesburg, Ga., overall has six career No. 1 singles. On Jan. 17, he will hit the road for the first time as a headliner, on the Dirt Road Diaries Tour.

Fans outside of country music are showing an appreciation for Bryan. "Drunk On You" went to No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 list, and "Country Girl (Shake It for Me)," which has a less-countrified dance mix, reached No. 22.

"I try to be a good representative for country music," Bryan, 36, told the Los Angeles Times. "But as a country artist, it's important to move the needle and make a difference beyond your core audience. You can't ever strategically try to accomplish that; then things get weird. I just cut songs I love and that represent what I want to say. And if it crosses over, that's very flattering."

There is one bump in the narrative of Bryan and the championship game meeting in perfect harmony: Although Bryan graduated from Georgia Southern University, he is a hardcore University of Georgia fan.

Had his Bulldogs defeated Alabama in the Southeastern Conference championship game on Dec. 1, they'd be playing right here Monday night, against Notre Dame.

Those who don't see Bryan Monday night will get another shot on Jan. 27, when he'll headline the 28th annual Kiss Country Chili Cookoff at C.B. Smith Park in Pembroke Pines.

Luke Bryan at the Bud Light Championship Game Day Fan Zone

When: 1:30-7:30 p.m. Monday

Where: Sun Life Stadium, 2269 NW 199th St., Miami Gardens

Cost: $30

Contact: 305-341-4701 or OrangeBowl.org

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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