In North America, a bowl game is one of a number of post-season college football games that are primarily played by teams belonging to the NCAA's Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). For most of its history, the Division I Bowl Subdivision had avoided using a playoff tournament to determine an annual national champion, which was instead traditionally determined by a vote of sports writers and other non-players. In place of such a playoff, various cities across the United States developed their own regional festivals featuring post-season college football games. Prior to 2002, bowl game statistics were not included in players' career totals and the games were mostly considered to be exhibition games involving a payout to participating teams. Despite attempts to establish a permanent system to determine the FBS national champion on the field (such as the Bowl Coalition from 1992 to 1994, the Bowl Alliance from 1995 to 1997, the Bowl Championship Series from 1998 to 2013, and the College Football Playoff from 2014 to the present), various bowl games continue to be held because of the vested economic interests entrenched in them.
Bowl games originally featured the very best teams in college football, with strict bowl eligibility requirements for teams to receive an invitation to a bowl game in a particular year; as of 1971, there were only 10 team-competitive (as compared to all-star) bowl games. The number of bowl games has grown, reaching 20 games by the 1997 season, then rapidly expanding beyond 30 games by the 2006 season and 40 team-competitive games (not including the College Football Playoff National Championship) by the 2015 season. The increase in bowl games has necessitated a significant easing of the NCAA bowl eligibility rules, since reduced to allow teams with non-winning 6–6 records (numerous teams since 2002 season) and even losing 5–6 and 5–7 seasons (10 teams since the 2001 season) to fill some of the many available bowl slots.
The term "bowl" originated from the Rose Bowl stadium, site of the first post-season college football games. The Rose Bowl Stadium, in turn, takes its name and bowl-shaped design from the Yale Bowl, the prototype of many football stadiums in the United States. The term has since become almost synonymous with any major American football event, generally collegiate football with some significant exceptions. Two examples are the Egg Bowl, the name of the annual matchup between the Mississippi State Bulldogs and the Ole Miss Rebels, and the Iron Bowl, a nickname given to the annual game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Auburn Tigers. In professional football, the names of the National Football League (NFL)'s "Super Bowl" and "Pro Bowl" are references to college football bowl games.
The use of the term has crossed over into professional and collegiate Canadian football. A notable example is the annual Banjo Bowl between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League (CFL). U Sports plays two semi-final "bowl games" before the Vanier Cup national championship game, the Uteck Bowl and the Mitchell Bowl. The matchups are determined on a conference rotation basis, with the Uteck Bowl being played at the easternmost host team, while the Mitchell is at the westernmost host team.
The history of the bowl game began with the 1902 Tournament East-West football game, sponsored by the Tournament of Roses Association between Michigan and Stanford, a game which Michigan won 49-0. The Tournament of Roses eventually sponsored an annual contest starting with the 1916 Tournament East-West Football Game. With the 1923 Rose Bowl it began to be played at the newly completed Rose Bowl stadium, and thus the contest itself became known as the Rose Bowl game. The name "bowl" to describe the games thus comes from the Rose Bowl stadium. Other cities saw the promotional value for tourism that the Tournament of Roses parade and Rose Bowl carried and began to develop their own regional festivals which included college football games. The label "bowl" was attached to the festival name, even though the games were not always played in bowl-shaped stadiums.
The historic timing of bowl games, around the new year, is the result of two factors—warm climate and ease of travel. The original bowls began in warm climates such as Southern California, Louisiana, Florida, and Texas as a way to promote the area for tourism and business. Since commercial air travel was either non-existent or very limited, the games were scheduled well after the end of the regular season to allow fans to travel to the game site. While modern travel is more convenient, all but 5 of 41 bowl games (as of 2016-17) are still located in cities below approximately 36° N.
Currently, college football bowl games are played from mid-December to early January. As the number of bowl games has increased, the number of games a team would need to win to be invited to a bowl game has decreased. With a 12-game schedule, a number of teams with only 5 wins have been invited to a bowl game.
As of the completion of the 2016 season, the University of Alabama has played in more bowl games than any other school, with 64 appearances. Alabama also holds the record for most bowl victories with 37 (prior to 2016 bowl games). As of the 2016 season, Florida State has the record of consecutive bowl berths at 36 bowl appearances, however, it is not recognized by the NCAA due to the NCAA vacated FSU's 2006 Emerald Bowl victory over UCLA due to an academic issue. Virginia Tech Hokies have the longest active streak of consecutive bowl appearances with 25 recognized by the NCAA .
The Rose Bowl was the only major college bowl game in 1930. By 1940, there were five major college bowl games: the Rose Bowl, the Sugar Bowl (1935), the Cotton Bowl Classic (1937), the Orange Bowl (1935), and the Sun Bowl (1935). By 1950, the number had increased to eight games. This figure of eight bowl games persisted through 1960, but by 1970 the number had increased again, to 11 games. The number continued to increase, to 15 games in 1980, to 19 games in 1990, 25 games in 2000, 35 games in 2010, and 41 games by 2015 (40 games plus two teams playing a second game to determine the National Champion). Up until around the 1950s, the small number of games were played solely on New Years Day, with the only major exception being the holiday occurring on a Sunday. For the 2016–17 bowl season, the 41 games require a little over three weeks, starting December 17 and ending on January 9. While bowl games were originally exclusive to warm cities thought of as winter vacation destinations, indoor stadiums allow games to be played in colder climates.
The attendance of 106,869 for the 1973 Rose Bowl set the Rose Bowl Stadium record, as well as the NCAA bowl game attendance record. The Rose Bowl stadium still is the largest capacity stadium and the Rose Bowl game has the highest attendance for post season bowl games.
In the 1990s, many bowl games began to modify or abandon their traditional names in favor of selling naming rights. While some include the traditional name in some form (e.g. the Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio), others have totally eliminated their traditional name in favor of solely using their corporate sponsor's name (e.g. the former Citrus Bowl became the Capital One Bowl for some time after the financial services company Capital One bought the naming rights).
Prior to 1992 most bowls had strict agreements with certain conferences. For example, the Rose Bowl traditionally invited the champions of the Pac-10 and the Big Ten conferences. The Sugar Bowl invited the SEC champion and the Orange Bowl hosted the Big 8 conference champion. These conference tie-ins led to situations where the top-ranked teams in the country could not play each other in a bowl game. The national championship was decided after the bowls, solely by voters for various media polls, who tried to decide which team was best, sometimes based on wins against far inferior teams. As a result, there could be multiple championship titles and no single champion. This led to the term "Mythical National Championship," which is still used to describe high school national champions, since high school sports have state championship tournaments but not national.
Because of the vested economic interests entrenched in the various bowl games, the longer regular season compared to lower divisions of college football, and a desire not to have college players play several rounds of playoff games during final exams and winter recess, the Division I Bowl Subdivision long avoided instituting a playoff tournament to determine an annual national champion. Instead, the National Champion in the Football Bowl Subdivision has traditionally been determined by a vote of sports writers and other non-players.
In 1995, the Bowl Alliance, formed by the major bowls and conferences, put in place a system where the two highest ranked teams would play each other, even if they were each affiliated with a different bowl. However, the Pac-10 and Big Ten and the Rose Bowl did not participate. Number 1 vs Number 2 bowl match-ups became far more likely, but were not guaranteed. After the 1997 season, undefeated Michigan was ranked first in both major polls, but as the Big Ten champion, they played eighth-ranked Pac-10 champion Washington State in the Rose Bowl. The top Bowl Alliance team, #2 and unbeaten Nebraska, faced one-loss, third-ranked Tennessee in the Orange Bowl. Michigan won by five on New Year's Day and the next night, Nebraska beat Tennessee (playing with an injury-hobbled Peyton Manning) by 25. The AP kept Michigan as the champion, but the Coaches' Poll jumped Nebraska, playing its final game for retiring coach Tom Osborne, in part because of their more lopsided victory against a more highly ranked opponent.
The following season, the Rose Bowl, Pac-10, and Big Ten joined the other bowls and major conferences to form the Bowl Championship Series. The BCS attempted to match the two highest ranked teams in the country based upon calculations from various sources, including statistics and coaches' polls, with one of the four bowl games in the consortium (the Rose Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Sugar Bowl, and Orange Bowl) rotating the role of "national championship", or beginning in 2006, a dedicated BCS Championship Game rotated among the BCS venues. The BCS Championship Game, while separate from the four main bowls, was still rotated between their sites. The Coaches Poll was contractually obligated to recognize the winner of the game as its national champion. However, other polls such as the AP Poll may deviate and pick a different team, particularly in years when multiple teams were equally worthy of reaching the game, such as in 2003, when one-loss LSU won the BCS National Championship over Oklahoma, but the AP crowned one-loss USC champion after its Rose Bowl win.
For the 2014-15 season, the BCS was replaced by a new consortium, the College Football Playoff (CFP). The new system uses a four-team single-elimination tournament, with its participants selected and seeded by a committee; the semi-final games are rotated between pairs of the six member bowls yearly (Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl, then Orange Bowl and Cotton Bowl Classic, and then the Fiesta Bowl and Peach Bowl). The winners from the two semi-final bowls advance to the College Football Playoff National Championship, which is played at a neutral site determined using bids. Members of the "New Year's Six" that are not hosting semi-final games revert to their traditional tie-ins. Like its predecessors, and in contrast to the officially sanctioned NCAA tournaments at lower levels, the College Football Playoff is not officially recognized as an NCAA championship.
The National Football League also used the name "bowl" for some of its playoff games. While the NFL Championship was not named a Bowl initially, the league instituted the Pro Bowl as the name of its all-star game in 1951, and introduced the Bert Bell Benefit Bowl (also known as the Playoff Bowl) as a matchup of the two second-place teams in each division from 1960 to 1969.
When the professional football AFL-NFL merger occurred in 1970, the AFL-NFL World Championship Game became the NFL's championship and is now known as the Super Bowl, as it has been named since 1968 (the name was coined by Lamar Hunt after watching his daughter play with a super ball). There has also been the American Bowl, a preseason match held overseas, and various one-time games informally nicknamed bowls, such as the Bounty Bowl, Ice Bowl, Snow Bowl, Freezer Bowl, Fog Bowl, Mud Bowl, Tuna Bowl, Manning Bowl, Harbaugh Bowl and the proposed (but ultimately canceled) China Bowl.
As a result, other professional football leagues used or use the name Bowl for their championships, such as the World Football League (World Bowl), NFL Europe (World Bowl), Arena Football League (ArenaBowl), Indoor Football League (United Bowl), Great Lakes Indoor Football League (Great Lakes Bowl) and American Indoor Football Association (AIFA Championship Bowl). The Canadian Football League nicknames one of their rivalries as the Banjo Bowl and another QEW Bowl (also known as the Battle of Ontario); like most Canadian sports leagues, however, the CFL's championship is instead known as a cup (in the CFL's case, the Grey Cup).
At the NCAA top level of football, the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (known as Division I-A from 1978 through 2005), teams must earn the right to be bowl eligible by winning at least six games and by not having a losing record during the season. They can then be invited to a bowl game based on their placement and the tie-ins that the conference has to each bowl game. A rule change for 2010 allows bowls to tender a bid to any team with a 6–6 record before teams with more than six wins.
Bowls are popular among coaching staffs because the NCAA allows college teams going to bowl games extra weeks of practice they would otherwise not have, and bowl games pay the teams for their participation. Teams belonging to a conference split the money with their conference mates. For the 2010 season, 70 of the 120 Division I FBS teams played in a bowl game.
At lower levels, teams play in playoff tournaments with a national championship game at a neutral site, making invitational bowl games less popular than in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).
The Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) features only one bowl game, the Celebration Bowl (formerly the Heritage Bowl). It invites the top teams from historically black colleges and universities, one from the SWAC and one from the MEAC. (The SWAC has historically had a longer regular season that extends past Thanksgiving weekend, preventing its teams from participating in the FCS tournament and more closely mirroring the FBS.)
At the Division II level there are currently four post-season bowls for teams that did not qualify for the DII playoffs: the Mineral Water Bowl, Live United Texarkana Bowl, Corsicana Bowl and the C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl (the last of which is a name used by two separate bowls, one for Division II and one for junior colleges). All four of the Division II bowls are played on the same day, the first Saturday of December.
At the Division III level, all bowls that are currently played are recent developments (starting in 2008 or later). For the 2017 season, 10 bowls are scheduled to be played by teams that did not qualify for the DIII playoffs: a six-bowl series organized for ECAC teams, a two-bowl series organized between the Centennial Conference and MAC, the New York State Bowl (between Liberty League and Empire 8), and the New England Bowl (between the ECFC, MSCAC, CCC and NEWMAC). Prior to 2008, the ECAC also held the ECAC Bowl (1989–2003) for Division I-AA and the North Atlantic Bowl (2007), the last of which is now integrated into the conference's six-bowl series. Additionally, the Division III championship game has historically been known as the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl.
Outside the NCAA, the Victory Bowl is sponsored by the NCCAA, a group that does not restrict its membership to either NCAA or NAIA. The NAIA does not have any invitational postseason bowl games. Starting with the now defunct Wheat Bowl, the NAIA found it easier to schedule bowl games early in the season rather than late—this allowed the schedule to accommodate large college bowl games and high school sports; one such extant example is the College Fanz First Down Classic, a pre-season bowl game for NAIA teams.
Bowl games that are not part of the post-season are traditional games against rival schools such as Iron Bowl and Egg Bowl. In the BUAFL, the Steel Bowl is contested between the Sheffield Sabres and Sheffield Hallam Warriors. Recently, the term "bowl" has been added to other games that have some special note or sub-plot to the actual game, in college or the National Football League. Examples of this are the Bowden Bowl, "Manning Bowl" and Ice Bowl. However, any game that is part of the post season is considered a bowl game, even if it is not a formal bowl game, such as all-star games. The Super Bowl, the NFL's championship game, started as a "world championship" between the champions of the rival American Football League and NFL in the same way many college bowl games bring together the champions of different college conferences.
The Heidi Bowl, so named after the fact, was a 1968 regular-season game between the Oakland Raiders and the New York Jets whose NBC telecast was interrupted with 61 seconds left to play so that the network could broadcast the movie Heidi as contracted with their advertiser. Angry viewers missed the final minute of the game during which the Raiders scored two touchdowns in a come-from-behind victory.
Following the Bowl Championship Series, a series of all-star bowl games round out the post-season schedule. These games showcase the best departing college players, just as the NFL showcases its all-stars in the annual post-season Pro Bowl. Such college all-star games include the East-West Shrine Game, the Senior Bowl, Texas vs The Nation, and the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.
In the European Football League (EFL), a European Cup style tournament for European American Football teams affiliated to EFAF (European Federation of American Football), the final game of the EFL is called the Eurobowl, and has been held annually since 1986.
In Finland, the national championship game is called Vaahteramalja ("Maple Bowl") and was first held in 1980.
In Germany, the national championship game in American football is called the German Bowl and was first held in 1979. Apart from the German Bowl, a Junior Bowl has also been contested in Germany since 1982 and a Ladies Bowl was introduced in 1990. Other, related, national championship games in Germany include the German Flag Bowl (est. 2000), German Junior Flag Bowl (1999) and a German Indoor Flag Bowl (2000).
The winner of the Israeli Football League is determined every year in the Israel Bowl. The first to lift the Becker Trophy was the Jerusalem Lions in 2008.
The championship game of the Swiss Nationalliga A is called the Swiss Bowl. It was first held in 1986.
The championship game between the East Japan and West Japan champions in college football, is known as the Koshien Bowl. While the pro football championship is known as the Japan X Bowl. The winners of the Koshien and Japan X bowls play each other for the Japan National Championship in the Rice Bowl.
The championship game of the Dutch AFBN First (or Premier) Division is called the Tulip Bowl. The first edition was held in 1986.
Originally titled the "Tournament East–West football game," what is now known as the Rose Bowl Game was first played on January 1, 1902, at Tournament Park in Pasadena, California, starting the tradition of New Year's Day bowl games.
The inaugural game featured Fielding H. Yost's dominating 1901 Michigan Wolverines football team, representing the East, who crushed a 3–1–2 team from Stanford University, representing the West, by a score of 49–0 after Stanford captain Ralph Fisher requested to quit with eight minutes remaining. Michigan finished the season 11–0 and was considered a national champion. Yost had been Stanford's coach the previous year.2007 Rose Bowl
The 2007 Rose Bowl Game presented by Citi was a college football bowl game played on January 1, 2007 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. It was the 93rd Rose Bowl Game and part of the 2006–2007 Bowl Championship Series (BCS) at the conclusion of the 2006 NCAA Division I FBS football season. In the game, the University of Southern California Trojans, champions of the Pacific-10 Conference, defeated the University of Michigan Wolverines, second-place finishers in the Big Ten Conference, 32–18. USC wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett and USC outside linebacker Brian Cushing were named the Rose Bowl Players of the Game.Historically, the Rose Bowl has pitted the champions the Big Ten and Pac-10. What made the 2007 Rose Bowl a not-so-traditional matchup is that Michigan entered as the runner-up of the Big Ten. The Big Ten champions, Ohio State, were ranked #1 and instead participated in the 2007 BCS National Championship Game. Michigan won their first 11 games in 2006, but lost their last regular season game to the undefeated Buckeyes in Columbus, 42–39.2008 Rose Bowl
The 2008 Rose Bowl Game presented by Citi, the 94th Rose Bowl Game, played on January 1, 2008 at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California, was a college football bowl game. The contest was televised on ABC, the 20th straight year the network aired the Rose Bowl, starting at 4:30pm EST. The game's main sponsor was Citi.
The 2008 Rose Bowl featured the 7th-ranked USC Trojans hosting the 13th-ranked Illinois Fighting Illini. As with the previous year's game, the contest was a semi-traditional Rose Bowl in that while it was a Big Ten versus Pac-10 matchup, the Big Ten representative was an at-large team because the conference champion, Ohio State, which lost to Illinois earlier in the season, was selected to play in the BCS National Championship Game.
USC was making its third straight appearance in the Rose Bowl, while Illinois had not played in the game since 1984. Though Illinois won the Big Ten Conference title in 2001, the then-rotating BCS title game moved them to the Sugar Bowl.2009 Rose Bowl
The 2009 Rose Bowl, the 95th edition of the annual game, was a college football bowl game played on Thursday, January 1, 2009 at the same-named stadium in Pasadena, California. Because of sponsorship by Citi, the first game in the 2009 edition of the Bowl Championship Series was officially titled the "Rose Bowl Game presented by citi". The contest was televised on ABC with a radio broadcast on ESPN Radio beginning at 4:30 PM US EST with kickoff at 5:10 PM. Ticket prices for all seats in the Rose Bowl were listed at $145. The Rose Bowl Game was a contractual sell-out, with 64,500 tickets allocated to the participating teams and conferences. The remaining tickets went to the Tournament of Roses members, sponsors, City of Pasadena residents, and the general public.
Scoring 24 unanswered points in the second quarter, the Pacific-10 Conference Champion University of Southern California Trojans defeated the Big Ten Conference co-champion, the Pennsylvania State University Nittany Lions, 38-24, for their third consecutive Rose Bowl victory (in their fourth consecutive appearance, having lost the 2006 BCS title game to the Texas Longhorns). The victory gave the Trojans their 24th Rose Bowl championship, the most by any team in the country. Quarterback Mark Sanchez scored five touchdowns, one rushing and four passing.
Prior to the game, the Pac-10 conference had a 4-0 record in bowl games this season with wins by Arizona, Cal, Oregon, and Oregon State. The Trojan win gave the Pac-10 a perfect five out of five games, which was the only perfect conference bowl record of the season. The Big Ten conference had last won a Rose Bowl game in the 1999 season; this streak ended when Ohio State beat Oregon in the 2010 Rose Bowl.2010 Rose Bowl
The 2010 Rose Bowl, the 96th edition of the annual game, was a college football bowl game played on Friday, January 1, 2010 at Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California. It featured the Ohio State Buckeyes against the Oregon Ducks. The Buckeyes won 26–17.Because of sponsorship by Citi, the first game in the 2010 edition of the Bowl Championship Series was officially titled the Rose Bowl Game presented by Citi. The contest was televised on ABC with a radio broadcast on ESPN Radio and XM Satellite Radio (Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, and Shelley Smith), which began at 1:30 PM (PST) with kickoff at 2:10 PM (PST). The game was also broadcast on the Ohio State Sports Network WBNS 97.1 FM and Oregon Sports Network KUGN 590 AM. Ticket prices for all seats in the Rose Bowl were listed at $145.
The Rose Bowl Game was a contractual sell-out, with 64,500 tickets allocated to the participating teams and conferences. The remaining tickets went to the Tournament of Roses members, sponsors, City of Pasadena residents, and the general public.
This was the 22nd and final Rose Bowl televised by ABC. Corporate sibling ESPN took over coverage in 2011.This game was a separate BCS game from the National Championship Game, which the Pasadena Tournament of Roses also hosted. The 2010 Citi BCS National Championship Game was held on January 7 at 5:00 PM (PST).2011 Rose Bowl
The 2011 Rose Bowl was the 97th edition of the annual bowl game played on January 1, 2011, as part of the 2010 NCAA Division I FBS football season. Played in Pasadena, California, the TCU Horned Frogs of the Mountain West Conference defeated the Wisconsin Badgers of the Big Ten Conference by a score of 21 – 19. The Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association was the organizer of the game. Vizio Inc. was the corporate sponsor and the game was officially named "The Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio". This game marked the first time a team from a non-Automatic Qualifying Conference won the Rose Bowl since the 1934 game when Columbia beat Stanford, 7‐0.
The offensive MVP named was TCU senior QB Andy Dalton.
The defensive MVP named was TCU junior LB Tank Carder.
The contest was broadcast on cable television station ESPN with a radio broadcast on ESPN Radio and XM Satellite Radio and ESPN3 streaming video over the internet. Coverage began at 1:30 PM (PST) with kickoff at 2:10 PM (PST). This marked the first time that the game was not broadcast nationally "over-the-air" (terrestrial television) since the games prior to the 1952 Rose Bowl, which was the first nationally televised college football game.
The Rose Bowl Game, themed Building Dreams, Friendships, & Memories, was a contractual sell-out, with 64,500 tickets allocated to the participating teams and conferences. Ticket prices for all seats in the Rose Bowl are listed at $145. The remaining tickets went to the Tournament of Roses members, sponsors, City of Pasadena residents, and the general public. The Rose Bowl stadium capacity is listed at approximately 91,000.Citrus Bowl
The Citrus Bowl is an annual college football bowl game played at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida. The bowl is operated by Florida Citrus Sports, a non-profit group that also organizes the Camping World Bowl and Florida Classic.
The game was first played as the Tangerine Bowl in 1947 before being renamed as the Florida Citrus Bowl in 1983. When Capital One was the game's title sponsor between 2001 to 2014, the game was referred to simply as the Capital One Bowl from 2003 to 2014. Other previous sponsors include CompUSA (1994–1999), Ourhouse.com (2000), and Buffalo Wild Wings (2015–2017) and Overton's (2018). Presently, it is being sponsored by VRBO, a vacation rental marketplace, and is known as the VRBO Citrus Bowl.
Since becoming one of the premier bowls, the Citrus Bowl is typically played at 1 p.m. EST on New Year's Day, immediately before the Rose Bowl, both of which have been televised on ESPN since 2011. When January 1 is a Sunday, the game has been played on January 2 or December 31, to avoid conflicting with the National Football League schedule. As of 2015, at $4.25 million per team, it has the largest payout of all the non-College Football Playoff (CFP) bowls. In nearly every year since 1985, the game has featured two teams ranked in the Top 25.Cotton Bowl Classic
The Cotton Bowl Classic, also simply known as the Cotton Bowl, is an American college football bowl game that has been held annually in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex since January 1, 1937. The game was originally played at its namesake stadium in Dallas before moving to AT&T Stadium in nearby Arlington in 2010. Since 2014, the game has been sponsored by the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and officially known as the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic. It has been previously sponsored by Southwestern Bell Corporation/SBC Communications/AT&T (1997–2014) and Mobil (1989–1995)
Historically, the game hosted the champion of the Southwest Conference (SWC) against a team invited from elsewhere in the country, frequently a major independent or a runner-up from the Southeastern Conference (SEC). Following the dissolution of the SWC in 1996, the game hosted a runner-up from the Big 12 Conference, facing an SEC team from 1999 to 2014. The Cotton Bowl Classic has served as one of six bowls in the College Football Playoff (CFP) since the 2014 season; it hosted a national semifinal following the 2015 and 2018 seasons.Fiesta Bowl
The Fiesta Bowl is an American college football bowl game played annually in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Between its origination in 1971 and 2006, the game was hosted in Tempe, Arizona at Sun Devil Stadium. Since 2007, it has been held at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
Since 2016, it has been sponsored by PlayStation and officially known as the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl. For the January 2016 game, it was sponsored by BattleFrog, creators of the obstacle racing series featured in the ESPN program BattleFrog College Championship and Vizio for the December 2014 game. From 1996 through the January 2014 game, Frito-Lay was the bowl's title sponsor through its Tostitos tortilla chip brand. Other previous sponsors include IBM (1993–1995) and Sunkist (1986–1990).
In 1998, the Fiesta Bowl became part of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS), and before 2006 every four years (most recently in 2010) was the designee for the national championship game. Beginning with the 2014 season, Fiesta Bowl became a member of College Football Playoff, hosting a semifinal game every three years; all the teams playing in this bowl will be selected by the CFP Selection Committee in those years. The Fiesta Bowl has donated more than $12 million to charity.Gator Bowl
The Gator Bowl is an annual college football bowl game held in Jacksonville, Florida, operated by Gator Bowl Sports. It has been held continuously since 1946, making it the sixth oldest college bowl, as well as the first one ever televised nationally. The game was originally played at Gator Bowl Stadium through the December 1993 game. The December 1994 game was played at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville after the namesake stadium was demolished to make way for a replacement venue, Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. That venue, now known as TIAA Bank Field, has been home to the Gator Bowl since the January 1996 game.
The game has been sponsored by TaxSlayer.com since 2012, and starting with the 2018 edition is officially known as the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl. From 2015 to 2017, it was officially referred to as simply the TaxSlayer Bowl. Previous sponsors include Progressive Insurance (2011), Konica Minolta (2008–10), Toyota (1995–2007), Outback Steakhouse (1992–94), and Mazda (1986–91).Holiday Bowl
The Holiday Bowl is a post-season NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision college football bowl game that has been played annually since 1978 at SDCCU Stadium in San Diego, California, United States. Since the 2014 edition, it has featured a matchup of Pac-12 and Big Ten teams. San Diego County Credit Union has been the game's title sponsor since 2017, and the bowl has been officially known as the San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl.Independence Bowl
The Independence Bowl is a post-season National Collegiate Athletic Association-sanctioned Division I college football bowl game that is played annually each December at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, Louisiana. The Independence Bowl was named because it was inaugurated in 1976, the year of the United States Bicentennial. Since 2017, the game has been sponsored by Walk-On's Bistreaux & Bar and officially known as the Walk-On's Independence Bowl. In 2013, the game was officially referred to as simply the AdvoCare V100 Bowl after then-title sponsor AdvoCare.Liberty Bowl
The Liberty Bowl is an annual American college football bowl game played in late December or early January since 1959. For its first five years, it was played at Philadelphia Municipal Stadium in Philadelphia before being held at Atlantic City (New Jersey) Convention Hall in 1964. Since 1965, the game has been held at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee. Because of the scheduling of the bowl game near the end of the calendar year, no game was played during calendar years 2008 or 2015, while two games were played in calendar years 2010 and 2016.
Since 2004, the game has been sponsored by Memphis-based auto parts retailer AutoZone and officially known as the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. Previous sponsors include St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (1993–1996) and AXA Financial (1997–2003).List of Oregon Ducks bowl games
The Oregon Ducks college football team competes as part of the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), representing the University of Oregon in the North Division of the Pac-12 Conference (Pac-12). Since the establishment of the team in 1893, Oregon has appeared in 25 bowl games. Included in these games are 8 combined appearances in the traditional "big four" bowl games (the Rose, Sugar, Cotton, and Orange) and 3 Bowl Championship Series (BCS) game appearances, including one in the BCS National Championship Game. Through the history of the program, 7 separate coaches have led the Ducks to bowl games with Mike Bellotti having the most appearances with 12. From 2009 to 2012, Chip Kelly was Oregon's head coach, and led the Ducks to BCS bowl appearances in each of his four seasons at Oregon. After losses in both the 2010 Rose Bowl and the 2011 BCS National Championship Game, Kelly led the Ducks to a victory in the 2012 Rose Bowl over Wisconsin and in the 2013 Fiesta Bowl over Kansas State. Oregon's overall bowl record is 14 wins and 18 losses.List of UConn Huskies bowl games
The Connecticut Huskies (UConn) football team has represented the University of Connecticut in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) football since the team's founding in 1896. The Huskies have played in six post-season bowl games, all following their transition from Division I-AA to Division I-A in 2000 and entry into the Big East Conference for football in 2004. UConn's longest bowl invitation streak is four seasons, from 2007 to 2010.
Under head coach Randy Edsall, the Connecticut Huskies football program has enjoyed success. Prior to his hiring, UConn only appeared in two post-season football contests, during the 1998 NCAA Division I-AA playoffs. During his first tenure as head coach (1999–2011), the Huskies played in five bowl games including one Bowl Championship Series (BCS) bowl game. The team also shared two Big East conference championships and were ranked at various times in the Associated Press (AP), Coaches', and Harris polls, as well as the BCS standings. During the six years between Edsall's departure after the 2010 season and return for the 2017 season, UConn played in only one bowl game: in 2015, under former head coach Bob Diaco.
Multiple future National Football League (NFL) draft picks have had superior performances for Connecticut in bowl games, including the first UConn player ever to be picked in the first round of the draft: running back Donald Brown. Brown made appearances in the 2007 Meineke Car Care Bowl, where he led all Connecticut rushers with 72 yards—tied for fifth-best in UConn bowl game history—and the 2009 International Bowl, where he rushed for 261 yards and a touchdown and was named the game's most valuable player (MVP)—the best rushing performance in Connecticut bowl game history. Dan Orlovsky earned MVP honors for his UConn-bowl game-best passing performance in 2004; he was drafted in the fifth round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. Wide receiver Marcus Easley was drafted in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills.
The Huskies' first post-season bowl game was in 2004, when they participated in the 2004 Motor City Bowl in Detroit, Michigan on December 27 against the Toledo Rockets. The most recent UConn bowl game occurred on December 26, 2015, when the Huskies faced the Marshall Thundering Herd in the 2015 St. Petersburg Bowl. A loss in that game brought Connecticut to an overall bowl record of three wins and three losses, a .500 winning percentage.Orange Bowl
The Orange Bowl is an annual American college football bowl game played in the Miami metropolitan area. It has been played annually since January 1, 1935, making it, along with the Sugar Bowl and the Sun Bowl, the second-oldest bowl game in the country, behind the Rose Bowl (first played 1902, played annually since 1916). The Orange Bowl is one of the New Year's Six, the top bowl games for the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision.
The Orange Bowl was originally held in the city of Miami at Miami Field before moving to the Miami Orange Bowl stadium in 1938. In 1996, it moved to Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. Since December 2014, the game has been sponsored by Capital One and officially known as the Capital One Orange Bowl. Previous sponsors include Discover Financial (2011–January 2014) and Federal Express/FedEx (1989–2010).
In its early years, the Orange Bowl had no defined conference tie-ins; it often pitted a team from the southeastern part of the country against a team from the central or northeastern states. From the 1950s until the mid-1990s, the Orange Bowl had a strong relationship with the Big Eight Conference. The champion (or runner-up in years in which the “no-repeat” rule was invoked) was invited to the bowl game in most years during this time; the 1979 Orange Bowl even had two representatives from the Big Eight. Opponents of the Big Eight varied; but were often major independents, runners-up in the Southeastern Conference (SEC), or champions of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Since 2007, the Orange Bowl has hosted the ACC champion—unless they are involved in the national championship playoff, in which case another high-ranking ACC team team takes their place)—and has used the brand Home of the ACC Champion.
In the 1990s, the Orange Bowl was a member of the Bowl Coalition, but kept its Big Eight tie-in. It was later a member of the Bowl Alliance. From 1998 to 2013, The Orange Bowl was a member of the now-defunct Bowl Championship Series (BCS). The Orange Bowl served as the BCS National Championship Game in 2001 and 2005. However, beginning with the 2006 season, the BCS National Championship Game became a stand-alone event, hosted by the local bowl organization about one week following the New Year's Day bowl games (including the Orange Bowl). Under that format, the Orange Bowl Committee hosted two separate games in both 2009 (the 2009 Orange Bowl on January 1 and the 2009 BCS National Championship Game on January 8) and in 2013 (the 2013 Orange Bowl on January 1 and the 2013 BCS National Championship Game on January 7) at all the same venue. The BCS ended after the 2013 season, being replaced by the current College Football Playoff (CFP). The Orange Bowl has served as one of six bowls in the CFP since the 2014 season; it hosted a national semifinal following the 2015 and 2018 seasons.Rose Bowl Game
The Rose Bowl Game is an annual American college football bowl game, usually played on January 1 (New Year's Day) at the Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena, California. When New Year's Day falls on a Sunday, the game is played on Monday, January 2 (15 times now). The Rose Bowl Game is nicknamed "The Granddaddy of Them All" because it is the oldest bowl game. It was first played in 1902 as the Tournament East–West football game, and has been played annually since 1916. Since 1945, it has been the highest attended college football bowl game. It is a part of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association's "America's New Year Celebration", which also includes the historic Rose Parade.
Since 2015, the game has been sponsored by Northwestern Mutual and officially known as the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual. In 2015 and 2018, the game was also officially known as the College Football Playoff semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual. Previous sponsors include Vizio (2011–2014), Citi (2004–2010), Sony/PlayStation 2 (2003), and AT&T (1999–2002)
The Rose Bowl Game has traditionally hosted the conference champions from the Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences (or their predecessors), but because of its past and present membership in two consortia that seek to determine a national champion in Division I FBS, in 2002, the Rose Bowl began to infrequently deviate from its traditional match-up in order to facilitate championship games. In 2002 and 2006 (2001 and 2005 football seasons), under the Bowl Championship Series system, the Rose Bowl was designated as its championship game, and hosted the top two teams determined by the BCS system. Beginning in 2015, the Rose Bowl has been part of the College Football Playoff and hosts one of its semifinal games every three years. During non-Playoff years, the Rose Bowl reverts to its traditional Pac-12/Big Ten matchup.Sugar Bowl
The Sugar Bowl is an annual American college football bowl game played in New Orleans, Louisiana. It has been played annually since January 1, 1935, and celebrated its 75th anniversary on January 2, 2009. The Sugar Bowl, along with the Orange Bowl and Sun Bowl, are the second-oldest bowl games in the country, behind the Rose Bowl Game.The Sugar Bowl was originally played at Tulane Stadium before moving to the Superdome in 1975. When the Superdome and the rest of the city suffered damage due to both the winds from and the flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the Sugar Bowl was temporarily moved to the Georgia Dome in Atlanta in 2006. Since 2007, the game has been sponsored by Allstate and officially known as the Allstate Sugar Bowl. Previous sponsors include Nokia (1996–2006) and USF&G Financial Services (1988–1995).
The Sugar Bowl has had a longstanding — albeit not exclusive — relationship with the Southeastern Conference (SEC) (which once had a member institution based in New Orleans, Tulane University; another Louisiana school, Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge, is still in the SEC today). Indeed, the Sugar Bowl did not feature an SEC team only four times in its first 60 editions, and an SEC team played in the game in every year but one from 1950 to 1995. The SEC's opponent varied from year to year, but, prior to the advent of the Bowl Championship Series was often the runner-up of the Big Eight or SWC, or a major independent.
The Sugar Bowl-SEC relationship has been altered over the past twenty years due to conference realignments and the emergence of a series of coalitions and alliances intending to produce an undisputed national champion in college football, but the ties between the Sugar Bowl and the SEC have persisted and have recently been strengthened. Since 2015, the Sugar Bowl, along with the Rose, Orange, Cotton, Peach, and Fiesta bowls, is one of the "New Year's Six" bowls in rotation for the College Football Playoff. It hosted a playoff semifinal following the 2017 season, and will next host one following the 2020 season. In other years, it will feature the best available teams from SEC and the Big 12 conferences, an arrangement nearly identical with the relationship between the Rose Bowl and the champions of the Big Ten and Pac-12.
As a member of the Bowl Championship Series, the Sugar Bowl hosted the BCS National Championship Game twice (2000 and 2004). However, from the 2006 season to the 2013 season, the BCS National Championship Game had been a stand-alone event, following one week after the New Year's Day bowl games. This means that, under the now-defunct BCS format, no traditional bowl game hosted the BCS National Championship Game, but that game was played at the venue of one of those traditional major bowls, rotating amongst the four sites, including the Superdome.
The payout for the 2006 game was $14–17 million per participating team. According to Sports Illustrated, the 2007 salary for Sugar Bowl CEO Paul Hoolahan was $607,500.Sun Bowl
The Sun Bowl is a college football bowl game that has been played since 1935 in the southwestern United States at El Paso, Texas. Along with the Sugar Bowl and Orange Bowl, it is the second-oldest bowl games in the country, behind the Rose Bowl. Usually held near the end of December, games are played at the Sun Bowl stadium on the campus of the University of Texas at El Paso; since 2011, it has featured teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and the Pac-12 Conference.
Since 2010, the game has been sponsored by Hyundai and officially known as the Hyundai Sun Bowl. Previous sponsors include John Hancock (1987–1993), Norwest Corporation (1996–1998), Wells Fargo (1999–2003), Vitalis (2004–2005), and Brut (2006–2009).
|College Football Playoff|
|Other bowl games|
|Future bowl games|
NCAA football bowl seasons