Bowl Alliance: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Bowl Alliance was an agreement among college football bowl games (specifically the Sugar, Orange, and Fiesta Bowls) for the purpose of trying to match the top two teams in a national championship bowl game and to provide quality bowl game matchups for the champions of its member conferences. The agreement was in place for the 1995, 1996, and 1997 seasons, and replaced the Bowl Coalition which had been created prior to the 1992 season and consisted of the three Alliance bowls plus the Cotton, Gator, and Sun Bowls.

The Bowl Alliance involved the SEC, Big 12, ACC and Big East conference champions and two at-large teams (the Southwest Conference champ in 1995; there were also special provisions for Notre Dame). The Alliance bowls were held on three successive days in each of the three years of the Alliance's existence with one game played on New Year's Eve, one on New Year's Day, and one on January 2. The top two ranked teams from the Alliance conferences met in the Bowl Alliance national championship game, which rotated between the three Alliance bowls and was always held on January 2. Whoever won that game was guaranteed to be declared national champion at least in the Coaches' Poll, as they were locked into naming whoever won as their national champion regardless of whether the team was ranked #1 in the AP Poll or not.

As the Big Ten and Pac-10 conferences were tied into the Rose Bowl via automatic bids for their conference champions, it was not possible to include their champions in the Alliance Bowls. Nevertheless, the conferences could be represented in the games if one of their teams procured an at-large bid to a Bowl Alliance game. This occurred twice, with Penn State and Ohio State playing in the Fiesta and Sugar Bowls in 1997 and 1998.

CBS and ABC split television coverage of the Bowl Alliance, with CBS acquiring the rights to the Orange and Fiesta Bowls from NBC following their 1995 playings and ABC already being in possession of the Sugar Bowl rights as they had been since 1970.

In the last two years of the Bowl Alliance, the possibility existed for a split national championship. In 1996, #1 Florida State played #3 Florida in the Sugar Bowl for the national championship as #2 ranked Pac-10 champion Arizona State was locked into playing in the Rose Bowl against #4 Ohio State. In 1997, #1 Michigan was locked into playing #8 Washington State in the Rose Bowl as Big Ten Champion. In those two years, only Michigan was part of a split national championship as Arizona State lost to Ohio State; the winner between #2 Nebraska and #3 Tennessee was to be declared Bowl Alliance national champion.

Following the 1997 season The Bowl Alliance's member conferences and bowls joined with the Big Ten and Pac 10 conferences and the Rose Bowl beginning with the 1998 college football season to form the Bowl Championship Series.


History and schedule


1995–96 season

These Bowl Alliance games were played following the 1995 regular season:

1996–97 season

These Bowl Alliance games were played following the 1996 regular season:

1997–98 season

These Bowl Alliance games were played following the 1997 regular season:


Wins and appearances by team

Appearances School W L Pct Games
3 Nebraska 3 0 1.000 Won 1996 Fiesta Bowl*
Won 1996 Orange Bowl (December)
Won 1998 Orange Bowl*
3 Florida State 2 1 .667 Won 1996 Orange Bowl (January)
Lost 1997 Sugar Bowl*
Won 1998 Sugar Bowl
2 Virginia Tech 1 1 .500 Won 1995 Sugar Bowl (December)
Lost 1996 Orange Bowl (December)
2 Florida 1 1 .500 Lost 1996 Fiesta Bowl*
Won 1997 Sugar Bowl*
2 Texas 0 2 .000 Lost 1995 Sugar Bowl (December)
Lost 1997 Fiesta Bowl (January)
1 Kansas State 1 0 1.000 Won 1997 Fiesta Bowl (December)
1 Penn State 1 0 1.000 Won 1997 Fiesta Bowl (January)
1 Ohio State 0 1 .000 Lost 1998 Sugar Bowl
1 Tennessee 0 1 .000 Lost 1998 Orange Bowl*
1 Syracuse 0 1 .000 Lost 1997 Fiesta Bowl (December)
1 Notre Dame 0 1 .000 Lost 1996 Orange Bowl (January)
*Denotes Bowl Alliance National Championship Game


Because the Bowl Alliance failed to include the Pac-10, Big Ten (and the Rose Bowl) and so-called "mid-major" conferences, the Bowl Alliance was reformed just three years after it began. BYU's persistent performance opened the door for mid-major conferences to participate in upper-tier bowls as well. In 1996, despite 18 conference championships in 23 years, one of the winningest records in college football and a #5 ranking in the AP poll, BYU was excluded from a Bowl Alliance bowl and was relegated to the Cotton Bowl beating Kansas State to finish the season 14–1. Now the Bowl Coalition was also at risk of anti-trust because of the monopoly on the bowls. LaVell Edwards, BYU Coach, testified in Congress at that time about the inherent unfairness in recruiting for teams who were excluded from bowls simply because of conference affiliation. With the pressure of potential Congressional action, the Bowl Alliance reformed into the Bowl Championship Series that not only included the Big Ten and the Pac-10 conference but also cracked open the door to allow the possibility of a "mid-major" team's participation.

See also


External links

Preceded by
Bowl Coalition
NCAA Football Bowl Series
1995 – 1997
Succeeded by
Bowl Championship Series


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address