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PapaJohns.com Bowl
Papajohnsbowl.png
PapaJohns.com Bowl logo
Stadium Legion Field
Location Birmingham, Alabama
Operated 2006-present
Conference Tie-ins Big East, SEC
Sun Belt (alternate)
Payout US$900,000 (As of 2010)
Sponsors
Papa John's Pizza (2006-present)
Former names
Birmingham Bowl (2006)
2010 Matchup
Connecticut vs. South Carolina (Connecticut 20-7)

The PapaJohns.com Bowl (formerly known as the Birmingham Bowl) is a post-season NCAA-sanctioned Division I-A college football bowl game approved in April 2006 and played annually at the 71,594-seat Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama. ESPN Regional Television (d/b/a ESPN Plus, a subsidiary of ESPN) owns and manages the bowl's operations, sponsorships and marketing, including broadcast of the game on ESPN.[1] The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) also provides marketing, management and game-day operations support. Papa John's pizza became the title sponsor signing a multi-year agreement on November 16, 2006.[2]

The bowl originally had a four-year agreement with Conference USA to match a representative of that conference against an opponent from the Big East Conference, but the bowl's officials later appealed to the NCAA for a recertification which was granted in late April 2008. In 2008 and 2009, the bowl will feature the Southeastern Conference's ninth bowl-eligible team and a team from the Big East Conference.[3] Should either of these conferences not fulfill their bowl commitments, a team from the Sun Belt Conference will take their place, provided it is bowl eligible.[4] Otherwise, the game will choose an at-large team (as in 2008, when the SEC was unable to send a team; the bowl selected ACC team North Carolina State to face Rutgers from the Big East), even though the Sun Belt had a contingency contract and three eligible teams to choose from.

The game promotes Papa John's Pizza's website.

Contents

History

The PapaJohns.com Bowl marked the return of post-season football to the city of Birmingham, which previously hosted the Dixie Bowl from 1947-1948, the Hall of Fame Classic from 1977-1985 (relocated to Tampa, FL and now named the Outback Bowl), and the All-American Bowl from 1986-1990 (cancelled when the SEC awarded their championship game to the city).

In the inaugural game, played on December 23, 2006, the South Florida Bulls, the Big East's representative, beat Conference USA's East Carolina Pirates, 24-7 in front of an announced crowd of 32,023.[5] Benjamin Williams scored the game's first points just over ninety seconds into the game as one of his two touchdowns on the day, and earned the game's MVP honors. Notably, South Florida had previously been a member of C-USA.

The 2007 matchup featured the Southern Miss Golden Eagles and the Cincinnati Bearcats.[6] As with the previous year's game, the participants were a former Conference USA member (Cincinnati) and a current C-USA member (Southern Miss).

After being held in December for its first three years, the PapaJohns.com Bowl was played on January 2, 2010. It was one of five bowl games to take place that day, joining the Cotton Bowl Classic, International, Alamo, and Liberty bowls. Connecticut faced South Carolina in the 2010 edition of the bowl.[7] Once again, the unique link with C-USA returned, as South Carolina was part of the Metro Conference from 1983-94 (1983-91 all sports, men's soccer only afterwards) that became Conference USA, and is an associate member in the conference for men's soccer (the Southeastern Conference does not sponsor men's soccer; Kentucky, the other SEC school with the sport, also is in C-USA for the sport).

Game results

Date Winning Team Losing Team Attendance Notes
December 23, 2006 South Florida 24 East Carolina 7 32,023 notes
December 22, 2007 Cincinnati 31 Southern Miss 21 35,258 notes
December 29, 2008 Rutgers 29 NC State 23 38,582 notes
January 2, 2010 Connecticut 20 South Carolina 7 45,254 notes

MVPs

Date Name School Position
December 23, 2006 Benjamin Williams South Florida RB
December 22, 2007 Ben Mauk Cincinnati QB
December 29, 2008 Mike Teel Rutgers QB
January 2, 2010 Andre Dixon Connecticut RB

Most appearances

Rank Team Appearances Record
T1 Cincinnati 1 1-0
T1 Connecticut 1 1-0
T1 Rutgers 1 1-0
T1 South Florida 1 1-0
T1 East Carolina 1 0-1
T1 N.C. State 1 0-1
T1 South Carolina 1 0-1
T1 Southern Miss 1 0-1

Television coverage

References

  1. ^ "ESPN Regional Television to Own and Operate New PapaJohns.com Bowl Game". 2006-05-09. http://www.papajohnsbowl.com/news/espn-regional.php. Retrieved 2006-12-25.  
  2. ^ "PapaJohns.com Signs on as Title Sponsor of Inaugural PapaJohns.com Bowl Game". 2006-11-16. http://www.papajohnsbowl.com/news/papajohns-title-sponsor.php. Retrieved 2006-12-25.  
  3. ^ "PapaJohns.com Bowl receives two-year tie-in with SEC". CNNSI.com. Associated Press. May 1, 2008. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/football/ncaa/05/01/papajohns.sec.ap/index.html.  
  4. ^ Solomon, Jon (July 24, 2008). "Sun Belt signs as backup". The Birmingham News. p. C3.  
  5. ^ Solomon, Jon (2006-12-24). "Cheers for Papajohns.com Bowl". The Birmingham News. http://www.al.com/sports/birminghamnews/index.ssf?/base/sports/1166955956184540.xml&coll=2. Retrieved 2006-12-25.  
  6. ^ "It's official: Cincinnati is Southern Mississippi's opponent in Papajohns.com Bowl in Birmingham " (November 28, 2007) Birmingham News
  7. ^ Boyer, Zac (2009-12-06). "UConn accepts bid to Papajohns.com Bowl". UConnReport.com. http://connecticut.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1025350. Retrieved 2006-12-06.  

External links








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