2008–09 NCAA football bowl games
The 2008–09 NCAA football bowl games, which concluded the 2008 NCAA Division I FBS football season, contained a record number of bowl games scheduled in college football history. A total of 37 bowl games, 34 team-competitive games and three all-star games, were played starting on December 20, 2008 with four contests and concluding with the Texas vs. The Nation Game in El Paso, Texas, played on January 31, 2009 at Sun Bowl Stadium. For the first time in 62 years, however, the Hula Bowl was not a part of the post-season as it was cancelled indefinitely.
|2008–09 NCAA football bowl games|
Bowl sites by state
|Regular season||August 28–December 6|
|Number of bowls||34|
|Bowl games||December 20, 2008 – |
January 31, 2009
|National Championship||2009 BCS Championship|
|Location of Championship||Dolphin Stadium,|
Miami Gardens, Florida
|Bowl Challenge Cup winner||Pac-10|
A new record of 34 team-competitive bowls, plus three all-star games, were played, including the inaugural St. Petersburg Bowl and EagleBank Bowl. While bowl games had been the purview of only the very best teams for nearly a century, this was the third consecutive year that teams with non-winning seasons participated in bowl games. To fill the 68 available team-competitive bowl slots, a new record total of 9 teams (13% of all participants) with non-winning seasons participated in bowl games—all 9 had a .500 (6-6) season.
Selection of the teamsEdit
NCAA bylaws say that a school with a record of 6–6 in regular season play and at least 5 wins over FBS teams are eligible only after conferences cannot fill out available positions for bowl games with teams having seven (or more) wins automatically eligible, excluding games played in Hawaii and conference championship games in the ACC, Big 12, Conference USA, MAC and the SEC.
After the final regular-season games on December 7, 2008, four conferences — the Pac-10, the SEC, the Big 12, and the Big Ten — did not have enough teams to fill their bowl game allotments. The Pac-10 had seven contracted bowl slots with only five teams eligible. The last two bowls in the Pac-10 pecking order—the Hawaiʻi Bowl (sixth) and Poinsettia Bowl (seventh)—had contingency contracts with other conferences, respectively Conference USA and the WAC, to select one of the secondary conference's teams should the Pac-10 fail to supply enough eligible teams to supply that bowl. However, because C-USA had only six bowl-eligible teams to fill its six primary bowl slots, the Pac-10/C-USA slot in the Hawaiʻi Bowl became an at-large spot, and was awarded to Notre Dame. The SEC and Big 12 failed to produce enough teams to fill their requirements even before both conferences had two teams selected to BCS games, while the Big Ten was unable to fill its requirements once a second team from that conference (Ohio State) was selected to a BCS game. The Atlantic Coast Conference sent an NCAA-record ten teams to bowl games this season. Since 72 teams were bowl-eligible, but only 68 bowl slots were available, four teams were left out of bowl games. Unlike in 2007, when an eight-win Troy team was left home for the postseason, no team with seven or more wins went without a bowl bid this year. All four uninvited teams — Arkansas State, Bowling Green, Louisiana-Lafayette, and San José State — had six wins.
NOTE: Rankings from final BCS Standings of December 7, 2008.
Non-BCS bowl gamesEdit
BCS bowl gamesEdit
|Jan. 1||Rose Bowl||Rose Bowl Stadium
|#5 USC (11–1)
#8 Penn State (11–1)
Penn State 24
|Orange Bowl||Dolphin Stadium
Miami Gardens, Florida
|#19 Virginia Tech (9–4)
#12 Cincinnati (11–2)
|Virginia Tech 20|
|Jan. 2||Sugar Bowl||Louisiana Superdome
|#6 Utah (12-0)
#4 Alabama (12-1)
|Jan. 5||Fiesta Bowl||University of Phoenix Stadium
|#3 Texas (11-1)
#10 Ohio State (10-2)
Ohio State 21
|Jan. 8||BCS National Championship Game||Dolphin Stadium
Miami Gardens, Florida
|#2 Florida (12-1)
#1 Oklahoma (12-1)
Conference bowl representationEdit
|Bowl Appearances||Final Rankings|
|Conference||No. of Teams||Record||Pct.||Winners||Losers||Ranked
|Winners of 2008–09 Bowl Challenge Cup with perfect record.|
|Florida won the National Championship. Vanderbilt won in a bowl for the first time since 1955.|
Kentucky won a bowl for the third straight season, a first in school history.
|Big East||6||4–2||0.667||West Virginia
|Both of the Big East's BCS-ranked teams lost their games.|
|Conference USA||6||4–2||0.667||Southern Mississippi
|Rice ended a 54-year winless streak in bowls, Houston ended theirs at 28.|
|Utes became first BCS outsider to win two BCS games; their other was the 2005 Fiesta Bowl.|
The Utes also won their eighth straight bowl game.
|Notre Dame won first bowl game since 1994 Cotton Bowl Classic.|
|Sun Belt||2||1–1||0.500||Florida Atlantic
|Only conference ineligible for 2008–09 Bowl Challenge Cup.|
|The ACC's ten teams in postseason is a new NCAA record.|
Boston College's streak of bowl wins in eight consecutive seasons ended.
|Western Athletic||5||1–4||0.200||Louisiana Tech
|Iowa's win in Outback Bowl avoided a total shutout.|
|Only winless conference in bowl season.|
NOTE: BCS bowl participants are listed in italics.
Post-BCS All-Star GamesEdit
|East–West Shrine Game||January 17, 2009||Robertson Stadium
University of Houston
|ESPN2||East 24, West 19|||
|Senior Bowl||January 24, 2009||Ladd–Peebles Stadium
|NFL Network||South 35, North 18|||
|Texas vs The Nation||January 31, 2009||Sun Bowl Stadium
University of Texas at El Paso
El Paso, Texas
|CBS College Sports Network||The Nation 27, Texas 24|||
- "Unbeaten Boise State heads Poinsettia; ACC slots 10". The Sporting News. The Sporting News. 2008-12-07. Retrieved 2008-12-08.[permanent dead link]
- http://www.shrinegame.com/press_release/84_game/EWSG_Player_Alert_12-3-08.pdf[permanent dead link]
- http://www.seniorbowl.com/images/fanguide09.pdf[permanent dead link]
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-12-22. Retrieved 2009-01-01.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)