The Birmingham Bowl is a post-season NCAA-sanctioned Division I FBS college football bowl game played annually since 2006 at the 71,594-seat Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama. The game is owned and operated by ESPN Events. The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) also provides marketing, management and game-day operations support. The game was previously known as the PapaJohns.com Bowl (2006–2010) and the BBVA Compass Bowl (2011–2014). TicketSmarter signed on as the title sponsor of the 2019 game, making it the TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl.
|TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl|
|Conference tie-ins||The American, SEC|
Alternates: C-USA, MAC
|Payout||US$1,374,545 (2019 season)|
Birmingham Bowl (2006, working title)
PapaJohns.com Bowl (2006–2010)
BBVA Compass Bowl (2011–2014)
Birmingham Bowl (2015–2017)
Jared Birmingham Bowl (2018)
|Wake Forest vs. Memphis (Wake Forest 37–34)|
|2019 season matchup|
|Boston College vs. Cincinnati (January 2, 2020)|
The PapaJohns.com Bowl marked the return of post-season football to the city of Birmingham, which previously hosted the Dixie Bowl from 1947 to 1948, the Hall of Fame Classic from 1977 to 1985 (relocated to Tampa and became the Outback Bowl), and the All-American Bowl from 1986 to 1990 (canceled 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 a crowd of 32,023. 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. As with the previous year's game, the participants were a former C-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. As a result, there was no game during the 2009 calendar year. 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.
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 featured the Southeastern Conference's ninth bowl-eligible team and a team from the Big East Conference.
The game currently features teams from the SEC and the American Athletic Conference. Should either of these conferences not fulfill their bowl commitments, a team from C-USA or the Mid-American Conference will take their place, provided it is bowl eligible. Otherwise, the game will choose an at-large team. This happened 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 despite the fact that the bowl had an arrangement with the Sun Belt Conference at the time and it had at least one bowl-eligible team it could send. The 2018 match-up has Memphis from the American Athletic Conference up against Wake Forest from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
From 2006 through 2010, the game was the PapaJohns.com Bowl, named after Papa John's Pizza, who became the title sponsor signing a multi-year agreement in November 2006. On August 6, 2010, Papa John's announced it would not renew its sponsorship, after having secured a sponsorship deal with the National Football League. Following the announcement, the game was temporarily renamed the Birmingham Bowl until BBVA Compass was announced as its title sponsor on November 4, 2010, officially changing its name to the BBVA Compass Bowl. The bowl was sponsored by BBVA through the January 2014 game, following which BBVA Compass declined to renew its sponsorship, and the game was subsequently renamed the Birmingham Bowl. The 2018 edition of the Birmingham Bowl was sponsored by the Jared brand of Sterling Jewelers, and the 2019 edition was sponsored by TicketSmarter.
Rankings are from the AP Poll from before the game was played.
|Date||Bowl name||Winning team||Losing team||Attendance|
|December 23, 2006||PapaJohns.com Bowl||South Florida||24||East Carolina||7||32,023|
|December 22, 2007||PapaJohns.com Bowl||#20 Cincinnati||31||Southern Miss||21||35,258|
|December 29, 2008||PapaJohns.com Bowl||Rutgers||29||NC State||23||38,582|
|January 2, 2010||PapaJohns.com Bowl||Connecticut||20||South Carolina||7||45,254|
|January 8, 2011||BBVA Compass Bowl||Pittsburgh||27||Kentucky||10||41,207|
|January 7, 2012||BBVA Compass Bowl||SMU||28||Pittsburgh||6||29,726|
|January 5, 2013||BBVA Compass Bowl||Ole Miss||38||Pittsburgh||17||59,135|
|January 4, 2014||BBVA Compass Bowl||Vanderbilt||41||Houston||24||42,717|
|January 3, 2015||Birmingham Bowl||Florida||28||East Carolina||20||30,083|
|December 30, 2015||Birmingham Bowl||Auburn||31||Memphis||10||59,430|
|December 29, 2016||Birmingham Bowl||#25 South Florida||46||South Carolina||39 (OT)||31,229|
|December 23, 2017||Birmingham Bowl||#23 South Florida||38||Texas Tech||34||28,623|
|December 22, 2018||Birmingham Bowl||Wake Forest||37||Memphis||34||25,717|
|January 2, 2020||Birmingham Bowl||#23 Cincinnati vs. Boston College|
|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|
|January 8, 2011||Dion Lewis||Pittsburgh||RB|
|January 7, 2012||Darius Johnson||SMU||WR|
|January 5, 2013||Bo Wallace||Ole Miss||QB|
|January 4, 2014||Jordan Matthews||Vanderbilt||WR|
|January 3, 2015||Adam Lane||Florida||RB|
|December 30, 2015||Jovon Robinson||Auburn||RB|
|December 29, 2016||Quinton Flowers||South Florida||QB|
|December 23, 2017||Quinton Flowers||South Florida||QB|
|December 22, 2018||Jamie Newman||Wake Forest||QB|
Updated through the December 2018 edition (13 games, 26 total appearances).
- Teams with multiple appearances
- Teams with a single appearance
Appearances by conferenceEdit
Updated through the December 2018 edition (13 games, 26 total appearances).
|Conference||Record||Appearances by season|
|The American||14||7||6||.538||2006, 2007, 2008, 2009*, 2010*, 2016, 2017||2011*, 2012*, 2013*, 2014*, 2015, 2018|
|SEC||7||4||3||.571||2012*, 2013*, 2014*, 2015||2009*, 2010*, 2016|
- Games marked with an asterisk (*) were played in January of the following calendar year.
- The American record includes appearances of the Big East Conference, as The American retains the charter of the original Big East, following its 2013 realignment. Teams representing the Big East appeared in seven games, compiling a 5–2 record.
- "2019 Bowl Schedule". collegefootballpoll.com. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
- "ESPN Regional Television to Own and Operate New PapaJohns.com Bowl Game". May 9, 2006. Retrieved December 25, 2006.
- "TicketSmarter Named Title Sponsor of Birmingham Bowl" (PDF). Retrieved November 27, 2019.
- Solomon, Jon (December 24, 2006). "Cheers for Papajohns.com Bowl". The Birmingham News. Archived from the original on March 29, 2007. Retrieved December 25, 2006.
- "It's official: Cincinnati is Southern Mississippi's opponent in Papajohns.com Bowl in Birmingham " (November 28, 2007) Birmingham News
- Boyer, Zac (December 6, 2009). "UConn accepts bid to Papajohns.com Bowl". UConnReport.com. Archived from the original on January 7, 2014. Retrieved December 6, 2006.
- "PapaJohns.com Bowl receives two-year tie-in with SEC". CNNSI.com. Associated Press. May 1, 2008. Archived from the original on May 5, 2008.
- "PapaJohns.com Signs on as Title Sponsor of Inaugural PapaJohns.com Bowl Game". November 16, 2006. Archived from the original on March 27, 2007. Retrieved December 25, 2006.
- Solomon, Jon (August 7, 2010). "Papa John's: New NFL strategy, higher ESPN financial demand mean cutting bowl ties". The Birmingham News. Retrieved November 4, 2010.
- Russell, Hubbard (November 4, 2010). "BBVA Compass to take over sponsorship of Birmingham bowl game". The Birmingham News. Archived from the original on November 7, 2010. Retrieved November 4, 2010.
- "BBVA Compass to end sponsorship of bowl game in Birmingham" The Biz Journals. 2013-04-03
- "The University of Memphis and Wake Forest University Selected to Play in the 2018 Jared Birmingham Bowl" (PDF). Retrieved December 2, 2018.