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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.[2] The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) also provides marketing, management and game-day operations support. The game was previously known as the 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.[3]

Birmingham Bowl
TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl
TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl.png
StadiumLegion Field
LocationBirmingham, Alabama
Conference tie-insThe American, SEC
Alternates: C-USA, MAC
PayoutUS$1,374,545 (2019 season)[1]
Papa John's (2006–2010)
BBVA Compass (2011–2014)
Jared (2018)
TicketSmarter (2019–present)
Former names
Birmingham Bowl (2006, working title) Bowl (2006–2010)
BBVA Compass Bowl (2011–2014)
Birmingham Bowl (2015–2017)
Jared Birmingham Bowl (2018)
2018 matchup
Wake Forest vs. Memphis (Wake Forest 37–34)
2019 season matchup
Boston College vs. Cincinnati (January 2, 2020)


The 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.[4] 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.[5] 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 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.[6]

Conference tie-insEdit

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.[7]

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.[8] 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 Bowl, named after Papa John's Pizza, who became the title sponsor signing a multi-year agreement in November 2006.[9] 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.[10] 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.[10][11] The bowl was sponsored by BBVA through the January 2014 game, following which BBVA Compass declined to renew its sponsorship,[12] 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,[13] and the 2019 edition was sponsored by TicketSmarter.[3]

Game resultsEdit

Rankings are from the AP Poll from before the game was played.

Date Bowl name Winning team Losing team Attendance
December 23, 2006 Bowl South Florida 24 East Carolina 7 32,023
December 22, 2007 Bowl #20 Cincinnati 31 Southern Miss 21 35,258
December 29, 2008 Bowl Rutgers 29 NC State 23 38,582
January 2, 2010 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


A 2017 Birmingham Bowl ticket
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
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

Most appearancesEdit

Updated through the December 2018 edition (13 games, 26 total appearances).

Teams with multiple appearances
Rank Team Appearances Record
T1 South Florida 3 3–0
T1 Pittsburgh 3 1–2
T3 Cincinnati 2 1–0
T3 East Carolina 2 0–2
T3 Memphis 2 0–2
T3 South Carolina 2 0–2
Teams with a single appearance

Won: Auburn, Connecticut, Florida, Ole Miss, Rutgers, SMU, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest
Lost: Houston, Kentucky, N.C. State, Southern Miss, Texas Tech
TBD: Boston College

Appearances by conferenceEdit

Updated through the December 2018 edition (13 games, 26 total appearances).

Conference Record Appearances by season
Games W L Win pct. Won Lost
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
C-USA 3 1 2 .333 2011* 2006, 2007
ACC 3 1 1 .500 2018 2008
Big 12 1 0 1 .000   2017
  • 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.

Media coverageEdit

Except for the inaugural game, which was televised on ESPN2, the bowl has been televised on ESPN.


  1. ^ "2019 Bowl Schedule". Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  2. ^ "ESPN Regional Television to Own and Operate New Bowl Game". May 9, 2006. Retrieved December 25, 2006.
  3. ^ a b "TicketSmarter Named Title Sponsor of Birmingham Bowl" (PDF). Retrieved November 27, 2019.
  4. ^ Solomon, Jon (December 24, 2006). "Cheers for Bowl". The Birmingham News. Archived from the original on March 29, 2007. Retrieved December 25, 2006.
  5. ^ "It's official: Cincinnati is Southern Mississippi's opponent in Bowl in Birmingham " (November 28, 2007) Birmingham News
  6. ^ Boyer, Zac (December 6, 2009). "UConn accepts bid to Bowl". Archived from the original on January 7, 2014. Retrieved December 6, 2006.
  7. ^ " Bowl receives two-year tie-in with SEC". Associated Press. May 1, 2008. Archived from the original on May 5, 2008.
  8. ^
  9. ^ " Signs on as Title Sponsor of Inaugural Bowl Game". November 16, 2006. Archived from the original on March 27, 2007. Retrieved December 25, 2006.
  10. ^ a b 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.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ "BBVA Compass to end sponsorship of bowl game in Birmingham" The Biz Journals. 2013-04-03
  13. ^ "The University of Memphis and Wake Forest University Selected to Play in the 2018 Jared Birmingham Bowl" (PDF). Retrieved December 2, 2018.

External linksEdit