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The Gator Bowl is an annual college football bowl game that is played at Jacksonville Municipal Stadiummarker in Jacksonville, Floridamarker. It is the sixth oldest college bowl, held continuously since 1946. Its current full name is the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl after its present sponsor, Konica Minolta.


According to The Big Bowl Football Guide by Anthony C. DiMarco (G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York, 1974, 1976, ISBN 399-11800-4), Charles Hilty, Sr. is given credit for conceiving the idea for the event. He, Ray McCarthy, Maurice Cherry and W.C. Ivey put up $10,000 to underwrite the first game. The first two years of the event did not sell out the small capacity stadium, drawing only 7,362 to the 1946 match when Wake Forest defeated South Carolina, 26–14. It was not until the 1949 match-up between the Clemson Tigers and the Missouri Tigers that the future of the Gator Bowl was assured. The 1948 attendance of 16,666 for a 20–20 tie between Maryland and Georgia, was nearly doubled with 32,939 watching Clemson squeak by Missouri, 24–23, on a late field goal by Jack Miller. By the 1970s, the attendance regularly reached 60,000–70,000.

Hotel Roosevelt fire

The Gator Bowl is one of Jacksonville's annual sports highlights. However, the event was once associated with a tragedy. In 1963, the Hotel Roosevelt in downtown caught fire after a post-Gator Bowl party in the ballroom. It was later determined that the party was not the cause of the fire, and was a mere tragic coincidence. The fire resulted in 22 deaths.

The Woody Hayes incident in 1978

In the 1978 game between Ohio State and Clemson, Ohio State coach Woody Hayes lost his temper after a late game interception by Clemson nose guard Charlie Bauman, who stepped in front of the receiver on a screen pass from quarterback Art Schlichter. Bauman ran the ball out of bounds on the Ohio State sideline where Hayes struck Bauman with his right forearm. The play sealed the Tigers' 17–15 win over the Buckeyes and Hayes was fired the next day before leaving Jacksonville.


The 1946 and 1947 games were played in Fairfield Stadium, which had a seating capacity of 7,600. The stadium was expanded to 16,000 seats in 1948, and the structure was renamed the Gator Bowlmarker. Prior to the 1949 game, the seating capacity was expanded to 36,058, at which it remained until 1957. That stadium hosted the game through 1993, when it was almost completely demolished for the construction of Jacksonville Municipal Stadiummarker on the same site. During the construction, the 1994 Gator Bowl was played instead at Ben Hill Griffin Stadiummarker in Gainesville, Floridamarker; the game following the 1995 season and all subsequent games were moved to January 1 and have been played at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium.


Gator Bowl Association logo
The Gator Bowl Association (GBA) is a not-for-profit, 5013 organization, founded in 1945, whose stated mission is to:

"provide Northeast Florida with the very best in college athletics and related activities in order to maximize positive impact on the area’s economy, national image and community pride."

The association is composed of 225 Gator Bowl Committee members, 84 Chairman’s Club members & sponsors, more than 700 volunteers, plus over a dozen paid staff members. In addition to planning and executing all the activities of Gator Bowl week, GBA coordinates another college football game, the River City Showdown, which features a Florida State Seminoles game. The GBA also hosted the ACC Championship Game from 2005 to 2007.

Teams typically featured

In the early years of the bowl, from 1946–1952, it featured a team from the Southern Conference against an at-large opponent. Beginning with the 1953 game, it switched to generally featuring a Southeastern Conference (SEC) team against an at-large opponent. From 1953 to the 1975 game, at least one SEC team appeared in 20 out of the 24 games, and in 3 of those games, both teams were from the SEC. The games from 1976 to 1995 usually, but not always, involved a team from south-east part of the country against a team from another part of the country. Teams from the ACC played in 10 of these 20 games.

From 1996–2006, the Gator Bowl traditionally hosted the second-place ACC against the second-place Big East team. With the 2007 game, the ACC runner-up became contractually tied to play in the Chick-fil-A Bowl and the Gator Bowl began hosting the third-place ACC team versus a team from either the Big East (still the conference's #2 team unless they qualified for the BCS), Big 12, or Notre Damemarker, who would take the Big East's spot in this game. The contract, which runs for four years, is held in conjunction with the Sun Bowl with the Gator Bowl receiving first choice of teams and requires both bowls to take Big East teams twice and Big 12 teams twice. Since the last two Gator Bowls featured Texas Tech and Nebraska, both Big 12 teams, a Big East team or Notre Dame will play in the 2010 Gator Bowl per the terms of the contract.

The conference alignment will change again in 2010, as the Big East and Notre Dame are moving their hybrid arrangement to the Champs Sports Bowl for 2010, while the Gator Bowl declined to renew their contract with the Big 12. The Gator Bowl will feature the SEC and the Big Ten starting with the 2010 season, joining the Capital One Bowl and the Outback Bowl as the third Big Ten-SEC bowl matchup on New Years' Day.[42743]


Activity Sponsor When
Golf tournaments Gator Bowl Ass'n September/December
Red Wagon Parade Gator Bowl Ass'n September
Little Gator Bowl Pop Warner Championships Gator Bowl Ass'n November
Players Welcome at Dave and Busters CSX Transportation Gator Bowl week Day 1
Adventure Landing Player's Outing Gator Bowl Ass'n Gator Bowl week Day 2/3
Fellowship of Christian Athletes Breakfast First Baptist Church Gator Bowl week Day 4
Day at the Jacksonville Zoomarker Outback Steakhouse Gator Bowl week Day 5
Coaches Luncheon/Hall of Fame Induction Gate Petroleum Gator Bowl week Day 6
5K Run VyStar Credit Union Gator Bowl week day 6
Gator Bowl Parade Winn Dixie Gator Bowl week day 6
Pep Rally Jacksonville Landing Gator Bowl week day 6
St. Johns River Midnight Fireworks City of Jacksonville Gator Bowl week day 6
Touchdown party at Fairgrounds Florida Times-Union Gator Bowl week day 7
Stadium Tailgate party Budweiser Gator Bowl week day 7
Gator Bowl Football Game Konica Minolta Gator Bowl week day 7

Media coverage

The payout for each team increased to $2.5 million for the 2007 game with a new TV contract with CBS Sports to televise the game. The longtime broadcaster of the game was ABC, who would always show the game in prime time. Turner Sports bought the rights to the game after the 1991 matchup and TBS became the home of the Gator Bowl for the next four years, moving back to a late December date. The game returned to New Year's Day after NBC bought the rights to the Gator Bowl in 1996.

Title sponsors

logo of the Toyota Gator Bowl, 1996-2006
Mazda was the first title sponsor, beginning in 1986 and lasting for five years. Outback Steakhouse sponsored the Gator Bowl for three years beginning in 1992, prior to obtaining their own Outback Bowl held in Tampa, Floridamarker. From 1996–2006, the title sponsor was Toyota, and the bowl's official name was the Toyota Gator Bowl. Konica Minolta became the title sponsor prior to the 2007 game.

Game results

Italics denotes a tie game.

Game Scores
Date Played Winning Team Losing Team Notes
January 1, 1946 Wake Forest 26 14 q.v.
January 1, 1947 Oklahoma 34 13 q.v.
January 1, 1948 Georgia 20 Maryland 20 q.v.
January 1, 1949 24 23 q.v.
January 2, 1950 Maryland 20 7 q.v.
January 1, 1951 20 7 q.v.
January 1, 1952 14 0 q.v.
January 1, 1953 Florida 14 13 q.v.
January 1, 1954 Texas Tech 35 13 q.v.
December 31, 1954 33 13 q.v.
December 31, 1955 25 13 q.v.
December 29, 1956 21 14 q.v.
December 28, 1957 3 Texas A&M 0 q.v.
December 27, 1958 7 Florida 3 q.v.
January 2, 1960 Arkansas 14 7 q.v.
December 31, 1960 Florida 13 12 q.v.
December 30, 1961 Penn State 30 15 q.v.
December 29, 1962 Florida 17 Penn State 7 q.v.
December 28, 1963 35 0 q.v.
January 2, 1965 36 19 q.v.
December 31, 1965 31 Texas Tech 21 q.v.
December 31, 1966 18 12 q.v.
December 30, 1967 17 Penn State 17 q.v.
December 28, 1968 35 Alabama 10 q.v.
December 27, 1969 Florida 14 Tennessee 13 q.v.
January 2, 1971 35 Mississippi 28 q.v.
December 31, 1971 Georgia 7 3 q.v.
December 30, 1972 24 3 q.v.
December 29, 1973 Texas Tech 28 19 q.v.
December 30, 1974 27 3 q.v.
December 29, 1975 Maryland 13 Florida 0 q.v.
December 27, 1976 20 Penn State 9 q.v.
December 30, 1977 34 3 q.v.
December 29, 1978 17 Ohio State 15 q.v.
December 28, 1979 North Carolina 17 Michigan 15 q.v.
December 29, 1980 Pittsburgh 37 South Carolina 9 q.v.
December 28, 1981 31 Arkansas 27 q.v.
December 30, 1982 31 West Virginia 12 q.v.
December 30, 1983 Florida 14 6 q.v.
December 28, 1984 21 14 q.v.
December 30, 1985 Florida State 34 23 q.v.
December 27, 1986 27 21 q.v.
December 31, 1987 30 13 q.v.
January 1, 1989 Georgia 34 27 q.v.
December 30, 1989 Clemson 27 7 q.v.
January 1, 1991 Michigan 35 3 q.v.
December 29, 1991 48 14 q.v.
December 31, 1992 Florida 27 10 q.v.
December 31, 1993 Alabama 24 10 q.v.
December 30, 1994 Tennessee 45 23 q.v.
January 1, 1996 41 0 q.v.
January 1, 1997 North Carolina 20 13 q.v.
January 1, 1998 North Carolina 42 3 q.v.
January 1, 1999 35 Notre Dame 28 q.v.
January 1, 2000 28 13 q.v.
January 1, 2001 Virginia Tech 41 20 q.v.
January 1, 2002 Florida State 30 17 q.v.
January 1, 2003 28 Notre Dame 6 q.v.
January 1, 2004 Maryland 41 West Virginia 7 q.v.
January 1, 2005 Florida State 30 West Virginia 18 q.v.
January 2, 2006 Virginia Tech 35 Louisville 24 q.v.
January 1, 2007 West Virginia 38 Georgia Tech 35 q.v.
January 1, 2008 Texas Tech 31 Virginia 28 q.v.
January 1, 2009 Nebraska 26 Clemson 21 q.v.


Most Valuable Players
Date Played MVP Team Position MVP Team Position
January 1, 1946 Nick Sacrinty Wake Forest QB
January 1, 1947 Joe Golding Oklahoma HB
January 1, 1948 Lu Gambino Maryland HB
January 1, 1949 Bobby Gage Clemson HB
January 2, 1950 Bob Ward Maryland G
January 1, 1951 Eddie Talboom Wyoming HB
January 1, 1952 Jim Dooley Miami (Fla.) HB
January 1, 1953 John Hall Florida RB Marv Matuszak Tulsa T
January 1, 1954 Bobby Cavazos Texas Tech RB Vince Dooley Auburn QB
December 31, 1954 Joe Childress Auburn FB Billy Hooper Baylor QB
December 31, 1955 Don Orr Vanderbilt QB Joe Childress Auburn FB
December 29, 1956 Wade Mitchell Georgia Tech QB Corny Salvaterra Pittsburgh QB
December 28, 1957 Bobby Gordon Tenneessee TB John David Crow Texas A&M HB
December 27, 1958 Bobby Franklin Mississippi QB Dave Hudson Florida E
January 2, 1960 Jim Mooty Arkansas HB Maxie Baughan Georgia Tech LB
December 31, 1960 Larry Libertore Florida QB Bobby Ply Baylor QB
December 30, 1961 Galen Hall Penn State QB Joe Auer Georgia Tech HB
December 29, 1962 Tom Shannon Florida QB Dave Robinson Penn State E
December 28, 1963 Ken Willard North Carolina RB David Sicks Air Force C
January 2, 1965 Fred Biletnikoff Florida State SE Steve Tensi Florida State QB
Carl McAdams Oklahoma LB
December 31, 1965 Lenny Snow Georgia Tech TB Donny Anderson Texas Tech RB
December 31, 1966 Dewey Warren Tenneessee QB Floyd Little Syracuse HB
December 30, 1967 Kim Hammond Florida State QB Tom Sherman Penn State QB
December 28, 1968 Terry McMillan Missouri QB Mike Hall Alabama LB
December 27, 1969 Mike Kelley Florida LB Curt Watson Tennessee FB
January 2, 1971 Pat Sullivan Auburn QB Archie Manning Ole' Miss QB
December 31, 1971 Jimmy Poulos Georgia TB James Webster North Carolina LB
December 30, 1972 Wade Whatley Auburn QB Mark Cooney Colorado LB
December 29, 1973 Joe Barnes Texas Tech QB Haskel Stanback Tennessee TB
December 30, 1974 Phil Gargis Auburn QB Earl Campbell Texas RB
December 29, 1975 Steve Atkins Maryland TB Sammy Green Florida LB
December 27, 1976 Al Hunter Notre Dame HB Jimmy Cefalo Penn State WR
December 30, 1977 Matt Cavanaugh Pittsburgh QB Jerry Butler Clemson SE
December 29, 1978 Steve Fuller Clemson QB Art Schlichter Ohio State QB
December 28, 1979 Matt Kupec North Carolina QB Amos Lawrence North Carolina RB
John Wangler Michigan QB Anthony Carter Michigan WR
December 29, 1980 Rick Trocano Pittsburgh QB George Rogers South Carolina RB
December 28, 1981 Kelvin Bryant North Carolina TB Ethan Horton North Carolina TB
Gary Anderson Arkansas RB
December 30, 1982 Greg Allen Florida State TB Paul Woodside West Virginia K
December 30, 1983 Tony Lilly Florida S Owen Gill Iowa FB
December 28, 1984 Thurman Thomas Oklahoma State RB Mike Hold South Carolina QB
December 30, 1985 Chip Ferguson Florida State QB Thurman Thomas Oklahoma State RB
December 27, 1986 Rodney Williams Clemson QB Brad Muster Stanford RB
December 31, 1987 Wendell Davis LSU SE Harold Green South Carolina RB
January 1, 1989 Wayne Johnson Georgia QB Andre Rison Michigan State WR
December 30, 1989 Levon Kirkland Clemson LB Mike Fox West Virginia DT
January 1, 1991 Offensive Line Michigan N/A Tyrone Ashley Mississippi DB
December 29, 1991 Cale Gundy Oklahoma QB Tyrone Davis Virginia DB
December 31, 1992 Errict Rhett Florida RB Reggie Lawrence North Carolina State WR
December 31, 1993 Brian Burgdorf Alabama QB Corey Holliday North Carolina WR
December 30, 1994 James Stewart Tennessee TB Maurice DeShazo Virginia Tech QB
January 1, 1996 Donovan McNabb Syracuse QB Peter Ford Clemson CB
January 1, 1997 Oscar Davenport North Carolina QB David Saunders West Virginia WR
January 1, 1998 Chris Keldorf North Carolina QB Nick Sorensen Virginia Tech QB
January 1, 1999 Dez White Georgia Tech WR Joe Hamilton Georgia Tech QB
Autry Denson Notre Dame RB
January 1, 2000 Nate Webster Miami (Fla.) LB Joe Hamilton Georgia Tech QB
January 1, 2001 Michael Vick Virginia Tech QB Rod Gardner Clemson WR
January 1, 2002 Javon Walker Florida State WR Andre Davis Virginia Tech WR
January 1, 2003 Philip Rivers North Carolina State QB Cedric Hillard Notre Dame NG
January 1, 2004 Scott McBrien Maryland QB Brian King West Virginia DB
January 1, 2005 Leon Washington Florida State RB Kay-Jay Harris West Virginia RB
January 2, 2006 Cedric Humes Virginia Tech RB Hunter Cantwell Louisville QB
January 1, 2007 Pat White West Virginia QB Calvin Johnson Georgia Tech WR
January 1, 2008 Graham Harrell Texas Tech QB Mikell Simpson Virginia RB
January 1, 2009 Joe Ganz Nebraska QB Cullen Harper Clemson QB

Most appearances

Rank Team Appearances Record
1 Clemson 9 4-5
2 Florida 8 6-2
T3 North Carolina 7 5-2
T3 Georgia Tech 7 3-4
T5 Florida State 6 5-0-1
T5 Auburn 6 4-2
T5 West Virginia 6 1-5
T8 Tennessee 5 3-2
T8 Virginia Tech 5 2-3
T10 Maryland 4 3-0-1
T10 Texas Tech 4 3-1
T10 Penn State 4 1-2-1
T10 South Carolina 4 0-4
T14 Georgia 3 2-0-1
T14 Oklahoma 3 2-1
T14 Pittsburgh 3 2-1
T14 Mississippi 3 1-2
T14 Missouri 3 1-2
T14 North Carolina State 3 1-2
T14 Notre Dame 3 1-2

Gator Bowl Hall of Fame

Inductees (by year):

See also

List of college bowl games


External links

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