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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 Fieldmarker in Birmingham, Alabamamarker. ESPN Regional Television (a/k/a ESPN Plus, a subsidiary of ESPN) owns and manages the bowl's operations, sponsorships and marketing, including broadcast of the game on ESPN. 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.

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. 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.

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

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, FLmarker 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 , the Big East's representative, beat Conference USA's East Carolina Pirates, 24-7 in front of an announced 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 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 will be played on January 2, 2010. It is one of five bowl games that are scheduled to take place that day, joining the Cotton Bowl Classic, International, Alamo, and Liberty bowls.

Game results

Date Winning Team Losing Team Attendance Notes
December 23, 2006 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


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


Most appearances

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


Television coverage



References

  1. " It's official: Cincinnati is Southern Mississippi's opponent in Papajohns.com Bowl in Birmingham " (November 28, 2007) Birmingham News


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