|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 (Cincinnati 38–6)|
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.
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 (which relocated to Tampa and became the Outback Bowl), and the All-American Bowl from 1986 to 1990 (which was canceled when the SEC Championship Game was awarded to the city).
In the inaugural edition of the bowl, played on December 23, 2006, the South Florida Bulls defeated the East Carolina Pirates, 24–7, in front of a crowd of 32,023. Running back Benjamin Williams of South Florida scored the bowl's first points on a 16-yard touchdown run less that two minutes into the game; he added a second touchdown during the first quarter and was named the game's MVP.
After being held in December for its first three years, the fourth edition of the bowl was played in January 2010. As a result, there was no game during the 2009 calendar year. The bowl was subsequently played in January through its ninth edition, held in January 2015. The tenth edition of the bowl saw a return to December, resulting in two editions of the bowl being played during calendar year 2015. The bowl remained in December through its 13th edition, held in December 2018. The 14th edition of the bowl was held in January 2020, thus there was no game during calendar year 2019.
With construction of a new football stadium on the grounds of the Birmingham–Jefferson Convention Complex, scheduled for completion in 2021, the Birmingham Bowl "would likely move to the new stadium."
The bowl originally had a four-year agreement with Conference USA (C-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 ninth bowl-eligible team of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and a team from the Big East Conference.
The game currently features teams from the SEC and the American Athletic Conference (The American). Should either of these conferences not fulfill their bowl commitments, a team from C-USA or the Mid-American Conference (MAC) 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 North Carolina State of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) to face Rutgers from the Big East, even though bowl had an arrangement with the Sun Belt Conference at the time, and that conference had at least one bowl-eligible team it could send.
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||38||Boston College||6||27,193|
|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|
|January 2, 2020||Desmond Ridder||Cincinnati||QB|
Updated through the January 2020 edition (14 games, 28 total appearances).
- Teams with multiple appearances
- Teams with a single appearance
Appearances by conference
Updated through the January 2020 edition (14 games, 28 total appearances).
|Conference||Record||Appearances by season|
|The American||14||8||6||.571||2006, 2007, 2008, 2009*, 2010*, 2016, 2017, 2019*||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.
|Team||Record, Team vs. Opponent||Year|
|Most points scored (one team)||46, South Florida vs. South Carolina||2016|
|Most points scored (losing team)||39, South Carolina vs. South Florida||2016|
|Most points scored (both teams)||85, South Florida (46) vs. South Carolina (39)||2016|
|Fewest points allowed||6, SMU vs. Pittsburgh||2012|
|Largest margin of victory||32, Cincinnati vs. Boston College||2020|
|Total yards||561, South Florida vs. Texas Tech||2017|
|Rushing yards||343, Cincinnati vs. Boston College||2020|
|Passing yards||427, East Carolina vs. Florida||Jan. 2015|
|First downs||33, Cincinnati vs. Boston College||2020|
|Fewest yards allowed||164, Cincinnati vs. Boston College||2020|
|Fewest rushing yards allowed||10, SMU vs. Pittsburgh||2012|
|Fewest passing yards allowed||87, Cincinnati vs. Boston College||2020|
|Individual||Record, Player, Team vs. Opponent||Year|
|All-purpose yards||291, Deebo Samuel, South Carolina vs. South Florida
(190 receiving, 97 return, 4 rushing)
|Touchdowns (all-purpose)||3, shared by Flowers, Newman, and Ridder (below)|
|Rushing yards||155, Damion Fletcher, Southern Miss vs. Cincinnati||2007|
|Rushing touchdowns||3, shared by:
Quinton Flowers, South Florida vs. South Carolina
Jamie Newman, Wake Forest vs. Memphis
Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati vs. Boston College
|Passing yards||427, Shane Carden, East Carolina vs. Florida||Jan. 2015|
|Passing touchdowns||4, shared by:
Ben Mauk, Cincinnati vs. Southern Miss
Quinton Flowers, South Florida vs. Texas Tech
|Receiving yards||190, Deebo Samuel, South Carolina vs. South Florida||2016|
|Receiving touchdowns||2, shared by:
Dominick Goodman, Cincinnati vs. Southern Miss
Tyre McCants, South Florida vs. Texas Tech
|Long Plays||Record, Player, Team vs. Opponent||Year|
|Touchdown run||62, I'Tavius Mathers, Ole Miss vs. Pittsburgh||2013|
|Touchdown pass||86, Treon Harris to Ahmad Fulwood, Florida vs. East Carolina||Jan. 2015|
|Kickoff return||97, Tony Pollard, Memphis vs. Wake Forest||2018|
|Punt return||56, Marcus Davis, Auburn vs. Memphis||Dec. 2015|
|Punt||60, Ryan Dougherty, East Carolina vs. South Florida||2006|
|Field goal||53, Jake Elliott, Memphis vs. Auburn||Dec. 2015|
- "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.
- "Protective wins naming rights for Birmingham stadium". psam.uk.com. April 19, 2019. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
- "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.
- "History - TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl". ticketsmarterbirminghambowl.com. Retrieved January 2, 2020.
- Kelly, Doug (ed.). "2019–20 Football Bowl Association Media Guide" (PDF). footballbowlassociation.com: 166. Retrieved January 3, 2020.