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Coca-Cola Classic (defunct)
StadiumTokyo Dome (1988–1993)
LocationTokyo, Japan
Previous stadiumsNational Olympic Stadium (1980–1987)
Korakuen Stadium
(1977–1979)
Operated19771993
Sponsors
The Coca-Cola Company (1986–1993)
Mitsubishi (1977–1985)
Former names
Mirage Bowl (1977–1985)

The Coca-Cola Classic was a regular season National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) college football game played in Tokyo, Japan, from 1977 to 1993. It was originally sponsored by Mitsubishi and known as the Mirage Bowl, and later sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company and renamed for the soft drink Coca-Cola Classic. Because the game was merely a re-location of a late regular season game, it was not considered a traditional postseason bowl game.

Corporate sponsorship

Mitsubishi

See also: Mitsubishi Motors

The Mirage Bowl was hosted by Mitsubishi Motors in Japan from its inception through 1985. The name refers to Mitsubishi's Mirage line of subcompact cars. Chrysler imported the Mirage and sold it in the US as the Dodge Colt and the Plymouth Champ.

Coca-Cola Company

See also: The Coca-Cola Company

The Coca-Cola Company took over corporate sponsorship from Mitsubishi in 1986, renaming it the "Coca-Cola Classic". Other sports contests sponsored by Coca-Cola have also been called "Coca-Cola Classic", for example, in college basketball[1] and volleyball.[2] The company's flagship beverage, itself, was re-branded "Coca-Cola Classic" in the wake of the "New Coke" fiasco.

Game results

All seventeen games were played in Tokyo, Japan; the 1987 edition was a tie.

Season Date Winners Runners-up Venue Attendance Notes Ref.
1977 11 December 1977 Grambling 35 Temple 32 Korakuen Stadium Mirage Bowl
1978 10 December 1978 Temple 28 Boston College 24
1979 24 November 1979 Notre Dame 40 Miami (FL) 15
1980 30 November 1980 UCLA 34 Oregon State 3 National Olympic Stadium
1981 28 November 1981 Air Force 21 San Diego State 16 60,000 [3]
1982 27 November 1982 Clemson 21 Wake Forest 17
1983 26 November 1983 SMU 34 Houston 12
1984 17 November 1984 Army 45 Montana 31
1985 30 November 1985 USC 20 Oregon 6
1986 30 November 1986 Stanford 29 Arizona 24 Coca-Cola Bowl
1987 28 November 1987 California 17 Washington State 17 54,000 [4]
1988 3 December 1988 No. 12 Oklahoma State 45 Texas Tech 41 Tokyo Dome 56,000 [5]
1989 4 December 1989 Syracuse 24 Louisville 13
1990 2 December 1990 Houston 62 Arizona State 45
1991 30 November 1991 Clemson 33 Duke 21
1992 6 December 1992 Nebraska 38 Kansas State 24
1993 6 December 1993 No. 12 Wisconsin 41 No. 3 Michigan State 20 51,000 [6]

Notable games

1977

The inaugural Mirage Bowl was played in 1977 at Korakuen Stadium on December 11, between Grambling and Temple. Grambling rallied to win 35–32 with a last-minute touchdown,[7] and All-American quarterback Doug Williams was named MVP.

1984

The eighth edition, between Army and Montana,[8] marked the introduction of "The Wave" to Japan.

1988

See also: NCAA football records § Rushing

Heisman Trophy winning running back Barry Sanders concluded his Division I-A (now FBS) record-setting rushing season in this game, since the NCAA did not begin counting bowl game statistics until 2002 (four weeks later, he gained 222 yards in the Holiday Bowl, which are not included in his record-setting total). He watched the Heisman Trophy announcement in a Tokyo television studio at five o'clock in the morning.[9][10][11] Sanders rushed for more than 300 yards in Oklahoma State's 45–42 win against Texas Tech to finish the season with 2,628 yards.

1990

See also: NCAA football records § Passing

Houston quarterback David Klingler passed for 716 yards against Arizona State, a Division I-A (now FBS) single-game passing yardage record that stood for over two decades, broken by Connor Halliday in 2014.[12]

1992

Nebraska won the Big Eight conference title, edging out runner-up Colorado with the win.

1993

With their 21-point win over Michigan State, Wisconsin became co-champions of the Big Ten (with Ohio State, who they had tied earlier in the season) and received the invitation to the Rose Bowl, the program's first New Year's Day appearance in 31 years.[13]

See also

References

  1. ^ "WVU Record in Coca-Cola Classic". Archived from the original on 2007-10-30. Retrieved 2007-11-12.
  2. ^ University of Alaska Fairbanks Volleyball Archives
  3. ^ "San Diego State Upset by Air Force". The Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. 30 November 1981. p. III-18. Retrieved 17 January 2017 – via Newspapers.com.
  4. ^ '16 Cougar Football (PDF). Washington State University Athletics. p. 81.
  5. ^ Telander, Rick (12 December 1988). "BIG HAND FOR A QUIET MAN". Vault SI. Retrieved 13 September 2021.
  6. ^ Sanger, David E. (6 December 1993). "Wisconsin Is on Top a World Away". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
  7. ^ "Grambling QB takes win over record in Tokyo game". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. December 12, 1977. p. 6D.
  8. ^ Lammers, David (November 17, 1984). "Army rips Montana in Mirage Bowl matchup". Spokane Chronicle. (Washington). Associated Press. p. 12.
  9. ^ Nissenson, Herschel (December 3, 1988). "Tale of the unwanted Heisman Trophy". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. p. B1.
  10. ^ "Heisman rout for Sanders". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. December 4, 1988. p. D1.
  11. ^ Trotter, Jake (August 8, 2014). "Sanders' 1988 season stands alone". ESPN. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  12. ^ Bonagura, Kyle (October 5, 2014). "Connor Halliday sets passing record". ESPN. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
  13. ^ "It's roses for Badgers after win over MSU". Toledo Blade. (Ohio). Associated Press. December 6, 1993. p. 20.