|Coca-Cola Classic (defunct)|
|Stadium||Tokyo Dome (1988–1993)|
|Previous stadiums||National Olympic Stadium (1980–1987)|
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.
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.
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 and volleyball. The company's flagship beverage, itself, was re-branded "Coca-Cola Classic" in the wake of the "New Coke" fiasco.
All seventeen games were played in Tokyo, Japan; the 1987 edition was a tie.
|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|||
|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|||
|1988||3 December 1988||No. 12 Oklahoma State||45||Texas Tech||41||Tokyo Dome||56,000|||
|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|||
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, and All-American quarterback Doug Williams was named MVP.
The eighth edition, between Army and Montana, marked the introduction of "The Wave" to Japan.
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. 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.
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.
Nebraska won the Big Eight conference title, edging out runner-up Colorado with the win.
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.