Las Vegas Bowl
SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl
StadiumAllegiant Stadium
LocationParadise, Nevada
Previous stadiumsSam Boyd Stadium (1992–2019)
Previous locationsWhitney, Nevada (1992–2019)
Operated1992–present
Conference tie-insPac-12
SEC (2022, 2024)
Big Ten (2021, 2023, 2025)
Previous conference tie-insBig West, MAC (1992–96)
WAC (1997–1998)
MWC (2001–2019)
PayoutUS$2.9 million (2019)[1]
Sponsors
Former names
  • Las Vegas Bowl (1992–1998)
  • EA Sports Las Vegas Bowl (1999)
  • Las Vegas Bowl (2000)
  • Sega Sports Las Vegas Bowl (2001–2002)
  • Las Vegas Bowl (2003)
  • Pioneer Purevision Las Vegas Bowl (2004–2006)
  • Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl (2007–2008)
  • Maaco Bowl Las Vegas (2009–2012)
  • Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl (2013–2015)
  • Las Vegas Bowl presented by GEICO (2016)
  • Las Vegas Bowl (2017)
  • Mitsubishi Las Vegas Bowl (2018–2019)
2019 matchup
Boise State vs. Washington (Washington 38–7)
2021 matchup
(December 30, 2021)

The Las Vegas Bowl is an NCAA Division I FBS annual post-season college football bowl game played at the 65,000-seat Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, Nevada. From 1992 until 2019, the game was played at the 40,000-seat Sam Boyd Stadium in Whitney, Nevada. The bowl is owned and operated by ESPN Events.

Conference tie-ins

As the Las Vegas Bowl was effectively the replacement for the California Bowl, it inherited that bowl's tie-ins with the champions of the Big West Conference and the Mid-American Conference. These remained intact until 1996, after which the Big West's champion earned a berth in the Humanitarian Bowl while the MAC's champion was given a berth in the Motor City Bowl. 1997 through 1999 saw a team from the Western Athletic Conference face an at-large team, and the Mountain West Conference took over for the WAC for the 1999 and 2000 games (the 1999 game featured both WAC and Mountain West teams). Since 2001, the Mountain West and Pac-12 Conferences (originally known as the Pacific-10 Conference) have matched up in Las Vegas.

From 2001 until 2005, the second place team in the Mountain West was chosen to face the Pac-12. Beginning in 2006, after its contract with the Liberty Bowl expired, the Mountain West agreed to send its champion to the Las Vegas Bowl to face the Pac-12's 5th or 6th place team. From 2006 until 2013, the Mountain West would send a secondary team if the champion qualified for the Bowl Championship Series or, as per the rules of the Hawai'i Bowl, was Hawai'i. The 2016 game would have pitted the Pac-12's #6 team against the winner of the Mountain West Conference Football Championship Game, provided that the winner of the game does not automatically qualify for one of the College Football Playoff's six bowls as the highest-ranking member of the "Group of Five" (champions of the Mountain West, Sun Belt, American, or Mid-American Conferences, as well as the Conference USA champion comprise this group). However, since the Pac-12 only had six bowl eligible teams and two of them qualified for New Years Six bowls, the bowl elected to invite Houston Cougars of the American Athletic Conference instead of a Pac-12 team.

To heighten the profile of the game with its move to Allegiant Stadium, the Las Vegas Bowl announced a new, five-year, alternating tie-in between the SEC and Big Ten beginning 2020. An SEC team will play the Las Vegas Bowl in even-numbered years, while a Big Ten team will play in odd-numbered years. The conference not playing in the Las Vegas Bowl will play in the Duke's Mayo Bowl (formerly Belk Bowl).[2][3] The Mountain West moved its top selection from the Las Vegas Bowl to the newly-established LA Bowl.[4]

History

The game originated from the California Raisin Bowl, which was played in Fresno from 1981 to 1991. In 1992, Fresno State, formerly of the Big West, moved to the Western Athletic Conference. The Big West and MAC then pulled out of Fresno and sought a new home for their conference champions.[5] They found it in Las Vegas, where organizers were looking for a way to boost hotel revenue. In those days, the Christmas season was a slow period for Las Vegas hotels and casinos. The first Las Vegas Bowl was played in 1992.

The NCAA adopted an overtime rule for the 1995 post-season and all games thereafter. In 1995, Toledo defeated Nevada, 40–37, in the first ever overtime game in Division I-A college football. The following season, the policy of overtime was adopted for regular season games to break ties.

In 2001, ESPN Regional Television purchased the Las Vegas Bowl from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.[6]

On December 25, 2002, UCLA interim coach Ed Kezirian was victorious in his only game as the UCLA head coach as UCLA won 27–13 over New Mexico. In that game, New Mexico sent Katie Hnida in to kick an extra point which was the first time a woman played in a Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (née Division I-A) college football game. The kick was blocked.

The 2007 Las Vegas Bowl featured a rematch between Mountain West Champion BYU and UCLA who defeated BYU during the regular season. UCLA scored first on a field goal after a fumble by BYU quarterback Max Hall. BYU answered with a touchdown reception by Austin Collie. BYU went up 17–6 with Michael Reed catch for a touchdown. A fumble by BYU with 19 seconds left in the first half allowed UCLA to score and cut the lead to 17–13. UCLA cut the deficit to 17–16 on a 50-yard field goal. With two minutes left UCLA took over at their own two-yard line. They were able to drive down to the BYU 13-yard line with 3 seconds left. The 28-yard field goal attempt was partially blocked by BYU defensive tackle Eathyn Manumaleuna and fell short giving BYU their second Vegas Bowl victory in three tries, also making the Cougars the first school to win back-to-back Las Vegas Bowls. The following year, though, the Arizona Wildcats denied BYU their third consecutive Las Vegas Bowl win by winning 31–21.

On September 25, 2013, Royal Purple was announced as the new title sponsor for the next three years.[7] Following the expiration of Royal Purple's sponsorship of the title from 2013 to 2015, the game became officially known as the Las Vegas Bowl.

With the relocation of the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas, Allegiant Stadium was constructed to replace Sam Boyd Stadium. The Las Vegas Bowl along with the other events held at Sam Boyd Stadium moved to the new stadium upon completion.

On December 2, 2020, the 2020 edition of the game was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[8] Its tie-ins (SEC and Pac-12) were transferred to the ESPN Events-owned Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas.[9]

Sponsors

The bowl was known as the SEGA Sports Las Vegas Bowl from 2001 to 2002. From 2003 to 2008, the title sponsor was the Pioneer Corporation. From 2009 to 2012, the game was known as the Maaco Bowl Las Vegas, as the sponsor was MAACO. From 2013 to 2015, the game was known as the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl as the sponsor was Royal Purple. For the 2016 edition, the game was known as the Las Vegas Bowl presented by GEICO as GEICO was the presenting sponsor. On July 12, 2018, it was announced that Mitsubishi would be the new title sponsor, with the game renamed as the Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl as part of a two-year deal.[10] On April 20, 2021, SRS Distribution signed a five-year agreement with ESPN to become the title sponsor, making the game the SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl.[11]

Game results

Rankings per AP Poll prior to the game being played.[12]

UCLA vs. Wyoming in 2004
UCLA vs. Wyoming in 2004
Date Winning team Score Losing team Attendance Notes
December 18, 1992 Bowling Green 35–34 Nevada 15,476 notes
December 17, 1993 Utah State 42–33 Ball State 15,508 notes
December 15, 1994 UNLV 52–24 Central Michigan 17,562 notes
December 14, 1995 No. 25 Toledo 40–37 (OT) Nevada 12,500 notes
December 18, 1996 Nevada 18–15 Ball State 10,118 notes
December 20, 1997 Oregon 41–13 No. 23 Air Force 21,514 notes
December 19, 1998 North Carolina 20–13 San Diego State 21,429 notes
December 18, 1999 Utah 17–16 Fresno State 28,227 notes
December 21, 2000 UNLV 31–14 Arkansas 29,113 notes
December 25, 2001 Utah 10–6 USC 30,894 notes
December 25, 2002 UCLA 27–13 New Mexico 30,324 notes
December 24, 2003 Oregon State 55–14 New Mexico 25,437 notes
December 23, 2004 Wyoming 24–21 UCLA 27,784 notes
December 22, 2005 California 35–28 BYU 40,053 notes
December 21, 2006 No. 19 BYU 38–8 Oregon 44,615 notes
December 22, 2007 No. 19 BYU 17–16 UCLA 40,712 notes
December 20, 2008 Arizona 31–21 No. 17 BYU 40,047 notes
December 22, 2009 No. 15 BYU 44–20 No. 16 Oregon State 40,018 notes
December 22, 2010 No. 10 Boise State 26–3 No. 20 Utah 41,923 notes
December 22, 2011 No. 8 Boise State 56–24 Arizona State 35,720 notes
December 22, 2012 No. 20 Boise State 28–26 Washington 33,217 notes
December 21, 2013 USC 45–20 No. 21 Fresno State 42,178 notes
December 20, 2014 No. 23 Utah 45–10 Colorado State 33,067 notes
December 19, 2015 No. 20 Utah 35–28 BYU 42,213 notes
December 17, 2016 San Diego State 34–10 Houston 29,286 notes
December 16, 2017 No. 25 Boise State 38–28 Oregon 36,432 notes
December 15, 2018 No. 19 Fresno State 31–20 Arizona State 37,146 notes
December 21, 2019 Washington 38–7 No. 18 Boise State 34,197 notes
2020 Cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic[13]

Source:[14]

MVPs

Game MVP Marshawn Lynch at the 2005 Las Vegas Bowl.
Game MVP Marshawn Lynch at the 2005 Las Vegas Bowl.
Date MVP Team Position
December 18, 1992 Erik White Bowling Green QB
December 17, 1993 Anthony Calvillo Utah State QB
December 15, 1994 Henry Bailey UNLV WR
December 14, 1995 Wasean Tait Toledo RB
December 18, 1996 Mike Crawford Nevada LB
December 20, 1997 Pat Johnson Oregon WR
December 19, 1998 Ronald Curry North Carolina QB
December 18, 1999 Mike Anderson Utah RB
December 21, 2000 Jason Thomas UNLV QB
December 25, 2001 Dameon Hunter Utah RB
December 25, 2002 Craig Bragg UCLA WR
December 24, 2003 Steven Jackson Oregon State RB
December 23, 2004 Corey Bramlet Wyoming QB
December 22, 2005 Marshawn Lynch California RB
December 21, 2006 Jonny Harline BYU TE
December 22, 2007 Austin Collie BYU WR
December 20, 2008 Willie Tuitama Arizona QB
December 22, 2009 Max Hall BYU QB
December 22, 2010 Kellen Moore Boise State QB
December 22, 2011 Doug Martin Boise State RB
December 22, 2012 Bishop Sankey Washington RB
December 21, 2013 Cody Kessler USC QB
December 20, 2014 Travis Wilson Utah QB
December 19, 2015 Tevin Carter Utah CB
December 17, 2016 Donnel Pumphrey San Diego State RB
December 16, 2017 Cedrick Wilson Jr. Boise State WR
December 15, 2018 Ronnie Rivers Fresno State RB
December 21, 2019 Elijah Molden Washington DB
2020 No Game

Most appearances

Updated through the December 2019 edition (28 games, 56 total appearances).

Teams with multiple appearances
Rank Team Appearances Record
1 BYU 6 3–3
T2 Boise State 5 4–1
T2 Utah 5 4–1
T4 Fresno State 3 1–2
T4 Nevada 3 1–2
T4 Oregon 3 1–2
T4 UCLA 3 1–2
T8 UNLV 2 2–0
T8 Oregon State 2 1–1
T8 San Diego State 2 1–1
T8 USC 2 1–1
T8 Washington 2 1–1
T8 Arizona State 2 0–2
T8 Ball State 2 0–2
T8 New Mexico 2 0–2
Teams with a single appearance

Won: Arizona, Bowling Green, California, North Carolina, Toledo, Utah State, Wyoming
Lost: Air Force, Arkansas, Central Michigan, Colorado State, Houston

Appearances by conference

Updated through the December 2019 edition (28 games, 56 total appearances).

Conference Record Appearances by season
Games W L Win pct. Won Lost
Mountain West 20 12 8 .600 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2016, 2017, 2018 2002, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2019
Pac-12 18 9 9 .500 1997, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2019 2001, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2017, 2018
Big West 5 3 2 .600 1993, 1994, 1996 1992, 1995
MAC 5 2 3 .400 1992, 1995 1993, 1994, 1996
WAC 4 1 3 .250 2010 1997, 1998, 1999
ACC 1 1 0 1.000 1998  
The American 1 0 1 .000   2016
Independents 1 0 1 .000   2015
SEC 1 0 1 .000   2000

Game records

Team Record, Team vs. Opponent Year
Most points scored (one team) 56, Boise State vs. Arizona State 2011
Most points scored (losing team) 37, Nevada vs. Toledo (OT)
34, Nevada vs. Bowling Green (regulation)
1995
1992
Most points scored (both teams) 80, Boise (56) vs. Arizona State (24) 2011
Fewest points allowed 3, Boise State vs. Utah 2010
Largest margin of victory 41, Oregon State (55) vs. New Mexico (14) 2003
Total yards 589, UNLV vs. Central Michigan 1994
Rushing yards 359, Utah vs. Colorado State 2014
Passing yards 395, Arizona State vs. Boise State 2011
First downs 33, Toledo vs. Nevada 1995
Fewest yards allowed 127, Oregon State vs. New Mexico 2003
Fewest rushing yards allowed –11, Boise State vs. Arizona State 2011
Fewest passing yards allowed 33, San Diego State vs. North Carolina 1998
Individual Record, Player, Team vs. Opponent Year
All-purpose yards 301, Doug Martin, Boise State vs. Arizona State 2011
Touchdowns (all-purpose) 5, Steven Jackson, Oregon State vs. New Mexico 2003
Rushing yards 254, Mike Anderson, Utah vs. Fresno State 1999
Rushing touchdowns 4, shared by:
Wasean Tait, Toledo vs. Nevada
Steven Jackson, Oregon State vs. New Mexico

1995
2003
Passing yards 395, Brock Osweiler, Arizona State vs. Boise State 2011
Passing touchdowns 4, Cody Kessler, USC vs. Fresno State 2013
Receiving yards 241, Gerell Robinson, Arizona State vs. Boise State 2011
Receiving touchdowns 2, by several players—most recent:
Marqise Lee, USC vs. Fresno State
Nelson Agholor, USC vs. Fresno State

2013
2013
Tackles 20 (total), Troy Polamalu, USC vs. Utah
12 (solo), same
2001
Sacks 3, Mike Crawford, Nevada vs. Ball State 1996
Interceptions 2, by several players—most recent:
Kameron Kelly, San Diego State vs. Houston

2016
Long Plays Record, Player, Team vs. Opponent Year
Touchdown run 84, Doug Martin, Boise State vs. Utah 2010
Touchdown pass 78, Jason Mass to Pat Johnson, Oregon vs. Air Force 1997
Kickoff return 100, Doug Martin, Boise State vs. Arizona State 2011
Punt return 74, Craig Bragg, UCLA vs. New Mexico 2002
Interception return 100, Jamar Taylor, Boise State vs. Arizona State 2011
Fumble return
Punt 69, Garrett Swanson, Fresno State vs. USC 2013
Field goal 52, Kai Forbath, UCLA vs. BYU 2007

Source:[15]: 32–37 

Media coverage

Main article: List of Las Vegas Bowl broadcasters

The Las Vegas Bowl has been televised by ABC since 2013; ABC also televised the game in 2001. Other editions of the game were broadcast by ESPN or ESPN2.[16]

References

  1. ^ "2019 Bowl Schedule". collegefootballpoll.com. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  2. ^ Solari, Chris. "Big Ten adds Las Vegas, Charlotte, Phoenix to football bowl destinations for 2020". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2019-08-25.
  3. ^ McMann, Aaron (2019-06-04). "Big Ten to add three bowl games, drop Holiday, Gator in 2020". mlive.com. Retrieved 2019-08-25.
  4. ^ "SoFi Stadium will be home to new college bowl game this season". Los Angeles Times. 2020-02-27. Retrieved 2020-03-08.
  5. ^ "Archives". Los Angeles Times.
  6. ^ Jessop, Alicia (January 5, 2013). "ESPN's Path to Becoming a Bowl Game Owner and Redefining Bowl Game Operations". Forbes. Retrieved September 23, 2014.
  7. ^ "Royal Purple Announced as Bowl Game's Title Sponsor" (Press release). September 25, 2013.
  8. ^ "ESPN Events: 2020 Las Vegas Bowl canceled due to pandemic". 8newsnow.com. December 2, 2020. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
  9. ^ "Armed Forces Bowl announces Pac-12, SEC partnership". 247Sports. Retrieved 2020-12-08.
  10. ^ "Mitsubishi Motors Announced as Las Vegas Bowl Title Sponsor". Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  11. ^ Snel, Alan (April 20, 2021). "Las Vegas Bowl Has Five-Year Naming Rights Deal With SRS Distribution". Retrieved April 20, 2021.
  12. ^ "Bowl Media Guide" (PDF). lvbowl.com. 2018. p. 30. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  13. ^ "Las Vegas Bowl won't be played in 2020". Las Vegas Sun. December 2, 2020. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
  14. ^ "Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl" (PDF). Bowl/All Star Game Records. NCAA. 2020. p. 12. Retrieved January 3, 2021 – via NCAA.org.
  15. ^ "Las Vegas Bowl Media Guide". lvbowl.com. 2019. Retrieved December 27, 2019.
  16. ^ Kelly, Doug (ed.). "2019–20 Football Bowl Association Media Guide" (PDF). footballbowlassociation.com: 54. Retrieved January 3, 2020.