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Gaotr Bowl Corner
The Konica Minolta Gator Bowl has been an annual college football bowl game since 1946. From 1946 through 1993, the Gator Bowl was played in Gator Bowl Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida. Following the 1994 Gator Bowl, the bowl game was moved to January 1, 1996 and held in ALLTEL Stadium for the first time. The Gator Bowl has been played in ALLTEL Stadium ever since.
Until 1975, the Gator Bowl typically matched a team from the former Southern Conference or the Southeastern Conference (SEC) against a team from another part of the country. For the 20 year period from 1975 through 1996, although there was no exclusive preference towards the SEC, the Gator Bowl typically featured a team from the south eastern part of the country (usually from the SEC) against an at-large college football team. Starting with the 1996 Gator Bowl, the bowl committee formed an allegiance with the Big Ten Conference and the SEC – each year the Gator Bowl would feature the 2nd place Big Ten team against the 2nd place SEC team. With the emergence of the Bowl Championship Series, the January 1, 2007 Gator Bowl will feature the 3rd place SEC team against either a team from the Big East Conference or the Big 12 Conference or the University of Notre Dame (instead of a team from the Big Ten Conference).
Konica Minolta is currently the official sponsor of the Gator Bowl. The 2007 Gator Bowl not have a title sponsor. Toyota and Mazda, two car manufacturers, previously owned the naming rights to the Gator Bowl.
The 2008-9 Konica Minolta Gator Bowl game will be played on January 1, 2009. The 2008-9 Konica Minolta Gator Bowl game will feature 2 NCAA college football teams that will be ranked in the top 25 of the Associated Press Poll and the Coaches Poll preceding the contest.
The Konica Minolta Gator Bowl game will be televised on the CBS Sports television network. Previously, Gator Bowl games had been televised on the ABC television network.
Gator Bowl History
Wake Forest defeated South Carolina 26-14 in the inaugural Gator Bowl game which occurred on January 1, 1946. The University of Florida has won the most Gator Bowl game contests with 6 victories since its inception. Two other southern colleges – Florida State and the University of North Carolina – are next on the list with 5 victories each. The Auburn Tigers follow with 4 Gator Bowl victories. West Virginia University holds the record for most losses in the history of the Gator Bowl Game with 4 losses. The University of South Carolina is close to that record with 4 Gator Bowl game losses. Traditional Midwestern powerhouse college football teams have not fared well in their Gator Bowl appearances. The University of Notre Dame has only won 1 of the 3 Gator Bowl games in which it has appeared – having lost its last 2 contests in 1999 to Georgia Tech 35-28 and in 2003 to North Carolina State 28-6. The University of Michigan is 1-1 in Gator Bowl contests – losing to the University of North Carolina 17-15 in 1979 and defeating Ole Miss 35-3 in 1991. In one of the more memorable Gator Bowl games, the Ohio State Buckeyes lost its only appearance to the Clemson Tigers 17-15 on December 29, 1978. In that game, Ohio State’s legendary Head Coach Woody Hayes lost his cool after his quarterback threw a costly interception at the end of the game. As Clemson’s Charlie Bauman raced down the Ohio State sidelines following the interception, Head Coach Hayes stepped onto the field and “clotheslined” Baumann to the ground, preventing him from scoring a touchdown. Clemson went on to defeat Ohio State and the Ohio State Board of Trustees dismissed Head Coach Hayes the following day. Head Coach Hayes never coached again after that game.
In more recent history, on January 1, 2004, the University of Maryland Terrapins crushed the West Virginia Mountaineers 41-7 in a dominating performance. Quarterback Scott McBrian of Maryland was named the Most Valuable Player of the contest for Maryland. One year later, the Florida State Seminoles handed the West Virginia Mountaineers another Gator Bowl loss with a convincing 30-18 victory. Despite 3 turnovers from Florida State Quarterback Chris Rix in the 1st half, the Florida State Seminoles still won the contest behind the solid rushing of Running Back Leon Washington, who was named the Most Valuable Player for the Seminoles. West Virginia Running Back Kay-Jay Harris was named the Mountaineers’ Most Valuable Player for his 2 touchdown 134 yard rushing performance. On January 2, 2006, the Virginia Tech Hokies defeated the Louisville Cardinals 35-24. Virginia Tech Running Back Cedric Hume was named the Hokies’ Most Valuable Player for a stellar rushing performance along with his running mate Brandon Ore. Louisville Quarterback Hunter Cantwell was named the Most Valuable Player for the Cardinals.
From 1946 through 1993, the Gator Bowl was played in Gator Bowl Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida. During the demolition of Gator Bowl Stadium after the 1993 Gator Bowl, the 1994 Gator Bowl was played in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida. Following the 1994 Gator Bowl, the bowl game was moved to January 1, 1996 and held in ALLTEL Stadium for the first time. The Gator Bowl has been played in ALLTEL Stadium ever since. ALLTEL Stadium holds a seating capacity of up to 84,000 raucous college football fans for the annual Gator Bowl. In addition to hosting the annual Gator Bowl, ALLTEL Stadium is the home stadium for the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League. ALLTEL Stadium has also hosted the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Game since 2005 and the annual contest between the University of Florida Gators and the Georgia Bulldogs – known as “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” - since 1995. ALLTEL Stadium also hosted Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005 when the New England Patriots defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 24-21. By winning Super Bowl XXXIX, the New England Patriots became the first team to win consecutive Super Bowls since the Denver Broncos did so in 1997 and 1998.
1 ALLTEL Stadium Place
Jacksonville, Florida 32202