North–South All-American Game

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The North–South All-American Game (formerly known as the Las Vegas All-American Classic and the Paradise Bowl) is an annual post-season college football all-star game that was played each January or February from 2002 (for the 2001 season) to 2006 (for the 2005 season), and then took 2 years off due to lack of sponsorship. The game was supposed to return in 2009 (for the 2008 season) with a new location of Miami, Florida, and the rebranded name, but the game was postponed.

History[edit]

The game was known in 2002 and 2003 as the Paradise Bowl and was conceived by Darry Alton, who would later help found the Magnolia Gridiron All-Star Classic, in view of the discontinuation of the Blue-Gray Football Classic and the Gridiron Classic, in order to provide players from lesser known and televised schools or players who were primarily backups with a chance to impress NFL scouts.

Former All-American Classic logo.

The game, played in 2002 and 2003 in Saint George, Utah (on the campus of Dixie State College of Utah at Hansen Stadium), was held at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada and renamed the Las Vegas All-American Classic, which matched a team of players from Division I-A and I-AA schools located east of the Mississippi River (who play as the "East" team) against players from schools located west of Mississippi (who play as the "West" team). The present format was adopted for the game held in 2004; in 2002, the game matched players from schools located in Colorado and Utah (playing as the "Utah-Colorado All-Stars") against players from schools in other Western states (playing as the "West All-Stars"), and in 2003, the game matched players from Midwestern schools ("MidWest All-Stars") against players from Western schools (West All-Stars"). The game aims each year to field teams each of about fifty players, all of whom are to be NFL draft-eligible (in their junior years or later), of whom forty to forty-five are to be from Division I-A schools. Prior to the game, players take place in team practices and combines open to professional scouts; a reception honoring offensive and defensive most valuable players for each team follows the game.

Although in 2002 and 2003 contested on the Saturday preceding the Super Bowl, the game was played on the weekend preceding Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The game had televised regionally on Fox Sports Net networks.

The 2007 game was cancelled due to lack of sponsorship. NFL Network, which was scheduled to televise the contest if it was played in 2007, replaced the canceled game with a rebroadcast of Super Bowl XXXII. It was hoped that the game can be revived in 2008 with a new title sponsor, but plans fell through.

The game was planned to be moved from Las Vegas to Miami, Florida in 2009 with a name change (to the "North-South All-American Game") and was to be played on January 19, 2009, but the game was postponed indefinitely. A companion game was played in Atlanta, Georgia (The Silver and Gold Gridiron Classic[1]) on December 20, 2008.

Previous results[edit]

Date Played Winning Team Losing Team
February 2, 2002 West All-Stars 33 Utah-Colorado All-Stars 20 (2OT)
January 25, 2003 Midwest All-Stars 36 West All-Stars 31
January 17, 2004 West 14 East 7
January 22, 2005 West 21 East 16
January 14, 2006 East 41 West 3

Series Records: West (3-2) Midwest (1-0) East (1-2) Utah-Colorado (0-1)

References[edit]