Las Vegas Bowl
|Las Vegas Bowl|
|Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl|
|Stadium||Sam Boyd Stadium|
|Location||Whitney, Nevada, U.S.|
|Conference tie-ins||MWC, Pac-12|
|Previous conference tie-ins||Big West, MAC (1992–96)
EA Sports Las Vegas Bowl (1999)
Sega Sports Las Vegas Bowl (2001–2002)
Pioneer Purevision Las Vegas Bowl (2003–2006)
Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl (2007–2008)
Maaco Bowl Las Vegas (2009–2012)
|Boise State vs. Washington (Boise State 28–26)|
|Fresno State vs. USC (USC 45–20)|
The Las Vegas Bowl is an NCAA-sanctioned Division I-A post-season college football bowl game that has been played annually at 40,000-seat Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. since 1992. Since its inception the game has been played in December.
As the Las Vegas Bowl was initially 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 and 1998 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. Since 2001, the Mountain West and Pacific-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 2014 game will pit 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).
The game is officially known as Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl, since Royal Purple was announced as title sponsor on September 25, 2013 as part of a new three-year agreement. The game had been called the Maaco Bowl Las Vegas from 2009 to 2012, as MAACO sponsored the event during that period. Previous title sponsors were Sega, Pioneer Corporation, and EA Sports.
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.
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. With the current sponsor, the bowl is called the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl. The owner of the bowl is ESPN Plus (a/k/a/ "ESPN Regional Television") of which the parent network, ESPN carries the game, one of six contests run by the group better known as ESPN Plus. On September 25, 2013, Royal Purple was announced as the new title sponsor for the next three years.
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 the 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.
|Date||Winning team||Losing team||Notes|
|December 18, 1992||Bowling Green||35||Nevada||34||notes|
|December 17, 1993||Utah State||42||Ball State||33||notes|
|December 15, 1994||UNLV||52||Central Michigan||24||notes|
|December 14, 1995||Toledo||40||Nevada||37 (OT)||notes|
|December 18, 1996||Nevada||18||Ball State||15||notes|
|December 20, 1997||Oregon||41||Air Force||13||notes|
|December 19, 1998||North Carolina||20||San Diego State||13||notes|
|December 18, 1999||Utah||17||Fresno State||16||notes|
|December 21, 2000||UNLV||31||Arkansas||14||notes|
|December 25, 2001||Utah||10||USC||6||notes|
|December 25, 2002||UCLA||27||New Mexico||13||notes|
|December 24, 2003||Oregon State||55||New Mexico||14||notes|
|December 23, 2004||Wyoming||24||UCLA||21||notes|
|December 22, 2005||California||35||BYU||28||notes|
|December 21, 2006||BYU||38||Oregon||8||notes|
|December 22, 2007||BYU||17||UCLA||16||notes|
|December 20, 2008||Arizona||31||BYU||21||notes|
|December 22, 2009||BYU||44||Oregon State||20||notes|
|December 22, 2010||Boise State||26||Utah||3||notes|
|December 22, 2011||Boise State||56||Arizona State||24||notes|
|December 22, 2012||Boise State||28||Washington||26||notes|
|December 21, 2013||USC||45||Fresno State||20|
|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|
|T13||San Diego State||1||0–1|
Wins by conference
- "Royal Purple Announced as Bowl Game's Title Sponsor". Las Vegas Bowl. September 25, 2013.
- Hilderbrand, Brian (December 14, 2006). "What does Pioneer have to gain by sponsoring the Las Vegas Bowl?". Las Vegas Sun. Archived from the original on January 3, 2007.
- "Royal Purple Announced as Bowl Game's Title Sponsor" (Press release). September 25, 2013.