|Conference tie-ins||The American, SEC
Alternates: C-USA, MAC
|Payout||US$1,950,000 (As of 2013[update])|
Birmingham Bowl (2006, working title)
PapaJohns.com Bowl (2006–2010)
BBVA Compass Bowl (2011–2014)
|Vanderbilt vs. Houston (Vanderbilt 41-24)|
|East Carolina vs. Florida (Florida 28–20)|
The Birmingham Bowl (formerly known as the PapaJohns.com Bowl and the BBVA Compass Bowl) is a post-season NCAA-sanctioned Division I-A college football bowl game approved in April 2006 and played annually at the 71,594-seat Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama, U.S. ESPN Regional Television (doing business as ESPN Plus, a subsidiary of ESPN) owns and manages the bowl's operations, sponsorships and marketing, including broadcast of the game on ESPN. The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) also provides marketing, management and game-day operations support.
The game was sponsored by BBVA Compass, a subsidiary of Bilbao, Spain-based Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria which is based in Birmingham. Compass and bowl officials announced the new sponsorship on November 4, 2010. The game formerly promoted the website of Papa John's Pizza, who became the title sponsor signing a multi-year agreement on November 16, 2006. The company declined to renew its sponsorship in 2010, so the bowl name reverted to its working title before the announcement of the Compass deal.
On April 3, 2013, BBVA Compass decided not to renew its sponsorship of the BBVA Compass Bowl following the January 2014 game.
The bowl originally had a four-year agreement with Conference USA to match a representative of that conference against an opponent from the Big East Conference, but the bowl's officials later appealed to the NCAA for a recertification which was granted in late April 2008. In 2008 and 2009, the bowl featured the Southeastern Conference's ninth bowl-eligible team and a team from the Big East Conference.
The game currently features teams from the SEC and the American Athletic Conference. Should either of these conferences not fulfill their bowl commitments, a team from C-USA or the Mid-American Conference will take their place, provided it is bowl eligible. Otherwise, the game will choose an at-large team (as in 2008, when the SEC was unable to send a team; the bowl selected ACC team North Carolina State to face Rutgers from the Big East despite the fact that the bowl had an arrangement with the Sun Belt Conference at the time and it had at least one bowl-eligible team it could send).
The PapaJohns.com Bowl marked the return of post-season football to the city of Birmingham, which previously hosted the Dixie Bowl from 1947-1948, the Hall of Fame Classic from 1977-1985 (relocated to Tampa and now named the Outback Bowl), and the All-American Bowl from 1986-1990 (canceled when the SEC awarded their championship game to the city).
In the inaugural game, played on December 23, 2006, the South Florida Bulls, the Big East's representative, beat Conference USA's East Carolina Pirates, 24-7 in front of an announced crowd of 32,023. Benjamin Williams scored the game's first points just over ninety seconds into the game as one of his two touchdowns on the day, and earned the game's MVP honors. Notably, South Florida had previously been a member of C-USA.
The 2007 matchup featured the Southern Miss Golden Eagles and the Cincinnati Bearcats. As with the previous year's game, the participants were a former Conference USA member (Cincinnati) and a current C-USA member (Southern Miss).
After being held in December for its first three years, the PapaJohns.com Bowl was played on January 2, 2010. As a result, there was no game during the 2009 calendar year. It was one of five bowl games to take place that day, joining the Cotton Bowl Classic, International, Alamo, and Liberty bowls. Connecticut faced South Carolina in the 2010 edition of the bowl. Once again, the unique link with C-USA returned, as South Carolina is an associate member in the conference for men's soccer.
On August 6, 2010, Papajohns.com announced it would not renew its sponsorship, after having secured a sponsorship deal with the National Football League. Following the announcement, the game was temporarily renamed the Birmingham Bowl until BBVA Compass was announced as its title sponsor on November 4, 2010, officially changing its name to the BBVA Compass Bowl.
|Date||Winning team||Losing team||Attendance||Notes|
|December 23, 2006||South Florida||24||East Carolina||7||32,023||notes|
|December 22, 2007||Cincinnati||31||Southern Miss||21||35,258||notes|
|December 29, 2008||Rutgers||29||NC State||23||38,582||notes|
|January 2, 2010||Connecticut||20||South Carolina||7||45,254||notes|
|January 8, 2011||Pittsburgh||27||Kentucky||10||41,207||notes|
|January 7, 2012||SMU||28||Pittsburgh||6||29,726||notes|
|January 5, 2013||Ole Miss||38||Pittsburgh||17||59,135||notes|
|January 4, 2014||Vanderbilt||41||Houston||24||42,717||notes|
|January 3, 2015||Florida||28||East Carolina||20||30,083||notes|
|December 23, 2006||Benjamin Williams||South Florida||RB|
|December 22, 2007||Ben Mauk||Cincinnati||QB|
|December 29, 2008||Mike Teel||Rutgers||QB|
|January 2, 2010||Andre Dixon||Connecticut||RB|
|January 8, 2011||Dion Lewis||Pittsburgh||RB|
|January 7, 2012||Darius Johnson||SMU||WR|
|January 5, 2013||Bo Wallace||Ole Miss||QB|
|January 4, 2014||Jordan Matthews||Vanderbilt||WR|
|January 3, 2015||Adam Lane||Florida||RB|
Wins by conference
|The American[n 1]||5||4||.556|
- "BBVA Compass Bowl — About Us: Past Results". BBVA Compass Bowl. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
- "ESPN Regional Television to Own and Operate New PapaJohns.com Bowl Game". 2006-05-09. Retrieved 2006-12-25.
- Hubbard, Russell (2010-11-04). "BBVA Compass to take over sponsorship of Birmingham bowl game". The Birmingham News.
- "PapaJohns.com Signs on as Title Sponsor of Inaugural PapaJohns.com Bowl Game". 2006-11-16. Archived from the original on 2007-03-27. Retrieved 2006-12-25.
- Solomon, Jon (2010-08-06). "Papa John's doesn't renew as sponsor of Birmingham's bowl". The Birmingham News.
- "BBVA Compass to end sponsorship of bowl game in Birmingham " The Biz Journals. 2013-04-03
- "PapaJohns.com Bowl receives two-year tie-in with SEC". CNNSI.com (Associated Press). May 1, 2008.[dead link]
- Solomon, Jon (2006-12-24). "Cheers for Papajohns.com Bowl". The Birmingham News. Retrieved 2006-12-25.
- "It's official: Cincinnati is Southern Mississippi's opponent in Papajohns.com Bowl in Birmingham " (November 28, 2007) Birmingham News
- Boyer, Zac (2009-12-06). "UConn accepts bid to Papajohns.com Bowl". UConnReport.com. Retrieved 2006-12-06.
- Solomon, Jon (2010-08-07). "Papa John's: New NFL strategy, higher ESPN financial demand mean cutting bowl ties". The Birmingham News. Retrieved 2010-11-04.
- Russell, Hubbard (2010-11-04). "BBVA Compass to take over sponsorship of Birmingham bowl game". The Birmingham News. Archived from the original on 7 November 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-04.