Bowl Challenge Cup

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Bowl Challenge Cup
Awarded for Best college football bowl record among Division I Football Bowl Subdivision conferences.
Country United States
Presented by ESPN
First awarded 2002–03
Currently held by Conference USA

The Bowl Challenge Cup was created by ESPN in 2002[1] as a competition among the conferences in the NCAA's Division I-A, now called the Football Bowl Subdivision, to see which one was the best in the college football bowl games that take place. The competition has been used as a gauge to compare which conference has done the best in the post-season bowl matchups.

Originally sponsored by Cooper Tire,[2] ESPN no longer has a sponsor for the Bowl Challenge Cup. However, the network has continued to post the standings during college bowl games on ESPN and the Cup makes regular appearances during the bowl season.

Conferences competing[edit]

The ten Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) conferences that compete in the Bowl Challenge Cup are:


In order to qualify to win the trophy, a conference has to have the highest winning percentage with a minimum of three teams from that conference. Prior to 2014, the Sun Belt Conference had only two guaranteed bowl slots, the R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl and the Bowl and held contingency picks with several other bowls, and needed one other conference to be unable to fulfill their bowl obligations in order to qualify for the Cup. That all changed with the addition of the Camellia Bowl as they will now have the required three teams per conference.


Bowl Challenge Cup champions
Bowl season Conference Record Win %
2002–03 Big Ten 5–2[3] .714
2003–04 ACC 5–1[4] .833
2004–05 Mountain West 2–1[4] .667
2005–06 Big 12 and ACC (tied) 5–3[4] .625
2006–07 Big East 5–0[4] 1.000
2007–08 Mountain West 4–1[1] .800
2008–09 Pacific-10 5–0[5] 1.000
2009–10 Mountain West 4–1[1] .800
2010–11 Mountain West 4–1[6] .800
2011–12 C-USA and MAC (tied) 4–1 .800
2012–13 Conference USA 4–1 .800
2013–14 SEC 7–3 .700
2014–15 Conference USA 4-1 .800
Number of Bowl Challenge Cup championships
Conference Times Championships
Mountain West 4 2004–05, 2007–08, 2009–10, 2010–11
Conference USA 3 2011–12(2), 2012–13, 2014–15
Atlantic Coast 2 2003–04, 2005–06(1)
Big 12 1 2005–06(1)
Big East/AAC 1 2006–07
Big Ten 1 2002–03
Mid-American 1 2011–12(2)
Pacific-12 1 2008–09
Southeastern 1 2013-14
Sun Belt 0

(1) – Tied for 2005–06 championship
(2) – Tied for 2011–12 championship