|Walk-On's Independence Bowl|
|Previous conference tie-ins||Southland (1976–81)
Big 12 (1998–2009)
|Payout||US$1,200,000 (as of 2015)|
Independence Bowl (1976–89)
Poulan Independence (1990)
Poulan/Weed Eater Independence Bowl (1991–97)
Sanford Independence Bowl (1998–2000)
MainStay Independence Bowl (2001–03)
Independence Bowl (2004–05)
PetroSun Independence Bowl (2006–08)
AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl (2008–12)
AdvoCare V100 Bowl (2013)
Duck Commander Independence Bowl (2014)
Camping World Independence Bowl (2015–16)
|NC State vs. Vanderbilt (NC State 41–17)|
|Florida State vs. Southern Miss (Florida State 42–13)|
The Independence Bowl, officially the Walk-On's Independence Bowl for sponsorship purposes, is a post-season National Collegiate Athletic Association-sanctioned Division I college football bowl game that is played annually each December at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, Louisiana. The Independence Bowl was named because it was inaugurated in 1976, the year of the United States Bicentennial.
Conference tie-ins and matchups
For its first five years, the game pitted the champion of the Southland Conference against an at-large opponent. It then moved to inviting two at-large teams, until 1995 when it began featuring a Southeastern Conference school against an at-large opponent.
From 1998 to 2009 the game normally featured a matchup between teams representing the Big 12 Conference and the SEC. Teams from other conferences were included only if one of those leagues did not have enough bowl-eligible teams to fill its spot, such as in 2004 when Miami (Ohio) played instead of an SEC squad. In 2008 neither the SEC nor the Big 12 had enough bowl-eligible teams to fill their respective spots resulting in a matchup of Louisiana Tech and Northern Illinois.
From 2010–2011, the Independence Bowl held the third selection from the Mountain West Conference and the seventh selection from the Atlantic Coast Conference. It was announced that in 2012, the Mountain West Conference team would be replaced by the tenth selection from the Southeastern Conference.
One of the most memorable games in Independence Bowl History was the 2000 "snow bowl" game between Texas A&M and Mississippi State. The game was originally publicized as a reunion game, since Mississippi State coach Jackie Sherrill had served as A&M's coach for six seasons in the 1980s and led them to three conference titles. However, the weather quickly dominated the storyline as a rare and significant snowstorm hit Shreveport. In the midst of the snow, Mississippi State rallied to an overtime win over A&M. The 2013 game featured the Arizona Wildcats of the Pac-12 Conference.
In 1990, the contest became one of the earliest college bowl games to use a title sponsor, becoming the Poulan Weed-Eater Independence Bowl. Poulan (then a division of AB Electrolux Home Products, now Husqvarna AB) sponsored the game until 1996. Newell Rubbermaid's Sanford brand of writing products took over sponsorship from 1998 until 2000, while MainStay Investments sponsored from 2001 to 2003. In January 2005, the Deja Vu chain of "gentlemen's clubs" offered to become the title sponsor. The offer was rejected.
The Independence Bowl's three-year search for a title sponsor ended on August 21, 2006 when PetroSun Inc., a Phoenix, Arizona-based company that provides services and products to suppliers of oil and gas, agreed to become the bowl's sponsor. The deal, changing the game's full name to the PetroSun Independence Bowl, was to have run through 2008 with an option for 2009; however the deal was discontinued prior to the 2008 game.
On May 21, 2009, AdvoCare became the fifth title sponsor since the bowl's inception. The bowl was then renamed the AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl. AdvoCare makes energy drinks and nutritional supplements sold through multilevel marketing. On February 28, 2013, AdvoCare and the Independence Bowl Foundation announced that the Independence Bowl name would be dropped, and the bowl would be known as the AdvoCare V100 Bowl for the 2013 game. In August 2013, AdvoCare announced it would drop its sponsorship after the 2013 game.
In February 2014 Duck Commander (a duck call and hunting apparel manufacturer founded by former Louisiana Tech quarterback Phil Robertson, made prominent by the reality series Duck Dynasty) announced that it would be the title sponsor for the 2014 bowl, which will be known as the Duck Commander Independence Bowl. After a year, Duck Commander declined to renew sponsorship and in July 2015, Camping World was announced as the new title sponsor of the game. On March 14, 2017, the Independence Bowl Foundation unveiled a new logo for the game which will be used until a new title sponsor is signed.
On October 5, 2017, Walk-On's Bistreaux & Bar was named as the new title sponsor of the game.
Independence Stadium is a stadium owned by the city of Shreveport, Louisiana. It used to be known as "State Fair Stadium"; it is the site of the annual Independence Bowl post-season college football game, initially (1976) the Bicentennial Bowl. Before that, it was the home venue of the Shreveport Steamer of the short-lived World Football League (1974–75). It also served as a neutral site for the annual Arkansas–LSU football rivalry from 1925–1936. The stadium is also host to numerous high school football games and soccer matches, since many schools in Shreveport lack an on-campus facility. Independence Stadium also hosted the Louisiana High School Athletic Association state football championship games in 2005 after the Louisiana Superdome suffered heavy damage from Hurricane Katrina. In 1994–95, Independence Stadium was home to the Shreveport Pirates of the Canadian Football League, which was undergoing US expansion at the time. In the late 1990s, the stadium capacity was expanded from approximately 40,000 to 50,832. In 2005, to meet accommodations of the upcoming Independence Bowl in 2006, the stadium went through a renovation to extend the capacity from 52,000 to 59,000. Then in 2008, the City of Shreveport created an entire new section of the stadium. This portion would allow the stadium capacity to be expanded only if need be. This expanse put the total capacity at 63,000. This was part of a grander upgrading plan that improved all aspects of the facility, from concourses to playing surface.
Independence Stadium was considered as a possible playing site for the New Orleans Saints during the 2005 National Football League season due to Hurricane Katrina, but Shreveport eventually lost out to the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, and Louisiana State University's Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge. However, Independence Stadium eventually was chosen to host the Saints' first preseason home game for the 2006 season while the Louisiana Superdome prepared for its grand re-opening. Field Turf was installed on the stadium's playing surface in 2010. In 2010, a Texas UIL playoff game was played featuring Mesquite Horn HS and the technical host Longview. Longview won, 28–14. In 2011, Independence Stadium hosted the inaugural year of the annual Port City Classic, an NCAA college football competition between Louisiana Tech University of Ruston, Louisiana, and Grambling State University of Grambling, Louisiana. The south end zone of the stadium borders Interstate 20.
|Date||Winning Team||Losing Team||Attendance||Notes|
|December 13, 1976||McNeese State||20||Tulsa||16||19,164||notes|
|December 17, 1977||Louisiana Tech||24||Louisville||14||22,223||notes|
|December 16, 1978||East Carolina||35||Louisiana Tech||13||31,054||notes|
|December 15, 1979||Syracuse||31||McNeese State||7||27,234||notes|
|December 13, 1980||Southern Miss||16||McNeese State||14||42,600||notes|
|December 12, 1981||Texas A&M||33||Oklahoma State||16||48,600||notes|
|December 11, 1982||Wisconsin||14||Kansas State||3||46,244||notes|
|December 10, 1983||Air Force||9||Mississippi||3||41,274||notes|
|December 15, 1984||Air Force||23||Virginia Tech||7||45,034||notes|
|December 21, 1985||Minnesota||20||Clemson||13||42,845||notes|
|December 20, 1986||Mississippi||20||Texas Tech||17||46,369||notes|
|December 19, 1987||Washington||24||Tulane||12||44,683||notes|
|December 23, 1988||Southern Miss||38||UTEP||18||20,242||notes|
|December 16, 1989||Oregon||27||Tulsa||24||44,621||notes|
|December 15, 1990[a 1]||Louisiana Tech||34||Maryland||34||48,325||notes|
|December 29, 1991||Georgia||24||Arkansas||15||46,932||notes|
|December 31, 1992||Wake Forest||39||Oregon||35||31,337||notes|
|December 31, 1993||Virginia Tech||45||Indiana||20||33,819||notes|
|December 28, 1994||Virginia||20||TCU||10||36,192||notes|
|December 29, 1995||LSU||45||Michigan State||26||48,835||notes|
|December 31, 1996||Auburn||32||Army||29||41,366||notes|
|December 28, 1997||LSU||27||Notre Dame||9||50,459||notes|
|December 31, 1998||Mississippi||35||Texas Tech||18||46,862||notes|
|December 31, 1999||Mississippi||27||Oklahoma||25||49,873||notes|
|December 31, 2000[a 2]||Mississippi State||43||Texas A&M||41 (OT)||36,974||notes|
|December 27, 2001||Alabama||14||Iowa State||13||45,627||notes|
|December 27, 2002||Mississippi||27||Nebraska||23||46,096||notes|
|December 31, 2003||Arkansas||27||Missouri||14||49,625||notes|
|December 28, 2004[a 3]||Iowa State||17||Miami (Ohio)||13||43,076||notes|
|December 30, 2005||Missouri||38||South Carolina||31||41,332||notes|
|December 28, 2006||Oklahoma State||34||Alabama||31||45,054||notes|
|December 30, 2007||Alabama||30||Colorado||24||47,043||notes|
|December 28, 2008||Louisiana Tech||17||Northern Illinois||10||41,567||notes|
|December 28, 2009||Georgia||44||Texas A&M||20||49,654||notes|
|December 27, 2010||Air Force||14||Georgia Tech||7||39,632||notes|
|December 26, 2011||Missouri||41||North Carolina||24||41,728||notes|
|December 28, 2012||Ohio||45||Louisiana–Monroe||14||41,853||notes|
|December 31, 2013||Arizona||42||Boston College||19||36,917||notes|
|December 27, 2014||South Carolina||24||Miami (FL)||21||38,242||notes|
|December 26, 2015||Virginia Tech||55||Tulsa||52||31,289||notes|
|December 26, 2016||NC State||41||Vanderbilt||17||28,995||notes|
|December 27, 2017||Florida State||42||Southern Miss||13||33,601||notes|
- In 1990, Louisiana Tech and Maryland played the only tie game, 34–34.
- In 2000, Mississippi State defeated Texas A&M, 43–41, in the only overtime game.
- In 2004, Miami University of Ohio, a member of the Mid-American Conference, received a bid because the SEC did not have enough bowl-eligible teams to fill all of its allotted bowl slots.
Most Valuable Player Award
- Teams with multiple appearances
- Teams with a single appearance
Won: Arizona, Auburn, East Carolina, Florida State, Minnesota, Mississippi State, NC State, Ohio, Syracuse, Wake Forest, Wisconsin
Lost: Army, Boston College, Clemson, Colorado, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Kansas State, Louisiana–Monroe, Louisville, Miami (FL), Miami (OH), Michigan State, Nebraska, North Carolina, Northern Illinois, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, TCU, UTEP, Vanderbilt, Virginia
Appearances by conference
Through the December 2017 playing, there have been 42 games (84 total appearances).
|T6||The American[n 2]||2||1||1||0||.500|
- Record includes appearances from when the conference was the Pac-10.
- Following the 2013 split of the original Big East along football lines, the FBS schools reorganized as the American Athletic Conference, which retains the charter of the original Big East. Virginia Tech (1993) appeared as a member of the Big East.
|Team||Performance vs. Opponent||Year|
|Most points (winning team)||55, Virginia Tech vs. Tulsa||2015|
|Most points (losing team)||52, Tulsa vs. Virginia Tech||2015|
|Fewest points (winning team)||9, Air Force vs. Mississippi||1983|
|Fewest points allowed||3, Wisconsin vs. Kansas State
3, Air Force vs. Mississippi
|Margin of victory||31, Ohio vs. ULM||2012|
|First downs||30, Virginia Tech vs. Tulsa||2015|
|Rushing yards||337, Missouri vs. North Carolina||2011|
|Passing yards||390, Oklahoma vs. Ole Miss||1999|
|Total yards||598, Virginia Tech vs. Tulsa||2015|
|Most Rushing Attempts||35, many times (Last: Ja'Mar Toombs, Texas A&M)||2000|
|Most Net Yards (Rush)||234, Kevin Faulk, LSU||1995|
|Best Avg. Per Carry (Rush)||9.5, Kevin Faulk, LSU||1995|
|Most Rushing Yds. by a QB||150, Brad Smith, Missouri||2005|
|Most Passing Yards||390, Josh Huepel, Oklahoma||1999|
|Longest Field Goal||52, Tommy Openshaw, Vanderbilt||2016|
- "About the Southland". Retrieved 2012-01-12.
- "Sponsorships". Retrieved December 23, 2015.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 20, 2013. Retrieved March 2, 2013.
- Goins, Adria (August 21, 2013). "Longtime bowl expected to lose Advocare sponsorship". KSLA 12. Retrieved November 6, 2013.
- Dee, Chris (August 21, 2013). "Advocare No Longer Title Sponsor For Annual Bowl Game". 1130am (Radio). Retrieved November 6, 2013.
- Huston, Chris (February 23, 2014). "Report: Duck Commander is new sponsor for Independence Bowl". NBC Sports. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
- "Camping World Announced as Title Sponsor of the Independence Bowl". Retrieved July 16, 2015.
- "Independence Bowl Foundation Unveils New Logo; Kid Combine Event". Retrieved March 14, 2017.
- "Walk-On's Announced as Title Sponsor of the Independence Bowl". Retrieved October 5, 2017.
- "World Stadiums – Stadiums in the United States :: Louisiana". Retrieved December 23, 2015.
- Deen, Safid (December 27, 2017). "FSU's Cam Akers, James Blackman shine in freshman finales in Independence Bowl". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved December 27, 2017.