Las Vegas Bowl

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Las Vegas Bowl
Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl
Mitsubishi Las Vegas Bowl.jpg
StadiumSam Boyd Stadium
LocationWhitney, Nevada
Conference tie-insMWC, Pac-12
Previous conference tie-insBig West, MAC (1992–96)
WAC (1997–1998)
Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority (1998, 2000, 2003)
EA Sports (1999)
Sega/Sega Sports (2001–2002)
Pioneer (2004–2008)
Maaco (2009–2012)
Royal Purple (2013–2015)
GEICO (2016)
Mitsubishi (2018–present)
Former names
Las Vegas Bowl (1992–1998)
EA Sports Las Vegas Bowl (1999)
Las Vegas Bowl (2000)
Sega Sports Las Vegas Bowl (2001–2002)
Las Vegas Bowl (2003)
Pioneer Purevision Las Vegas Bowl (2004–2006)
Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl (2007–2008)
Maaco Bowl Las Vegas (2009–2012)
Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl (2013–2015)
Las Vegas Bowl presented by GEICO (2016)
Las Vegas Bowl (2017)
2017 matchup
Boise State vs Oregon (Boise State 38–28)
2018 matchup
Arizona State vs. Fresno State (December 15, 2018)

The Las Vegas Bowl is an NCAA-sanctioned Division I FBS post-season college football bowl game. It has been played annually at the 40,000-seat Sam Boyd Stadium in Whitney, Nevada, every December since 1992 (2019 will be its last, as it will move to Las Vegas Stadium the year after). The bowl is owned by ESPN Events.

Conference tie-ins[edit]

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 through 1999 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 (the 1999 game featured both WAC and Mountain West teams). Since 2001, the Mountain West and Pac-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 2016 game would have pitted 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). However, since the Pac-12 only had six bowl eligible teams and two of them qualified for New Years Six bowls, the bowl elected to invite Houston Cougars of the American Athletic Conference instead of a Pac-12 team.


The game originated from the California Raisin Bowl, which was played in Fresno from 1981 to 1991. In 1992, the game reorganized and relocated to Las Vegas and was renamed the Las Vegas Bowl.

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.

In 2001, ESPN Regional Television purchased the Las Vegas Bowl from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.[1]

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.

On September 25, 2013, Royal Purple was announced as the new title sponsor for the next three years.[2] Following the expiration of Royal Purple's sponsorship of the title from 2013 to 2015, the game is officially known as the Las Vegas Bowl.

With the relocation of the Oakland Raiders approved by the National Football League the tentatively named Las Vegas Stadium will be constructed to replace Sam Boyd Stadium. It is expected that the Las Vegas Bowl along with the other events currently held at Sam Boyd Stadium will move to the new stadium upon completion.


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. From 2013 to 2015, the game was known as the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl as the sponsor was Royal Purple. For the 2016 edition, the game was known as the Las Vegas Bowl presented by GEICO as GEICO was the presenting sponsor. On July 12, 2018, it was announced that Mitsubishi would be the new title sponsor, with the game renamed as the Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl. [3]

Game results[edit]

Rankings per AP Poll prior to the game being played.

UCLA vs. Wyoming in 2004
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 No. 25 Toledo 40 Nevada 37 (OT) notes
December 18, 1996 Nevada 18 Ball State 15 notes
December 20, 1997 Oregon 41 No. 23 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 No. 19 BYU 38 Oregon 8 notes
December 22, 2007 No. 19 BYU 17 UCLA 16 notes
December 20, 2008 No. 17 Arizona 31 BYU 21 notes
December 22, 2009 No. 15 BYU 44 No. 16 Oregon State 20 notes
December 22, 2010 No. 10 Boise State 26 NO. 20 Utah 3 notes
December 22, 2011 No. 8 Boise State 56 Arizona State 24 notes
December 22, 2012 No. 20 Boise State 28 Washington 26 notes
December 21, 2013 USC 45 No. 21 Fresno State 20 notes
December 20, 2014 No. 23 Utah 45 Colorado State 10 notes
December 19, 2015 No. 20 Utah 35 BYU 28 notes
December 17, 2016 San Diego State 34 Houston 10 notes
December 16, 2017 No. 25 Boise State 38 Oregon 28 notes
December 15, 2018 Arizona State vs. Fresno State notes


Game MVP Marshawn Lynch at the 2005 Las Vegas Bowl.
Date MVP Team Position
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
December 20, 2014 Travis Wilson Utah QB
December 19, 2015 Tevin Carter Utah CB
December 17, 2016 Donnel Pumphrey San Diego State RB
December 16, 2017 Cedrick Wilson Jr. Boise State WR

Most appearances[edit]

Teams with multiple appearances
Rank Team Appearances Record
1 BYU 6 3–3
2 Utah 5 4–1
3 Boise State 4 4–0
T4 Nevada 3 1–2
T4 UCLA 3 1–2
T4 Oregon 3 1–2
T4 Fresno state 3 0-2
T8 UNLV 2 2–0
T8 Oregon State 2 1–1
T8 San Diego State 2 1–1
T8 USC 2 1–1
T8 Ball State 2 0–2
T8 New Mexico 2 0–2
T8 Arizona State 2 0-1
Teams with a single appearance

Won: Arizona, Bowling Green, California, North Carolina, Toledo, Utah State, Wyoming
Lost: Air Force,Arkansas, Central Michigan, Colorado State, Houston, Washington

Appearances by conference[edit]

Through the December 2017 playing, there have been 26 games (52 total appearances).

Rank Conference Appearances Wins Losses Pct.
1 Mountain West 18 11 7 .611
2 Pac-12[n 1] 17 8 8 .500
T3 Big West 5 3 2 .600
T3 MAC 5 2 3 .400
5 WAC 4 1 3 .250
T6 ACC 1 1 0 1.000
T6 The American 1 0 1 .000
T6 Independents[n 2] 1 0 1 .000
T6 SEC 1 0 1 .000
  1. ^ Includes appearances when the conference was the Pac-10
  2. ^ BYU (2015)

Media coverage[edit]

The Las Vegas Bowl has been televised by ABC since 2013; ABC also televised the game in 2001. Other editions of the game were broadcast by ESPN and ESPN2.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jessop, Alicia (January 5, 2013). "ESPN's Path to Becoming a Bowl Game Owner and Redefining Bowl Game Operations". Forbes. Retrieved September 23, 2014.
  2. ^ "Royal Purple Announced as Bowl Game's Title Sponsor" (Press release). September 25, 2013.
  3. ^ "Mitsubishi Motors Announced as Las Vegas Bowl Title Sponsor". Retrieved July 12, 2018.

External links[edit]