Coca-Cola Classic (college football)
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|Coca-Cola Classic (defunct)|
|Previous stadiums||Korakuen Stadium (1977–1979)
National Olympic Stadium (1980–1987)
The Coca-Cola Company (1986–1993)
Mirage Bowl (1977–1985)
The Coca-Cola Classic was a regular season National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) college football game played in Tokyo, Japan, from 1977 to 1993. It was originally sponsored by Mitsubishi and known as the Mirage Bowl, and later sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company and renamed for the soft drink Coca-Cola Classic. Because the game was merely a re-location of a regular season game, it was not considered a traditional, postseason bowl game.
The Mirage Bowl was hosted by Mitsubishi Motors in Japan from its inception through 1985. The name refers to Mitsubishi's Mirage line of subcompact cars. Chrysler imported the Mirage and sold it in the US as the Dodge Colt and the Plymouth Champ.
The Coca-Cola Company took over corporate sponsorship from Mitsubishi in 1986, renaming it the "Coca-Cola Classic". Other sports contests sponsored by Coca-Cola have also been called "Coca-Cola Classic", for example, in college basketball and volleyball. The company's flagship beverage, itself, was re-branded "Coca-Cola Classic" in the wake of the "New Coke" fiasco.
Italics denote a tie game.
|Date Played||Winning Team||Losing Team|
|December 11, 1977||Grambling||35||Temple||32|
|December 10, 1978||Temple||28||Boston College||24|
|November 24, 1979||Notre Dame||40||Miami (FL)||15|
|November 30, 1980||UCLA||34||Oregon State||3|
|November 28, 1981||Air Force||21||San Diego State||16|
|November 27, 1982||Clemson||21||Wake Forest||17|
|November 26, 1983||SMU||34||Houston||12|
|November 17, 1984||Army||45||Montana||31|
|November 30, 1985||USC||20||Oregon||6|
|November 30, 1986||Stanford||29||Arizona||24|
|November 28, 1987||California||17||Washington State||17|
|December 3, 1988||Oklahoma State||45||Texas Tech||42|
|December 4, 1989||Syracuse||24||Louisville||13|
|December 2, 1990||Houston||62||Arizona State||45|
|November 30, 1991||Clemson||33||Duke||21|
|December 6, 1992||Nebraska||38||Kansas State||24|
|December 6, 1993||Wisconsin||41||Michigan State||20|
The game between Army and Montana marked the introduction of "The Wave" to Japan.
Heisman Trophy winning running back Barry Sanders concluded his NCAA Division I-A (now FBS) record-setting rushing season in this game, since the NCAA did not begin counting bowl game statistics until 2002 (he would later gain 222 yards in the 1988 Holiday Bowl which are not included in his record-setting total). He watched the Heisman Trophy announcement in a Tokyo television studio at five o'clock in the morning. Sanders rushed for more than 300 yards in Oklahoma State's 45–42 win against Texas Tech to finish the season with 2,628 yards.
Houston quarterback David Klingler passed for 716 yards against Arizona State, a NCAA Division I-A (now FBS) single game passing yardage record that stood for decades until it was broken by Connor Halliday in 2014.
With the win, Wisconsin became co-champions of the Big Ten (with Ohio State, who they had tied earlier in the season) and received the invitation to the 1994 Rose Bowl, the program's first Rose Bowl appearance since the 1963 Rose Bowl.