|Reese's Senior Bowl|
|Previous stadiums||Gator Bowl Stadium (1950)|
|Previous locations||Jacksonville, Florida (1950)|
|North vs. South (South 16–15)|
|North vs. South (January 27, 2018)|
The Senior Bowl is a post-season college football all-star game played each January in Mobile, Alabama, which showcases the best NFL Draft prospects of those players who have completed their college eligibility. First played in 1950 in Jacksonville, Florida, the game moved to Mobile's Ladd–Peebles Stadium the next year. Produced by the non-profit Mobile Arts & Sports Association, the game is also a charitable fund-raiser benefiting various local and regional organizations with over US$5.9 million in donations over its history.
Two teams, representing the North and the South, are coached by select coaching staff from two NFL teams. In recent years, the coaching staffs have come from teams who finished near the bottom of the league standings, but whose coaches were not subsequently terminated.
The week-long practice that precedes the game is attended by key NFL personnel (including coaches, general managers and scouts), who oversee the players as possible prospects for pro football. At one point the Senior Bowl was the first chance its participants had to openly receive pay for participation in an athletic event. This was one reason that participation was limited to seniors whose eligibility for further participation in collegiate football had expired, and the game was also their first exposure to the slightly different professional rules. Players who wished to participate in collegiate spring sports had to avoid participation in the Senior Bowl. The significance of all of this has waned in recent years as there has been some lessening of the former strict separation of professional and amateur athletes. Athletes sometimes decline invitations to participate in the Senior Bowl, opting instead to prepare for the NFL scouting combine or their colleges' pro day. In 2013, two players (D. J. Fluker and Justin Pugh) with a year of college football eligibility remaining, but who had already graduated, became the first "fourth-year juniors" to be granted clearance to play in the Senior Bowl.
The game has consistently been played on a Saturday in January, with the exception of 1976, when it was held on a Sunday. The scheduling date within January has varied – the earliest playing has been January 3 (1953 and 1959), while the latest playing has been January 30 (2010 and 2016). Since 1967, it has been traditionally set for the week before the NFL's Super Bowl (which itself is now played in February). It is usually scheduled as the final game of the college football season, but for a period during the 1980s and 1990s, it was the next-to-the-last game, followed a week later by either the Hula Bowl or the Gridiron Classic, both of which are now defunct. From 2007 through 2011, and also in 2013, the Senior Bowl was again the next-to-the-last game, followed by the Texas vs. The Nation Game a week later.
- All-time series: South (34-28–3); AFC (2–1)
- From 1991 to 1993 the two teams were designated "AFC" and "NFC" to distinguish where their coaching staffs were from and to stress the professional nature of the game. This was confusing to some, as the game occurred well before the NFL draft and there was no way of determining which conference the players were actually going to wind up in to start their professional careers. In 1994 this was dropped and the designations were reverted to the traditional "North vs. South" format.
- The first game in 1950 was played in Jacksonville, Florida. All subsequent games have been played in Mobile, Alabama.
50th Anniversary Senior Bowl All-Time Team
The following team was selected by fan voting before the 1999 game:
Senior Bowl Hall of Fame
Established in 1987, the Senior Bowl Hall of Fame seeks to pay tribute to the many outstanding former Senior Bowl players who have made lasting contributions to the game of football. The Senior Bowl Hall of Fame also allows enshrinement to former coaches, administrators and other individuals whose efforts helped the Senior Bowl.
- 1988 – Joe Greene, Lee Roy Jordan, Steve Largent, Joe Namath, Walter Payton, Pat Sullivan, Jim Taylor, Travis Tidwell
- 1989 – Ed Jones, Ozzie Newsome, John Stallworth, Gene Upshaw, Jack Youngblood
- 1990 – Paul Brown, Tucker Frederickson, Jerry Kramer, Neil Lomax, Wellington Mara, Finley McRae, Jack Pardee, Rea Scheussler
- 1991 – Morten Andersen, James Brooks, Dave Butz, Weeb Ewbank, Doug Williams
- 1992 – Franco Harris, Mike Holovak, Sam Huff, Dan Marino, Don Shula, Pat Swilling
- 1993 – Cornelius Bennett, Bear Bryant, Ralph Jordan, Tom Landry, Marty Schottenheimer, Lynn Swann
- 1994 – Robert Brazile, Rickey Jackson, Mark Rypien, Jim Simpson
- 1995 – Bob Baumhower, Pat Dye, Bo Jackson, Gene Washington
- 1996 – James Lofton, Dick Steinberg, Kellen Winslow
- 1997 – Bob Hayes, Sterling Sharpe, Doak Walker
- 1998 – Jim McMahon, Ray Nitschke, Thurman Thomas
- 1999 – Tom Banks, Dale Carter, Paul Krause, Albert Lewis, Randall McDaniel, Art Monk, E. B. Peebles, Jr., Derrick Thomas, Roger Wehrli
- 2000 – Hanford Dixon, Brett Favre, Chuck Howley
- 2001 – William Andrews, Ron Jaworski, Eddie Robinson
- 2002 – Todd Christensen, Bert Jones, Steve McNair
- 2003 – Terry Beasley, Jeremiah Castille, Ted Hendricks
- 2004 – Derrick Brooks, Christian Okoye, Richard Todd
- 2005 – Larry Allen, Al Del Greco, Ray Perkins
- 2006 – Curtis Martin, Tony Nathan, Michael Strahan
- 2007 – E. J. Junior, Jake Plummer, Hines Ward
- 2008 – Dean Kleinschmidt, Kevin Mawae, Brian Urlacher
- 2009 – Jason Taylor, Shaun Alexander
- 2010 – Larry Johnson, Terrell Owens
- 2011 – None, due to NFL lockout
- 2012 – Keith Brooking, Donovan McNabb, Dan Reeves
- 2013 – John Abraham, Sylvester Croom, Aeneas Williams
- 2014 – Bill Kolar, Torry Holt, DeMarcus Ware
- 2015 – Woodrow Lowe, Tony Richardson, Kyle Williams
- 2016 – Steve Hutchinson, Bill Curry, Tamba Hali
- 2017 – Blaine Bishop, Lance Briggs, Jim Harbaugh
- Brugler, Dane (January 14, 2015). "2015 NFL Draft: UCLA QB Brett Hundley declines Senior Bowl". CBSSports.com. Archived from the original on January 28, 2015.
- "First non-seniors to compete in Senior Bowl". CBS Sports. January 19, 2013. Archived from the original on June 1, 2013. Retrieved January 19, 2013.
- Low, Chris (January 22, 2008). "Former Trojans happy to be reunited with Kiffin". ESPN.com.
- "All-Time Senior Bowl Team". seniorbowl.com. Retrieved May 25, 2017.
- "Hall of Fame". seniorbowl.com. Retrieved May 25, 2017.
- "Senior Bowl Players Drill in Cold Weather". Prescott Evening Courier. Associated Press. January 8, 1958. p. 5. Retrieved December 16, 2016.