College football gambling is one of the most popular sectors of sports betting in the United States. With so many games in one weekend college football gives the bettor a plethora of choices when deciding who to wager on. The most common games to bet on are the end of the year bowl games.
These matchups are designed to feature two teams that are similar in skill level in order to create the most entertaining game possible. With that said it is often difficult to determine who will win these games before hand. However with the right information anyone can come out on top after the college football season is over. Below is a brief rundown of every college bowl game, excluding the major BCS games which each have their own page.
These short descriptions serve as a good starting point when deciding which games to bet on. This information along with a little studying of each team playing will give the bettor all the tools necessary to win big.
The Alamo Bowl is played annually in San Antonio, Texas in the Alomodome. At the games inception it gave a team from the now extinct Southwestern Conference an automatic bid. When the conference disbanded the game was forced to find other conferences to fill its open spots.
The game’s officials convinced the Big Ten and Big 12 to send members of their conference to the game. Years later the Big Ten pulled its representative to the game and was replaced by a member of the now Pac 12. The game pits the second ranked team of the Pac 12 against a similarly ranked member of the Big 12.
The Alamo Bowl is one of the more prominent non-BCS bowl games and was helped in this aspect after hosting Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin. That 2011 game between the Baylor Bears and Washington Huskies scored a total of 123 points and drew large amounts of media attention to the Alamo Bowl.
Armed Forces Bowl
Created in 2003, the Armed Forces Bowl was created to give military teams including Army, Navy, and Air Force a better opportunity to play in a bowl game.
The game is played in Fort Worth, Texas in the Aaron G. Carter Stadium, the home field of Texas Christian University. Throughout the game’s short history it has had many conference tie-ins. The bowl had short stints with teams from the Big 12 and the Pac 12. Now the Armed Forces Bowl is associated with both the Mountain West Conference and Conference USA in addition to the military schools.
Since Army and Navy are independent schools unassociated with a conference, they may have trouble earning a spot in a bowl game even if they are eligible. Without this game these military schools would not get into as many bowls.
BBVA Compass Bowl
Previously known as the Birmingham Bowl and the PapaJohns.com Bowl, the BBVA Compass Bowl was first played in 2006. This relatively young bowl game has been played annually at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama. Even though this is a new bowl game the city of Birmingham is no stranger to postseason college football.
The Dixie Bowl, the Hall of Fame Classic, and the All-American Bowl all took place in the city, but have since been disbanded or moved elsewhere. The game features the SEC’s ninth place team against a member of the Big East. If either of these conference do not have enough bowl eligible teams then teams from either Conference-USA or the Mid-American Conference can be selected as replacements.
If neither of these conferences can supply eligible teams then the bowl can select at-large teams from the field. In the bowl’s short history the Big East has dominated the game by winning five of the six meetings, but the possible decline of the conference makes the games future uncertain.
Beef O’ Brady’s Bowl
In 2008 the NCAA approved a bowl game that would be played in Tropicana Field. This Stadium, also home of the Tampa Bay Rays, is one of three baseball arenas to host a bowl game.
In addition to this game, Tampa Bay is also the host of the Outback Bowl and was the home of the Cigar Bowl before it ended in 1955 For the inaugural season the bowl was sponsored by magicJack, until Beef O’ Brady’s bought the rights the following year.
A team from the Big East and Conference-USA are invited to play in the bowl each year. If one of these conferences fails to have a team to send the bowl then a team from the Sun Belt can be used as an alternate. Since the bowl is so new, attendance at Tropicana Field has been low. If officials can entice some more prominent teams then the bowl could become more prestigious.
Played in Charlotte, North Carolina, the Belk Bowl has known many names in its short history. The NCAA first approved the game as the Queen City Bowl in 2002, but the name was quickly changed to the Continental Tire Bowl and later to the Meineke Car Care Bowl. In 2010 Belk bought the naming rights and has sponsored the bowl since.
The game is played in Bank of America Stadium also home to the Carolina Panthers. The Atlantic Coast Conference and Big East both have tie-ins with the bowl game. The ACC sends a team around fifth place while the Big East can nominate its third place team.
The only team to play in the bowl not from these two conferences is Navy, which lost against Boston College in 2006. The battle between the two conferences has been fairly even with the ACC holding a slight advantage over the Big East.
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl
Ever since the bowl was inducted in 1989 the game has been played in Arizona, although it has moved to a few different stadiums within the state including Arizona Stadium, Bank One Ballpark, and currently Sun Devil Stadium.
The game was first known as the Copper Bowl and the Insight Bowl until it was given its current name in 2012. Many different conferences have had tie-ins with this bowl including the Big 12, Big East, Pac-10, and WAC. Currently the bowl features a team from the Big 10 against a member of the Big 12.
Since so many conference have been a part of the game not one is especially dominant, however the Big 12 has been tied-in the longest and has more victories than any other conference with nine. A famous matchup between Texas Tech and Minnesota saw the biggest postseason comeback in FBS history as Texas Tech came back from a 38-7 deficit to win the game in overtime 44-41.
Capital One Bowl
The Capital One Bowl is one of the biggest and richest of the non-BCS bowls. Part of the bowl’s success comes from the quality opponents that the game gets. Both the Big 10 and the SEC send their best team that does not make one of the BCS bowls.
Because of the games success it offers the largest payout of the non-BCS bowls and is even played on New Years Day. The Capital One Bowl even made a bid to become the fifth BCS Bowl but was not chosen mainly due to the decaying stadium. The bowl was previously known as the Tangerine Bowl from 1947-1982, when it was changed to the Florida Citrus Bowl.
Capital One renamed the game in 2003 even though it had sponsored it the previous two years. Over the bowl’s long history it has been the site a few games with national championship implications, before the National Championship Game actually existed.
First Played in 1968, the Chich-Fil-A Bowl was at that time known as the Peach Bowl. The game has always been played in Atlanta, Georgia in the Georgia Dome, home of the Atlanta Falcons.
This bowl was originally started by a local Lions club, but was taken over by the city after poor turnout. Even though it is not a BCS bowl, it is one of the more popular bowl games. In fact, the Chick-Fil-A Bowl has the highest attendance of the non-BCS bowls. This game also donates more money to charity than any other game.
In the games first years a member of the ACC would play against an at-large team. Now the game invites the best team from the ACC after the BCS team is removed and the fifth ranked team from the SEC. Even though the SEC sends a lower ranked team, that conference has had more success in the game than the ACC.
Cotton Bowl Classic
The Cotton Bowl is one of the oldest and most storied of all the bowl games. First established in 1936, this game hosted its first seventy years of games in the Cotton Bowl Stadium. In 2007 the game was moved to Cowboy Stadium. Previous game sponsors include SBC, AT&T, and Mobile.
The Cotton bowl has been known as one of the most prestigious game in its younger years. It has been the site of many championship deciding games and many other high profile games. Since the game was not chosen as a BCS bowl it lost some of its luster. Officials from the bowl have worked hard to get the game into the BCS. After years of trying the Cotton Bowl will not be part of the BCS, but will be a major bowl under the new playoff system. This shift should return the Cotton Bowl to its previous glory.
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl
Previously known as the Emerald bowl, the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl has been played in AT&T Park in San Francisco since 2002. Since this game is played in a baseball stadium not built for football teams must share a sideline separated at the fifty yard line.
This bowl currently features a team from the pac-12 against a predetermined opponent. Independent teams like Army and Navy sign contracts with the bowl before the season. If these teams do not qualify for the bowl game then the bowl also has contracts with ACC, MAC, and WAC, to fill the empty spot. Since all these different conferences can play in this bowl not one has asserted itself as dominant over the others in this game. Apparent by the name of the bowl, Kraft uses this game to help raise money to support hunger relief.
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
The Potato Bowl is one of the few post-season bowl games played in the northern United States. This offers a different weather element that warm weather bowl games do not provide. The game is played in Bronco Stadium at the Boise St campus on their famous blue turf. When the first game was played in 1997 this bowl was known as the Humanitarian Bowl.
Sponsors for this bowl have rotated frequently and as a result the name of the bowl is altered often also. Currently the game pits the WAC champion against a team from the MAC. This bowl had previous agreements with the MWC, ACC, Big West, and C-USA that have since expired. Although Boise St is no longer a member of the WAC they previously dominated the conference and were rewarded with home games in this bowl.
The Gator Bowl has some of the richest history of any college bowl game including beings the sixth oldest bowl, the first one to be nationally televised, and the game that would eventually get coach Woody Hayes fired from Ohio State.
The fist Gator Bowl was played in 1946 in Fair Field Stadium in Gainesville FL. Soon after this game the stadium was renovated and renamed the Gator Bowl. In 1993 the game was moved to Everbank Field in Jacksonville FL. The Gator bowl was previously one of the premier bowl games in college football, frequently featuring two ranked teams and sometimes even two top ten teams. Now the Gator Bowl pits a member of the Big Ten against a team from the SEC. The game may have lost some of its luster since then but it is still a January first bowl game capable of hosting a great game.
In 1999 the Mobiles Alabama Bowl was played for the first time in Ladd Peebles Stadium. The next year the name was changed to the GMAC Bowl and Ten years after that the name was changed again to the GoDaddy.com Bowl to reflect the changed in sponsor.
Throughout all the title changes the game has remained in the same host arena in Alabama. For the first decade of the bowl a member of C-USA would rival a team from either the MAC or the WAC.
The MAC is still affiliated with the bowl, however now the representative of that conference faces a member of the Sun Belt.
With the collapse of the Sun Belt seeming near the GoDaddy.com Bowl may need to find another conference to fill openings in this postseason game.
As the name suggests the Hawaii Bowl is played annually in Honolulu, Hawaii and is the only college bowl game to be played outside of the contiguous forty-eight states. Even though the Hawaii Bowl has only been played sine 2002, Hawaii is no stranger to college football postseason games.
Previous bowls like Poi Bowl, Aloha Bowl, Pineapple Bowl, and Oahu Bowl all took place in Hawaii. This bowl did not take the place of any of these past bowls and is normally played on either Christmas Eve, or Christmas Day. The school of Hawaii holds a strange advantage over other schools when the bowl is looking to fill its openings since the school is always granted a bid if Hawaii is bowl eligible. If Hawaii does not meet the criteria to play in the Hawaii bowl then they are replaced with another WAC team. Either a member of the MWC or C-USA may fill the other opening.
The Independence Bowl received its name because its inaugural year also the bicentennial in 1976. The arena, Independence Stadium, is named for the same reason and is located in Shreveport, LA. Over the decades the Independence Bowl has held many contracts with different conferences, however ironically none with independent teams.
Conferences that were involved include the Southland Conference, South Eastern Conference, Big 12, and Mountain West Conference. Most recently the bowl includes a member of the ACC to face an SEC opponent. One of the most famous Independence Bowls occurred in 2000 when an anticipated reunion game saw a snowstorm dump sheets on Independence Stadium. The weather became more famous than the game itself as it is often referred to as the “snowbowl.”
Initially played in Philadelphia Municipal Stadium, this bowl was the only game in its time to be played in the north when it was first created in 1959. After Philadelphia the game was moved to Atlantic City in 1964 where it was the first bowl game to be played indoors on AstroTurf. The next year the game moved again to its current home in Memphis, TN, where larger crowds could come to the game.
The bowl even received its own stadium in Memphis titled the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. Throughout the bowl’s long history there have been many conference tie-in including contracts with the division I military schools and MWC. Now, the Liberty Bowl has the luxury of selecting among the first place C-USA team, the eight SEC team, or the fifth Big East team.
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl
Previously known as the Motor City Bowl, this bowl game is held annually in Detroit, MI. Ford Field, home to the Detroit Lions, is the host site for this northerly bowl game. Before Ford Field, the Pontiac Silverdome, also in Michigan, played host to this game.
The inaugural game was played in 1997 between Mississippi and Marshall. The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl has contracts with both the Big Ten and the MAC to play at the end of the year.
The bowl currently receives the eighth Big Ten team, however bowl game officials have been petitioning for a higher seeded team in the future. If either conference fails to supply the game with a team then Sun Belt is asked to fill that void. Over the Bowls history one school, Marshall, has done remarkably well, winning more time here than any other team.
Maaco Bowl Las Vegas
Since 1992 this bowl game has been played in Sam Boyd Stadium, however this arena is in Whitney, Nevada, not Las Vegas. The game was brought about from the ashes of the California Raisin Bowl, which was reorganized after two unsuccessful games in 1990 and 1991.
After the switch this bowl game became much more successful than its predecessor. Before the sponsor Maaco bought the naming rights the bowl was simply the Las Vegas Bowl. Over the bowl’s history many conferences have held contracts with the Maaco Las Vegas bowl.
Conferences included some that are now defunct like the Big West and Western Athletic Conference, and ones that are still in operation today like the WAC and MAC. The game currently features the MWC champion against the fifth place team of the Pac-12. BYU has more trips to this bowl than any other university despite switching conferences somewhat frequently.
Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas
Previously called the Texas Bowl, the Meineke Car Care Bowl is held annually in Houston, Texas within Reliant Stadium, home of the Houston Texans. This game served as a replacement for the Houston Bowl, which was played in the same stadium from 2000-2005.
In the first years of the bowl’s existence three conferences, the Big East, C-USA, and MWC, would rotate to fill one of the positions open in the game. An at-large opponent would fill the other spot. Now the bowl has conference tie-ins with both the Big Ten and Big 12, nearly guaranteeing some more noteworthy matchups.
Even though this young game is not a major bowl, it has already witness some of the college footballs best players win its MVP awards. NFL players like Ray Rice, Andy Dalton, and Ryan Tannehill have all lead their teams to victory here and gone on to have professional careers.
New Mexico Bowl
The Gildan New Mexico Bowl is one of the first bowl games played annually, often taking place before Christmas day. This Bowl has been played in University Stadium in Albuquerque, New Mexico since its inception in 2006. The game previously featured a team from the WAC against another at-large team, however the contrace with the WAC ended in 2010.
Currently the New Mexico Bowl has conference tie-ins with both the Pac-12 and MWC. Even though the MWC has just recently earned a contract for this bowl, the conference still holds the most wins in this bowl game. The early scheduling of this bowl game indicates that the game does not normally feature popular teams, however that does not mean that there is not money to be made by betting on it.
New Orleans Bowl
The New Orleans Bowl is one of the less prominent bowl games played at the end of the year. Throughout the games history this bowl has been hosted in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, home of the NFL’s Saints. The exception to this rule occurred in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina forced the game to be moved to Cajun Field, also in LA.
The first matchup was played in 2001 and featured a Mountain West Conference team against to face a team from the Sun-Belt Conference. The next year the MWC was replaced with Conference-USA and the matchup has stayed as such since then. Since these conferences rarely produce highly ranked teams, the New Orleans Bowl tends to fly under the radar of the common college football fan.
This often leaves the bowl game with low ratings and payouts, however a knowledgeable football fan could easily make a safe wager on this game.
First played in 1986 the Hall of Fame Bowl was the first moniker associated with this bowl. The name was changed in 1996 to reflect the change in sponsorship when Outback Steakhouse purchased the rights. Played in Tampa, FL this New Years Day bowl game is usually the first game of the day to start, which gives the game a lot of national attention on a day full of college football.
The game has been played in a few stadiums in its history including Legion Field, Tampa Stadium and currently Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Even though the game has known many homes the host city has remained constant. This is another bowl that features a team from the Big Ten against a SEC opponent, however this game does not receive teams as highly ranked as the Capitol One Bowl does.
The Pinstripe Bowl is one of the rare college bowl games that is played in northern United States, specifically Yankee Stadium in New York City. The game was planned with the Steinbrenner family along with mayor Bloomberg of New York City. The first game was played in 2010 and has been televised by ESPN since then.
The bowl features specifically the fourth place team from the Big East against the seventh place Big 12 team. Notre Dame may also be selected for the bowl if one of these two conferences fails to have enough bowl eligible teams. Since bowl games are played in December, a game in New York City will likely include cold temperatures and possible snow, something that most other bowl games could not have. This makes for some interesting wagers since the weather can definitely alter the outcome of this bowl.
First played in 1952, the Poinsettia Bowl was initially created to host two armed service teams against one another. The first game was played in San Diego, CA in between two small military teams. The game was disbanded for nearly fifty years and not played again until 2005.
The bowl is still held in the same location, now in Qualcomm Stadium, and however it now features division one military teams like Navy, Army, and Air Force. BYU also in the rotation of teams to receive bids for the game. In addition to one of these teams, the second place team from the Mountain West Conference is sent to the game. This game offers chances for military teams to earn bowl game appearances that they may not otherwise receive because they do not bring the viewership that other teams may bring to a bowl game.
Russell Athletic Bowl
This bowl was first played in 1990 and was created to showcase the new stadium built in Miami, FL. In 2000 the game moved to out of Joe Robbie Stadium and into the prestigious Orange Bowl were it is still played. The inaugural game set famed coaches Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden against each other in a great first game.
Even though the game was eventually upgraded to New Years Day, this game has been unable to reach the success of that first game. The game previously offered bids to a Big Ten and ACC team. The Big Ten bid has since been replaced with the decaying Big East Conference. Also this bowl is able to offer a bid to host Notre Dame once every for years, as it did in 2011.
The Sun Bowl is tied for the second longest tenured bowl game only behind the Rose Bowl. Unlike the other early bowl games still played today, the Sun Bowl did not blossom into a major college bowl game. Instead, the game went from being played on January 1st or 2nd to being demoted to a December bowl game.
The Sun Bowl was played in a few different sites, but is now played in the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas. CBS’s contract with this bowl, started in 1968, is the longest running partnership of any bowl game and broadcaster. Even though the game is so old it did not have a conference tie-in until 1995 when the Big Ten agreed to send one of its members there annually. That contract expired ten years later and now the Sun Bowl pits a team from the ACC against a squad from the Pac-12.
One of the newest bowl games to college football, the TicketCity Bowl was first introduced in 2011. The game is played in the Cotton Bowl in Fair Park in Dallas, Texas. This is possible because the Cotton Bowl Classic was moved to Cowboy Stadium the year prior to the TicketCity Bowl’s inception.
The stadium is famous for drawing huge crowds in the early 1940’s when SMU and Doak Walker were powerhouses. In the inaugural game the TicketCity Bowl the game had a tie-in with the Big 12 but that ended the next year and the bowl replaced the conference with both the Big Ten and C-USA. In order to create a close game a lower seeded Big Ten team will be chosen to face a higher ranked C-USA team. This young bowl will look to develop tradition with this matchup in years to come.