- Gator Bowl
name = Gator Bowl
full_name = Konica Minolta Gator Bowl
caption = Konica Minolta Gator Bowl logo
Jacksonville Municipal Stadium
Gator Bowl Stadium(1946-1993) Ben Hill Griffin Stadium(1994)
Alltel Stadium (1995-2006)
years = 1946-present
previous_tie-ins = Southern (1946-1952)
SEC (1953-1975, 1992-94)
conference_tie-ins = ACC, Big East/Big 12/Notre Dame
payout = 2,500,000 (2006)
former_names = Toyota Gator Bowl, Outback Gator Bowl, Mazda Gator Bowl
prev_matchup_year = 2008
prev_matchup_teams = Texas Tech vs. Virginia
prev_matchup_score = TTU 31, UVa 28
next_matchup_year = 2009
next_matchup_teams = Big East/Notre Dame or Big 12 vs. ACC #3
next_matchup_date = January 1
The Gator Bowl is an annual
college football bowl gamethat is played at Jacksonville Municipal Stadiumin Jacksonville, Florida. It is one of the oldest college bowls, held continuously since 1946. Its current full name is the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl after its present sponsor, Konica Minolta. [http://jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/093007/col_204090013.shtml Gator Bowl lands new deal for title sponsor] ] .
According to "The Big Bowl Football Guide" by Anthony C. DiMarco (G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York, 1974, 1976, ISBN 399-11800-4), Charles Hilty, Sr. is given credit for conceiving the idea for the event. He, Ray McCarthy, Maurice Cherry and W.C. Ivey put up $10,000 to underwrite the first game. The event struggled in the early years, drawing only 7,362 to the 1946 match when Wake Forest defeated South Carolina, 26–14. It was not until the 1949 match-up of the Clemson Tigers and the Missouri Tigers that the future of the Gator Bowl was assured. The 1948 attendance of 16,666 for a 20–20 tie between Maryland and Georgia, was nearly doubled with 32,939 watching Clemson squeak by Missouri, 24–23, on a late field goal by
Jack Miller. By the 1970s, the attendance regularly reached 60,000–70,000. The Gator Bowl Associationis the entity behind the game.
The 1946 and 1947 games were played in Fairfield Stadium, which had a seating capacity of 7,600. The future postseason college football classic was so successful, the stadium was expanded in 1948 to 16,000 seats and renamed the Gator Bowl. The
Gator Bowl Stadiumhosted the game until 1993, when the stadium was almost completely demolished for the construction of a new Stadium on the same site. The 1994 game was played in Gainesville, Floridaduring construction; the 1996 game (moved to January 1that season) and subsequent games have been held at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. At that 1994 game, the Tennessee Volunteers beat Virginia Tech, getting Tennessee's first win in Gainesville since 1971, but would not actually beat the Florida Gators there until 2001.
Teams typically featured
In the early years of the bowl, from 1946–1952, it featured a team from the
Southern Conferenceagainst an at-large opponent. Beginning with the 1953 game, it switched to generally featuring a Southeastern Conference(SEC) team against an at-large opponent. From 1953 to the 1975 game, at least one SEC team appeared in 20 out of the 24 games, and in 3 of those games, both teams were from the SEC. The games from 1976 to 1995 usually, but not always, involved a team from south-east part of the country against a team from another part of the country. Teams from the ACC played in 10 of these 20 games.
From 1996–2006, the Gator Bowl traditionally hosted the second-place ACC against the second-place Big East team. With the 2007 game, it began hosting the third-place ACC team versus a team from either the Big East, Big 12 or Notre Dame to take the Big East's spot in this game.
The payout for each team increased to $2.5 million for the 2007 game with a new TV contract with
CBS Sportsto televise the game. The longtime broadcaster of the game was ABC who would always show the game in prime time. Then TBS bought the rights to the game in the early '90s and was the home of the game until it moved to January 1and NBC.
Hotel Roosevelt fire
The Gator Bowl is one of Jacksonville's annual sports highlights. However, the event was once at the root of tragedy. In 1963, the Hotel Roosevelt in downtown caught fire after a post-Gator Bowl party in the ballroom (it was later determined that the party was not the cause of the fire, and was a mere tragic coincidence). There were 22 hotel guests who lost their lives.
The Woody Hayes incident in 1978
It was in the 1978 game between Ohio State and Clemson where Buckeyes coach
Woody Hayeslost his temper after a late game interception by Charlie Bauman. The play would seal the Tigers' 17-15 win over the Buckeyes, and Hayes clotheslined Bauman on the sideline in front of a national television audience. Hayes was dismissed the next day by Ohio State's Board of Trustees.
From 1996–2006, the title sponsor was
Toyota, and the bowl's official name was the Toyota Gator Bowl. There was no title sponsor for the 2007 game. Mazdahas also previously been a sponsor. Outback Steakhouse sponsored this bowl before becoming the sponsor of the Outback Bowlheld in Tampa, Florida.
"Italics denotes a tie game."
List of college bowl games
* [http://www.gatorbowl.com Official Website of the Gator Bowl]
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