Las Vegas Bowl

Las Vegas Bowl
Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl
Stadium Sam Boyd Stadium
Location Whitney, Nevada
Operated 1992–present
Conference tie-ins MWC, Pac-12
Previous conference tie-ins Big West, MAC (1992–96)
WAC (1997–1998)
Payout US$1,350,000
Las Vegas Convention & Visitor's 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-)
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)
2016 matchup
San Diego State vs. Houston (San Diego State 34–10)
2017 matchup
Boise State vs Oregon (Boise State 38–28)

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. The bowl is owned by ESPN Events.

Conference tie-ins

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, 4037, 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 Vagas 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 2713 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 176 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 3121.

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

Rankings per AP Poll prior to the game being played.

DateWinning teamLosing teamNotes
December 18, 1992Bowling Green35Nevada34notes
December 17, 1993Utah State42Ball State33notes
December 15, 1994UNLV52Central Michigan24notes
December 14, 1995#25 Toledo40Nevada37 (OT)notes
December 18, 1996Nevada18Ball State15notes
December 20, 1997Oregon41#23 Air Force13notes
December 19, 1998North Carolina20San Diego State13notes
December 18, 1999Utah17Fresno State16notes
December 21, 2000UNLV31Arkansas14notes
December 25, 2001Utah10USC6notes
December 25, 2002UCLA27New Mexico13notes
December 24, 2003Oregon State55New Mexico14notes
December 23, 2004Wyoming24UCLA21notes
December 22, 2005California35BYU28notes
December 21, 2006#19 BYU38Oregon8notes
December 22, 2007#19 BYU17UCLA16notes
December 20, 2008#17 Arizona31BYU21notes
December 22, 2009#15 BYU44#16 Oregon State20notes
December 22, 2010#10 Boise State26#20 Utah3notes
December 22, 2011#8 Boise State56Arizona State24notes
December 22, 2012#20 Boise State28Washington26notes
December 21, 2013USC45#21 Fresno State20notes
December 20, 2014#23 Utah45Colorado State10notes
December 19, 2015#20 Utah35BYU28notes
December 17, 2016San Diego State34Houston10notes
December 16, 2017#25 Boise State38Oregon28notes


Date MVP Team Position
December 18, 1992Erik WhiteBowling GreenQB
December 17, 1993Anthony CalvilloUtah StateQB
December 15, 1994Henry BaileyUNLVWR
December 14, 1995Wasean TaitToledoRB
December 18, 1996Mike CrawfordNevadaLB
December 20, 1997Pat JohnsonOregonWR
December 19, 1998Ronald CurryNorth CarolinaQB
December 18, 1999Mike AndersonUtahRB
December 21, 2000Jason ThomasUNLVQB
December 25, 2001Dameon HunterUtahRB
December 25, 2002Craig BraggUCLAWR
December 24, 2003Steven JacksonOregon StateRB
December 23, 2004Corey BramletWyomingQB
December 22, 2005Marshawn LynchCaliforniaRB
December 21, 2006Jonny HarlineBYUTE
December 22, 2007Austin CollieBYUWR
December 20, 2008Willie TuitamaArizonaQB
December 22, 2009Max HallBYUQB
December 22, 2010Kellen MooreBoise StateQB
December 22, 2011Doug MartinBoise StateRB
December 22, 2012Bishop SankeyWashingtonRB
December 21, 2013Cody KesslerUSCQB
December 20, 2014Travis WilsonUtahQB
December 19, 2015Tevin CarterUtahCB
December 17, 2016Donnel PumphreySan Diego StateRB
December 16, 2017Cedrick Wilson Jr.Boise StateWR

Most appearances

Teams with multiple appearances
Rank Team Appearances Record
3Boise State44–0
T7Oregon State21–1
T7San Diego State21–1
T7Ball State20–2
T7Fresno State20–2
T7New Mexico20–2
Teams with a single appearance

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

Appearances by conference

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

Rank Conference Appearances Wins Losses Pct.
1Mountain West18117.611
2Pac-12[n 1]1688.500
T3Big West532.600
T6The American101.000
T6Independents[n 2]101.000
  1. Includes appearances when the conference was the Pac-10
  2. BYU (2015)

Media coverage

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


  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.
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