The Birmingham Bowl began its existence as the Papa John’s Bowl back in 2006. Later it was played as the BBVA Compass Bowl from 2011 to 2014, and since then has taken its name from the city it’s always been played in, Birmingham, Alabama.
The game originally matched a team from Conference USA against a team from the now-disbanded Big East Conference. Now the Birmingham Bowl pits the Southeastern Conference against the American Athletic Conference.
All of the Papa John’s/Compass/Birmingham bowl games have been played at historic Legion Field, the site of 47 Iron Bowls.
The inaugural Papa John’s Bowl was won by the South Florida Bulls, who beat the East Carolina Pirates 24-7. South Florida returned to the Birmingham Bowl in 2016 for the first time since that victory and upset the South Carolina Gamecocks 46-39 in overtime.
In 2011 the Pittsburgh Panthers made the first of three straight Birmingham Bowl appearances, beating the Kentucky Wildcats 27-10. Pitt running back Dion Lewis, who’s now doing good things for the Tennessee Titans, ran the ball for 105 yards and a touchdown that day, while current Green Bay Packer Randall Cobb came up with 205 all-purpose yards for Kentucky.
In 2013, though, the Panthers lost to the Ole Miss Rebels 38-17 in front of what was then a Birmingham Bowl-record crowd of over 55,000. And the following season Pitt fell to the Southern Methodist Mustangs 28-6.
In 2015 a crowd of over 59,000 watched a battle of southern-fried Tigers, as Auburn defeated Memphis 31-10.
In 2016, South Florida lost head coach Willie Taggart to Oregon just after the regular season, and played the Birmingham Bowl under an interim coach. The Bulls jumped out to a 15-0 lead, pushed that to 39-21 in the third quarter, let the Gamecocks rally to tie the score at 39-39 but won it in overtime on a Quinton Flowers touchdown pass.
Betting favorites had a nice run in the Birmingham Bowl from 2010 to 2016, winning seven straight and going 6-1 against the spread.
This year the Birmingham Bowl will feature the Memphis Tigers and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. For the latest odds, a free pick and handicapping information, visit our Birmingham Bowl Game Center.
|Year||Bowl||Team||Score||Team||Score||Spread||ATS Sportsbook||SU Sportsbook|
|2006||Papajohns.com Bowl||East Carolina||7||South Florida||24||-5.5||S.FLA||S.FLA|
|2007||Papajohns.com Bowl||Southern Miss||21||Cincinnati||31||-11||S.MISS||CINCIN|
|2008||Papajohns.com Bowl||North Carolina State||23||Rutgers||29||-6||Push||RUTGER|
|2009||Papajohns.com Bowl||Connecticut||20||South Carolina||7||-4||CONN||CONN|
|2011||Compass Bowl||Southern Methodist||28||Pittsburgh||6||-4||SMU||SMU|
|2014||Birmingham Bowl||East Carolina||20||Florida||28||-6.5||Florida||Florida|
|2016||Birmingham Bowl||South Florida||46||South Carolina||39||+10.5||S.CAR||S.FLA|
|2017||Birmingham Bowl||Texas Tech||34||USF||38||-2||USF||USF|
|2018||Birmingham Bowl||Memphis||34||Wake Forest||37||+2.5||Wake Forest||Wake Forest|