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Birmingham Bowl

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 New England Patriots, 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.

The 2017 Birmingham Bowl will see the Texas Tech Red Raiders take on the USF Bulls. USF went just 5-6 ATS this season despite posting a 9-2 SU record. Betting the UNDER was the way to go with Texas Tech, as it hit in eight of the Red Raiders’ 12 games. For more on this matchup, check out our Birmingham Bowl betting preview.

For updated lines and great props for all bowl games head over to Bovada today.

Birmingham Bowl History
YearBowlTeamScoreTeamScoreSpreadATS WinnerSU Winner
2006Papajohns.com BowlEast Carolina7South Florida24-5.5S.FLAS.FLA
2007Papajohns.com BowlSouthern Miss21Cincinnati31-11S.MISSCINCIN
2008Papajohns.com BowlNorth Carolina State23Rutgers29-6PushRUTGER
2009Papajohns.com BowlConnecticut20South Carolina7-4CONNCONN
2010Compass BowlKentucky10Pittsburgh27-4PITTPITT
2011Compass BowlSouthern Methodist28Pittsburgh6-4SMUSMU
2012Compass BowlMississippi38Pittsburgh17+2MISSMISS
2013Compass BowlVanderbilt41Houston24+1.5VANDYVANDY
2014Birmingham BowlEast Carolina20Florida28-6.5FloridaFlorida
2015Birmingham BowlAuburn31Memphis10+3AuburnAuburn
2016Birmingham BowlSouth Florida46South Carolina39+10.5S.CARS.FLA
2017Birmingham BowlTexas Tech-USF-   

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