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College Football Betting Online: The Liberty Bowl has seen plenty in its nearly 60-year existence. Legendary coach Bear Bryant roamed the sidelines for the final time in the 1982 contest. Heisman Trophy winners Ernie Davis, Doug Flutie and Bo Jackson all competed in the event. A lot goes on when you’re the seventh oldest bowl game in the country. With its origins based in Philadelphia, hence the name, the Liberty Bowl was also the first major bowl to be played indoors. The game moved to its current outdoor location in Memphis in 1965.
The 2017 AutoZone Liberty Bowl will take place on Saturday, December 30 at 12:30 p.m. ET from Liberty Bowl Stadium in Memphis, Tenn. ABC will televise all the action.
Liberty Bowl Format
During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Liberty Bowl offered an automatic invitation to the winner of the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy, if that team was bowl eligible. As a result Air Force made four consecutive trips to the bowl game between 1989 and 1992.
The game affiliated itself with the newly-created Conference USA starting with the 1996 playing, offering the league’s champion an automatic bid. Starting in 2005, the winner of the C-USA Championship game was invited. The Big East provided an opponent for the 1996 and 1997 games. From 1999 to 2005 the Mountain West provided an opponent for the C-USA champion.
The Southeastern Conference got involved starting with the 2006 game, taking the place of the MWC. A SEC representative played the C-USA champ through 2013 with the American Athletic Conference an alternate. Prior to the 2014 game, the Liberty Bowl signed a six-year deal with the Big 12 Conference and the SEC to send bowl eligible teams to Memphis.
Liberty Bowl Game Results
|2016 ||Georgia ||TCU |
|2015 ||Arkansas ||Kansas State |
|2014 ||Texas AM ||West Virginia |
|2013 ||Mississippi State ||Rice |
|2012 ||Tulsa ||Iowa State |
|2011 ||Cincinnati ||Vanderbilt |
|2010 ||UCF ||Georgia |
|2009 ||Arkansas ||East Carolina |
|2008 ||Kentucky ||East Carolina |
|2007 ||Mississippi State ||UCF |
|2006 ||South Carolina ||Houston |
|2005 ||Tulsa ||Fresno State |
|2004 ||Louisville ||Boise State |
|2003 ||Utah ||Southern Mississippi |
|2002 ||TCU ||Colorado State |
|2001 ||Louisville ||BYU |
|2000 ||Colorado State ||Louisville |
|1999 ||Southern Mississippi ||Colorado State |
|1998 ||Tulane ||BYU |
|1997 ||Southern Mississippi ||Pittsburgh |
|1996 ||Syracuse ||Houston |
|1995 ||East Carolina ||Stanford |
|1994 ||Illinois ||East Carolina |
|1993 ||Louisville ||Michigan State |
|1992 ||Mississippi ||Air Force |
|1991 ||Air Force ||Mississippi State |
|1990 ||Air Force ||Ohio State |
|1989 ||Mississippi ||Air Force |
|1988 ||Indiana ||South Carolina |
|1987 ||Georgia ||Arkansas |
|1986 ||Tennessee ||Minnesota |
|1985 ||Baylor ||LSU |
|1984 ||Auburn ||Arkansas |
|1983 ||Notre Dame ||Boston College |
|1982 ||Alabama ||Illinois |
|1981 ||Ohio State ||Navy |
|1980 ||Purdue ||Missouri |
|1979 ||Penn State ||Tulane |
|1978 ||Missouri ||LSU |
|1977 ||Nebraska ||North Carolina |
|1976 ||Alabama ||UCLA |
|1975 ||USC ||Texas AM |
|1974 ||Tennessee ||Maryland |
|1973 ||North Carolina State ||Kansas |
|1972 ||Georgia Tech ||Iowa State |
|1971 ||Tennessee ||Arkansas |
|1970 ||Tulane ||Colorado |
|1969 ||Colorado ||Alabama |
|1968 ||Mississippi ||Virginia Tech |
|1967 ||North Carolina State ||Georgia |
|1966 ||Miami (FL) ||Virginia Tech |
|1965 ||Mississippi ||Auburn |
|1964 ||Utah ||West Virginia |
|1963 ||Mississippi State ||North Carolina State |
|1962 ||Oregon State ||Villanova |
|1961 ||Syracuse ||Miami (FL) |
|1960 ||Penn State ||Oregon |
|1959 ||Penn State ||Alabama |
There have been 58 Liberty Bowls played but the game is still considered a lower-tier contest. That hasn’t detracted teams from participating, though. In its history the bowl has hosted 60 different programs, but there hasn’t been a team ranked in the AP poll since 2004 when No. 7 Louisville defeated No. 10 Boise State in the only matchup of top-10 teams. It was just the eighth time in bowl history both teams entered the game ranked in the AP poll.
Geographically the current alignment with the SEC and Big Ten makes sense for the game. But after the CFP and other bowls pick their teams, the Liberty Bowl is left with scraps, which explains the lack of ranked teams recently. There is plenty of tradition associated with the Liberty Bowl and a nice payout as well, so teams aren’t shying away from playing.
The game started in Philadelphia in 1959 with an inaugural match-up between Penn State and Alabama. After five years the game moved indoors to Atlantic City Convention Center and became the first indoor college bowl game. In 1965 the city of Memphis constructed a new stadium to lure the game. It worked. The game was such a success that the city renamed the stadium Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in 1976.
Most All-Time Wins at Liberty Bowl
|4 ||Mississippi ||1965, 1968, 1989, 1992 |
|3 ||Louisville ||1993, 2001, 2004 |
|3 ||Mississippi State ||1963, 2007, 2013 |
|3 ||Penn State ||1959, 1960, 1979 |
|3 ||Tennessee ||1971, 1974, 1986 |
Thanks to their affiliation with the SEC, the Arkansas Razorbacks have appeared in the most Liberty Bowls with a total of five appearances. An effort was made to keep the game regional with tie-ins with C-USA, the SEC and to a certain extent the Big 12. Keeping the patriotic theme by inviting the service academy winner of the Commander-in-Chief Trophy resulted in four consecutive visits by Air Force.
Ole Miss owns a record four Liberty Bowl wins without a defeat, but their last trip came in 1992. Penn State and Air Force are the only back-to-back winners. The Nittany Lions won the first two Liberty Bowls, beating Alabama and Oregon. The only four trips the Falcons made came in succession and their first win was an upset of No. 24 Ohio State in 1990. They defeated Mississippi State the following year.
The SEC has owned the Big 12 under the games current setup. Georgia knocked off TCU 31-23 in last year’s game, giving the SEC a third straight victory over its Big 12 counterpart and a fourth straight win in the game overall with four different teams doing the honors.
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