The Outback Bowl game (named after its title sponsor Outback Steakhouse) is an annual college football bowl game in the post-season and usually takes place in early January (usually on New Year's Day) in Tampa, Florida. The Bowl history goes back to the mid 90's and the game features teams from the SEC (Southeastern Conference) and the Big Ten Conference.
The previous name of the bowl was 'Hall of Fame Bowl' (1986 - 1994) , which was played at Legion Field in Birmingham, AL. It was sponsored by both, the College Hall of Fame and the National Football Foundation. When those two organizations decided to move the game to Tampa after playing in Birmingham from 1977 - 1985, the Bowl found a new home.
A recent contract extension with the Big Ten Conference reaches into the 2013 football season. The bowl will continue to invite the 3rd pick from the Big Ten to play against the 3rd pick from the SEC.
In 2010 the following teams will be matched-up: The Northwestern Wildcats, representing Northwestern University from Evanston, IL in the Big Ten vs. the Auburn Tigers, representing Auburn University, Auburn, AL in the SEC (Southeastern Conference) Western Division.
The title sponsor is Outback Steakhouse, which we all know as THE American casual dining restaurant chain. They are based in Tampa, Florida and have over 900 locations in 21 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. It specializes in USDA Choice and Prime steaks and other offerings in an Australian-inspired environment. In the U.S. Outback Steakhouse is a wholly-owned subsidiary of OSI Restaurant Partners.
In the first few years the bowl game was played at Tampa Stadium (which later changed its name to Houlihan's Stadium) and eventually moved to Raymond James Stadium in 1999. Lots of the locals actually call the stadium lovingly "The New Sombrero". The stadium has a capacity of over 65,000 seats, but can be expanded for special events, then holding about 75,000 spectators. It is also home for the NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Buy your Outback Bowl Tickets now before it is too late and be one of the tens of thousands enthusiastic fans in this great stadium.
Previous games included these line-ups:
2010: Northwestern Wildcats 35 vs. Auburn Tigers 38 (OT)
2009: South Carolina Gamecocks 10 vs. Iowa Hawkeyes 31
2008: Wisconsin Badgers 17 vs. Tennessee Volunteers 21
2007: Penn State Nittany Lions 20 vs. Tennessee Volunteers 10
2006: Florida Gators 31 vs. Iowa Hawkeyes 24
2005: Georgia Bulldogs 24 vs. Wisconsin Badgers 21
2004: Iowa Hawkeyes 37 vs. Florida Gators 17
2003: Michigan Wolverines 38 vs. Florida Gators 30
2002: South Carolina Gamecocks 31 vs. Ohio State Buckeyes 28