Birmingham Bowl, ECU vs. Florida: Date, time, location and more
Three name changes in five years? Yep, it’s bowl season.
The Birmingham Bowl may not be a familiar name for most college football fans, but it’s actually just the BBVA Compass Bowl, which has been around since 2010. The BBVA Compass Bowl used to be named the PapaJohns.com Bowl from 2006 to 2010. Before that, the PapaJohns.com Bowl was named — you guessed it! — the Birmingham Bowl. I think we might have just figured out the plot for Inception 2. This year, ECU and Florida will meet in Birmingham.
Here is everything you need to know prior to kickoff.
Date and time, ET: Saturday, Jan. 3rd, 2015, 1 p.m. ET
TV channel: ESPN/ESPN2
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Stadium: Legion Field, 71,600
Last year’s score: Vanderbilt 41, Houston 24 (it was the Compass Bowl last year)
Last year’s attendance: 42,717
Last year’s TV rating: 1.4
Last year’s payout for each school: $1.95 million
Team with the most all-time appearances: Pittsburgh, 3
Team with the most all-time wins: Eight teams have won it once.
East Carolina (8-4, 5-3 American)
Despite a loss to South Carolina in week two, East Carolina was a trendy pick to be the Group of Five’s representative in the College Football Playoff early in the season. The Pirates beat Virginia Tech and then destroyed in-state rival North Carolina 70-41. However, things went downhill with back-to-back midseason losses to Temple and Cincinnati, and a Hail Mary loss to UCF in the final regular season game really defined this year for the Pirates.
While the year might have ended in disappointment for the Pirates, they still could provide some fireworks in the bowl game. ECU has the second best passing offense in the country, and if it can come up big like it did against North Carolina, it can provide us with some fun holiday entertainment.
Last bowl game: 2013 Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl vs. Ohio, 37-20 win
All-time bowl record: 8-10
Head coach’s bowl record: Ruffin McNeill, 2-2
Florida (6-5, 4-4 SEC)
The final season of the Will Muschamp era had too many downs and not enough ups. The Gators improved upon their disastrous 4-8 2013 campaign, but even a win over arch rival Georgia wasn’t enough to save the head coach. Florida managed to allow just 119 yards in a 42-13 loss to Missouri, and an overtime home loss to South Carolina sealed Muschamp’s fate.
While the offense has struggled, Florida’s defense has been a strength. Led by shutdown corner Vernon Hargreaves III, the Gators led the SEC by allowing 4.5 yards per play, and they were second in the conference with 311.0 yards allowed per game.
Last bowl game: 2013 Sugar Bowl vs. Louisville, 33-23 loss
All-time bowl record: 20-20
Head coach’s bowl record:D.J. Durkin (interim), 0-0