When it began in 2006, the Compass Bowl (formerly the Birmingham Bowl and the papajohns.com bowl) became the fourth bowl to be held in Birmingham, Ala., joining the Dixie Bowl (1947-48), the Hall of Fame Classic (1978-85) and the All-American Bowl (1986-90).
When the bowl began, it matched a team from Conference USA against a team from the Big East. In 2008, bowl organizers lobbied for and received a recertification. In 2008 and 2009, the C-USA representative was replaced by the SEC's ninth bowl-eligible team.
C-USA and the MAC are now used as backups if either current conference does not have a bowl-eligible team to fill the spot. If neither of those conferences are unable to field a team, then bowl organizers choose an at-large team. This happened in 2008 when the SEC did not have nine bowl-eligible teams and NC State was chosen to face Rutgers.
• In 2008, NC State took a 17-6 lead on Rutgers at halftime, but the Wolfpack lost quarterback Russell Wilson to a knee injury. Rutgers would come back and win 29-23.
|2006||South Florida||24||East Carolina||7|
|No bowl was held in 2009, as the date of the bowl was changed from late December to early January.|