American Football Database
For the high school football all-star game, see All-American Bowl (high school football).
All-American Bowl (defunct)
Stadium Legion Field
Location Birmingham, Alabama
Operated 1977–1990
Former names
Hall of Fame Classic (1977–1985)
1990 matchup
North Carolina State vs. Southern Mississippi (31–27)

The All-American Bowl was an annual postseason college football bowl game played at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama from 1977 to 1990. The game was known as the Hall of Fame Classic from 1977 to 1985.[1]

In 1986, the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame decided to relocate the Hall of Fame bowl game to Tampa, Florida, where it eventually became known as the Outback Bowl. The game in Birmingham continued as the All-American Bowl, which was played for five years under a different organizing body.

When the Southeastern Conference expanded to twelve schools and began contesting a SEC Championship Game in 1992, Birmingham officials chose to host the conference title game and abandon the All-American Bowl. The SEC championship was moved to Atlanta's Georgia Dome two years later, leaving Legion Field without any Division I-A postseason college football until 2006, when ESPN and the city agreed to establish a new post-season game, the Birmingham Bowl.

The game

The All-American Bowl played host to a number of successful teams from the premier college football conferences of the time (the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Eight (now Big 12 Conference), Big Ten Conference, Southeastern Conference and Southwest Conference). All of them placed teams in the All-American Bowl in various years. At least one of the power conferences fielded teams in the All-American Bowl in every year of its existence; often, two of those premier conferences met in the game. The Southeastern Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference each placed five teams into the All-American Bowl. The Big Ten Conference proved to be the least successful conference, having never won a game despite placing teams in four different years.

Game results

Hall of Fame Classic

Date Winner Loser Attendance[2] Notes
December 22, 1977 Maryland 17 Minnesota 7 47,000 notes
December 20, 1978 Texas A&M 28 #19 Iowa State 12 41,500 notes
December 29, 1979 Missouri 24 #16 South Carolina 14 62,785 notes
December 27, 1980 Arkansas 34 Tulane 15 30,000 notes
December 31, 1981 Mississippi State 10 Kansas 0 41,672 notes
December 31, 1982 Air Force 36 Vanderbilt 28 75,000 notes
December 22, 1983 #18 West Virginia 20 Kentucky 16 42,000 notes
December 29, 1984 Kentucky 20 #20 Wisconsin 19 47,300 notes
December 31, 1985 Georgia Tech 17 Michigan State 14 45,000 notes

All-American Bowl

Date Winner Loser Attendance[2] Notes
December 31, 1986 Florida State 27 Indiana 13 30,000 notes
December 22, 1987 Virginia 22 Brigham Young 16 37,000 notes
December 29, 1988 Florida 14 Illinois 10 48,218 notes
December 28, 1989 #24 Texas Tech 49 #20 Duke 21 47,750 notes
December 28, 1990 North Carolina State 31 #23 Southern Mississippi 27 44,000 notes

Most Valuable Players

Year played MVP[3] Team Position
1977 Chuck White Maryland SE
1977 Charles Johnson Maryland DT
1978 Curtis Dickey Texas A&M RB
1979 Phil Bradley Missouri QB
1980 Gary Anderson Arkansas RB
1980 Billy Ray Smith Arkansas LB
1981 John Bond Mississippi State QB
1981 Johnie Cooks Mississippi State LB
1982 Whit Taylor Vanderbilt QB
1982 Carl Dieudonne Air Force DE
1983 Jeff Hostetler West Virginia QB
1984 Mark Logan Kentucky RB
1984 Todd Gregoire Wisconsin PK
1985 Mark Ingram, Sr. Michigan State WR
1986 Sammie Smith Florida State RB
1987 Scott Secules Virginia QB
1988 Emmitt Smith Florida RB
1989 James Gray Texas Tech RB
1990 Brett Favre Southern Miss QB

Conference records

Ranked Teams

On several occasions, the All-American Bowl winners finished the season ranked in the AP Top Twenty poll:

  • Texas A&M finished #19 in the final 1978 AP poll after defeating #19 Iowa State.[4]
  • West Virginia finished #16 in the final 1983 AP poll after defeating Kentucky.[5]
  • Kentucky finished #19 in the final 1984 AP poll and the final UPI poll after defeating #20 Wisconsin.[6]
  • Georgia Tech finished #19 in the final 1985 AP poll after defeating Michigan State.[7]
  • Texas Tech finished #19 in the final 1989 AP poll after defeating #20 Duke.[8]


See also