|California Bowl (defunct)|
|California Raisin Bowl|
|Conference tie-ins||PCAA/Big West, MAC|
|California Raisin Advisory Board (1988–1991)|
The California Bowl (later the California Raisin Bowl) was a post-season college football bowl game played annually at Bulldog Stadium in Fresno, California, from 1981 to 1991. The games matched the championship teams from the Big West Conference (formerly the Pacific Coast Athletic Association) with teams from the Mid-American Conference. During the bowl's existence it was generally the first bowl game played during the postseason. It was regarded as one of the lower-profile bowl games in that the conferences involved were mid-majors, and was one of the first bowls to restrict its television marketing efforts to the medium of cable television. Fresno State largely dominated this game, playing in five of the 11 games and winning four of them. In 1988, the California Raisin Advisory Board purchased the naming rights to the bowl.
In 1992, the game moved to Las Vegas, Nevada after losing NCAA certification  and became the Las Vegas Bowl; it also dropped the automatic affiliation with the Big West Conference and Mid-American Conference after the 1996 season.
This is game should not be confused with the bowl game, played 1946–1949, called the Raisin Bowl also played in Fresno.
|Date played||Winning team||Losing team||MVP|
|December 19, 1981||Toledo||27||San Jose State||25|
|December 18, 1982||Fresno State||29||Bowling Green||28||Jeff Tedford QB|
|December 17, 1983||Northern Illinois||20||Cal State Fullerton||13||Lou Wicks FB|
|December 15, 1984||Toledo *||13||UNLV||30|
|December 14, 1985||Fresno State||51||Bowling Green||7||Mike Mancini P|
|December 13, 1986||San Jose State||37||Miami (OH)||7||Mike Perez QB|
|December 12, 1987||Eastern Michigan||30||San Jose State||27||Gary Patton RB|
|December 10, 1988||Fresno State||35||Western Michigan||30||Darrell Rosette RB|
|December 9, 1989||Fresno State||27||Ball State||6|
|December 8, 1990||San Jose State||48||Central Michigan||24|
|December 14, 1991||Bowling Green||28||Fresno State||21|
* Toledo lost this game, but was later awarded the win due to UNLV's use of ineligible players earlier in the season.
- ↑ Foldesy, Jody. "Bowls burgeon as big business", The Washington Times. December 21, 1997. Page A1.
- ↑ http://articles.latimes.com/1992-08-05/sports/sp-4944_1_bowl-ncaa-california
- ↑ http://espn.go.com/ncf/topics/_/page/las-vegas-bowl "history"