American Football Database
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl
(formerly Motor City Bowl)
File:Little Caeasars Pizza Bowl.png
Official Logo
Stadium Ford Field
Location Detroit, Michigan
Previous stadiums Pontiac Silverdome (1997–2001)
Previous locations Pontiac, Michigan (1997–2001)
Operated 1997–present
Conference tie-ins Big Ten, MAC
Sun Belt (alternate)
Payout US$600,000 per team
Little Caesars, Ford, Chrysler, GM, UAW[1]
Former names
Motor City Bowl (1998–2008)
Ford Motor City Bowl (1997)
2011 matchup
Western Michigan vs. Purdue (Purdue 37-32)
2012 matchup
Central Michigan vs. Western Kentucky

The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl (known as the Motor City Bowl until 2009) is a post-season college football bowl game certified by the NCAA that has been played annually since 1997. The first five games (1997–2001) were played at the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan. Starting in 2002, the game was moved to 65,000-seat Ford Field in downtown Detroit, Michigan. Ford Field is home to the NFL's Detroit Lions, and played host to Super Bowl XL.

The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl features a bowl-eligible team from the Mid-American Conference (usually the winner of the MAC Championship Game, although that team is not required to accept the bid; prior to the formation of the bowl the MAC champion earned an automatic bid to the Las Vegas Bowl) playing a bowl-eligible team from the Big Ten Conference. If the Big Ten does not have an eligible team, the game will feature a team from the Sun Belt that meets the NCAA requirement of at least six wins. In the event that the Sun Belt does not have an available team, an at-large team can be chosen.

The game was jointly sponsored by the "Big Three" automakers in Detroit from 1998 to 2007 (Ford, General Motors and Chrysler). Starting with the 2008 game, Chrysler was replaced by the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights as a presenting sponsor. In 2009, Little Caesars became the title sponsor of the game after General Motors and Chrysler reorganized under bankruptcy protection. Ford remained as a sponsor.[2]

In 2011, Ford, General Motors, Chrysler and the UAW are committing $100,000 together to become the presenting sponsor of the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl at Ford Field. Little Caesar Enterprises Inc. and its franchisees remain the title sponsor.

With the help of Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, Ford, General Motors and Little Caesars they hope to get the fifth Big Ten selection (they currently have the eighth selection) by petitioning the Big Ten Conference to allow it to get a higher pick before the current deal expires in 2014.


Motor City Bowl logo.

The then-named-Motor City Bowl marked the first bowl game held in the Detroit area since the Cherry Bowl in 1984–85. It is the only Division I college bowl game played in the Midwest United States.

A bowl record crowd of 60,624 fans witnessed the 2007 bowl game between the Purdue Boilermakers and the Central Michigan Chippewas.

The 2009 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, played December 26, 2009, matched the Ohio Bobcats of the Mid-American Conference against the Marshall Thundering Herd of Conference USA.

On April 12, 2010, it was announced that the Big Ten Conference has extended its affiliation with the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl (Big Ten No.8) through the 2013 season. Also the Sun Belt Conference and the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl have agreed to a secondary tie-in that will allow a Sun Belt Conference team to play in the Detroit based game should the Big Ten Conference not have an available bowl-eligible team to play.

The 2010 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl game, the Big Ten did not have enough teams to fill the slot and the MAC champion Miami-Ohio chose to play in the Bowl; the bowl chose the MAC's third place team, Toledo, and the Sun Belt's conference champion Florida International; Florida International won giving the university its first ever bowl win.

ESPN has televised the game since its inception.

Game results

Date Winning team Losing team Attendance Game
December 26, 1997 Mississippi 34 Marshall 31 43,340 Game article
December 23, 1998 Marshall 48 Louisville 29 38,016 Game article
December 27, 1999 Marshall 21 BYU 3 52,449 Game article
December 27, 2000 Marshall 25 Cincinnati 14 52,911 Game article
December 29, 2001 Toledo 23 Cincinnati 16 44,164 Game article
December 26, 2002 Boston College 51 Toledo 25 45,761 Game article
December 26, 2003 Bowling Green 28 Northwestern 24 51,286 Game article
December 27, 2004[3] Connecticut 39 Toledo 10 52,552 Game article
December 26, 2005[4] Memphis 38 Akron 31 45,801 Game article
December 26, 2006[5] Central Michigan 31 Middle Tennessee 14 54,113 Game article
December 26, 2007 Purdue 51 Central Michigan 48 60,624 Game article
December 26, 2008 Florida Atlantic 24 Central Michigan 21 41,399 Game article
December 26, 2009 Marshall 21 Ohio 17 30,331 Game article
December 26, 2010 FIU 34 Toledo 32 32,431 Game article
December 27, 2011 Purdue 37 Western Michigan 32 46,177 Game article
December 26, 2012 Central Michigan 24 Western Kentucky 21 23,310 Game article


Year MVP(s) Team Position
1997 Stewart Patridge Mississippi QB
1998 Chad Pennington Marshall QB
1999 Doug Chapman Marshall RB
2000 Byron Leftwich Marshall QB
2001 Chester Taylor Toledo RB
2002 Brian St. Pierre Boston College QB
2003 Josh Harris Bowling Green QB
Jason Wright Northwestern RB
2004 Dan Orlovsky Connecticut QB
2005 DeAngelo Williams Memphis RB
2006 Dan LeFevour Central Michigan QB
2007 Curtis Painter Purdue QB
2008 Rusty Smith Florida Atlantic QB
2009 Martin Ward Marshall RB
2010 T. Y. Hilton FIU WR
2011 Akeem Shavers Purdue RB
2012 Ryan Radcliff Central Michigan QB

Most appearances

Rank Team Appearances Record
1 Marshall 5 4–1
T2 Central Michigan 4 2–2
T2 Toledo 4 1–3
T4 Purdue 2 2–0
T4 Cincinnati 2 0–2
T6 Boston College 1 1–0
T6 Bowling Green 1 1–0
T6 Connecticut 1 1–0
T6 Florida Atlantic 1 1–0
T6 FIU 1 1–0
T6 Memphis 1 1–0
T6 Mississippi 1 1–0
T6 Akron 1 0–1
T6 BYU 1 0–1
T6 Louisville 1 0–1
T6 Middle Tennessee 1 0–1
T6 Northwestern 1 0–1
T6 Ohio 1 0–1
T6 Western Michigan 1 0–1
T6 Western Kentucky 1 0–1

Wins by conference

Conference Wins Losses Pct.
MAC 7 9 .438
C-USA 2 3 .400
Big 10 2 1 .667
Sun Belt 2 2 .500
Big East 2 0 1.000
SEC 1 0 1.000
MWC 0 1 .000

See also


  1. "Little Caesars Pizza Bowl Sponsors and Sponsorship Opportunities". Retrieved 2012-12-03.
  2. [1][dead link]
  3. Connecticut received the bid to play in this game as the Big Ten did not field enough teams to qualify for this game.
  4. Memphis replaced the Big Ten and Big East teams as they did not have enough teams to qualify for this game.
  5. The Big Ten did not have enough bowl-eligible teams to fulfill their obligation to qualify for this game, so Middle Tennessee filled the Big Ten's spot.

External links