American Football Database
Poinsettia Bowl
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl
Poinsettia Bowl logo
Stadium Qualcomm Stadium
Location San Diego, California
Operated 2005–present
Conference tie-ins MW vs. BYU 2012; Army 2013
Previous conference tie-ins Pac-12, Navy
Payout US$500,000 per team[1]
San Diego County Credit Union (2005- )
2011 matchup
Louisiana Tech vs. TCU
(TCU 31, La Tech 24)
2012 matchup
BYU vs. San Diego State
(BYU 23, SDSU 6)

The Poinsettia Bowl is a post-season NCAA-sanctioned Division I - Football Bowl Subdivision college football bowl game, re-created and played for the first time since 1955 in 2005 by the organizers of the Holiday Bowl. The Poinsettia Bowl is played in late-December each year at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. The game is currently sponsored by the San Diego County Credit Union, and is therefore named the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl. The Mountain West Conference team placing second in the conference receives a reserved invitation to this bowl through the 2014 season, and the Army Black Knights are guaranteed a spot in 2013 if Army earns bowl eligibility, requiring a regular season winning percentage of .500 or better.[2]


The original incarnation of the Poinsettia Bowl was as the military services championship game, pitting the Western and Eastern Military Services champions against each other. In the inaugural Poinsettia Bowl, Bolling Air Force Base defeated the San Diego Naval Training Center by a score of 35-14 on December 20, 1952. The game was held at Balboa Stadium in San Diego in a torrential downpour, before hundreds of reluctant sailors (including Hayden Fry) who were ordered to sit in the stands so that they wouldn't appear empty in the nationally televised game. Television came to terms with the NCAA the next year, making the 1952 Poinsettia Bowl the last nationally televised game between military teams other than the annual Army-Navy game. In the 1953 Poinsettia Bowl, the Quantico Marines team led by Fry lost to the Army team, the Fort Ord Warriors, a team that featured quarterback Don Heinrich and running back Ollie Matson. Fort Ord repeated as champion in 1955, the year of the fourth and final such Poinsettia Bowl.

The bowl was resurrected in the 21st century. In the week leading up to the 2005 Poinsettia Bowl, the United States Naval Academy Midshipmen accepted an invitation to the 2008 (however, they played in the EagleBank Bowl instead), 2009, or 2010 Poinsettia Bowls if Navy was bowl eligible in those seasons. The fact that there are several naval bases in and around San Diego contributed to this decision by the independent Midshipmen.

The inaugural 2005 Poinsettia Bowl game matched Navy Midshipmen against the Colorado State Rams; Navy won 51–30. It had attendance of 36,842.[2]

The Poinsettia Bowl announced that if the Army Black Knights became bowl-eligible by the end of the 2006 regular season, they would win an automatic birth in their bowl game; however, The Cadets wound up with a losing record, and were not invited.[3]

In July 2007, it was announced that (starting with the 2008 game) the Pac-10 would send its seventh-place team to the game, and its sixth-place team in 2009 and 2010 -- replacing the at-large team.[4]

The 2007 game matched the Utah Utes against the Navy Midshipmen; Utah won, 35–32. Navy made the Poinsettia Bowl as a result of Navy's win over North Texas, a game that set a new NCAA record for most points scored in a college football game.[5] That year's attendance was 39,129.[2]

It was announced, starting with the 2008 season, and continuing through 2009, if the Pac-10 does not have enough bowl-eligible teams to send one to the Poinsettia Bowl (a contractual obligation), the game's organizers reserved the right to select a WAC team to take the Pac-10 team's place (if available).[1]

The 2008 game matched the #11 TCU Horned Frogs of the Mountain West Conference against the #9 Boise State Broncos the Western Athletic Conference champion; TCU won, 17–16. Boise State replaced the representative from the Pac-10, since it did not an extra bowl-eligible teams to spare for this game. The game garnered a 3.74 national television rating on ESPN, the bowl’s most watched game ever and the highest rated pre-Christmas game ever on the all-sports network.[2]

The 2009 game matched the #23 Utah Utes against the California Golden Bears; Utah won, 37-27.

The 2010 game matched the San Diego State Aztecs against the Navy Midshipmen. San Diego State won 35-14. That year's attendance was 48,049.

Louisiana Tech and TCU received and accepted bids to participate in the 2011 Poinsettia Bowl, which TCU won 31-24. TCU's participation was somewhat unexpected as they missed out on a second straight BCS Bowl by a single national rank position, ranked 17th in the nation. Had they been ranked 16 they would have automatically qualified for their second straight BCS Bowl appearance following their 21-19 victory over the Big 10 Champion Wisconsin Badgers.

Game results

File:2006 Poinsettia Bowl Trophy Navy.jpg

U.S. Naval Academy defensive end Jeremy Chase, left, quarterback Lamar Owens, center, and head football coach Paul Johnson receive the Poinsettia Bowl trophy after defeating Colorado State 51-30 in the inaugural Poinsettia Bowl.

Date Winning Team Losing Team Notes
December 20, 1952 Bolling AFB (USAF) 35 San Diego Training Center (USN) 14
December 19, 1953 Fort Ord (Army) 55 Quantico (USMC) 19
December 18, 1954 Fort Sill (Army) 27 Bolling AFB (USAF) 6
December 17, 1955 Fort Ord (Army) 35 Pensacola Naval Air Station (USN) 13
Modern Era
December 22, 2005 Navy 51 Colorado State 30 notes
December 19, 2006 TCU 37 Northern Illinois 7 notes
December 20, 2007 Utah 35 Navy 32 notes
December 23, 2008 TCU 17 Boise State 16 notes
December 23, 2009 Utah 37 California 27 notes
December 23, 2010 San Diego State 35 Navy 14 notes
December 21, 2011 TCU 31 Louisiana Tech 24 notes
December 20, 2012 BYU 23 San Diego State 6 notes


Date Played Offensive MVP Defensive MVP
Player Team Pos. Player Team Pos.
December 22, 2005 Reggie Campbell Navy RB Tyler Tidwell Navy LB
December 19, 2006 Jeff Ballard TCU QB Tommy Blake TCU DE
December 20, 2007 Brian Johnson Utah QB Joe Dale Utah DB
December 23, 2008 Andy Dalton TCU QB Stephen Hodge TCU S
December 23, 2009 Jordan Wynn Utah QB Stevenson Sylvester Utah LB
December 23, 2010 Ronnie Hillman/Vincent Brown San Diego State RB/WR Andrew Preston San Diego State DB
December 21, 2011 Skye Dawson TCU WR Greg McCoy TCU CB
December 20, 2012 Cody Hoffman BYU WR Kyle Van Noy BYU LB

Most appearances

Rank Team Appearances Record
T1 TCU 3 3–0
T1 Navy 3 1–2
T3 Utah 2 2–0
T3 San Diego State 2 1–1
T5 BYU 1 1–0
T5 Boise State 1 0–1
T5 California 1 0–1
T5 Colorado State 1 0–1
T5 Louisiana Tech 1 0–1
T5 Northern Illinois 1 0–1

Wins by conference

Conference Wins Losses Pct.
Mountain West 6 2 .750
Independent 2 2 .500
WAC 0 2 .000
MAC 0 1 .000
Pac-12 0 1 .000


External links

fr:Poinsettia Bowl ja:ポインセチアボウル