|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 game featured the champions of the Big West Conference (known prior to 1988 as the Pacific Coast Athletic Association) and 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.
The game was dealt a severe blow in 1992 when Fresno State moved to the Western Athletic Conference. The MAC and Big West then moved their tie-ins to Las Vegas, Nevada and created the Las Vegas Bowl. The California Bowl made plans to hold the 1992 game without tie-ins, but was unable to find a new sponsor. When organizers came up short of a $1.75 million fundraising goal, the NCAA pulled the bowl's certification. It has never returned.
|Date played||Winning team||Losing team||Notes|
|December 19, 1981||Toledo||27||San Jose State||25||notes|
|December 18, 1982||Fresno State||29||Bowling Green||28||notes|
|December 17, 1983||Northern Illinois||20||Cal State Fullerton||13||notes|
|December 15, 1984||Toledo *||13||UNLV||30||notes|
|December 14, 1985||Fresno State||51||Bowling Green||7||notes|
|December 13, 1986||San Jose State||37||Miami (OH)||7||notes|
|December 12, 1987||Eastern Michigan||30||San Jose State||27||notes|
|December 10, 1988||Fresno State||35||Western Michigan||30||notes|
|December 9, 1989||Fresno State||27||Ball State||6||notes|
|December 8, 1990||San Jose State||48||Central Michigan||24||notes|
|December 14, 1991||Bowling Green||28||Fresno State||21||notes|
* UNLV won this game, but subsequently forfeited its entire schedule due to the use of ineligible players earlier in the season.
Appearances by team
|2||San Jose State||4||2–2||.500|
|T5||Cal State Fullerton||1||0–1||.000|
Appearances by conference
|Rank||Conference||Appearances||Record||Win %||# of Teams||Teams|
|T1||Big West||11||6–5||.545||4||Fresno State (4–1)|
San Jose State (2–2)
|T1||MAC||11||5–6||.455||8||Bowling Green (1–2)
- Foldesy, Jody. "Bowls burgeon as big business", The Washington Times. December 21, 1997. Page A1.
- http://espn.go.com/ncf/topics/_/page/las-vegas-bowl "history"