From now until the middle of January, 39 college bowl games will be contested. That’s a lot…but there are plenty of college football bowl games that aren’t played at all anymore.
Due to mutual economic sanctions and deep-seated political rivalries, this game hasn’t been played since 1946, but sporadically throughout the 1910s and 1920s, this bowl game was held each year in Cuba.
This was an annual matchup between Pennsylvania Military College and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. Similar to the Army-Navy Game that pits the two military branches academies in a game, the Boardwalk Bowl was called “The Little Army-Navy Game.” Oddly, it was played indoors at the Atlantic City Convention Center in New Jersey on natural grass that was grown outside and then moved indoors. It hasn’t been held since 1973.
Obviously, the Cosmopolitan Bowl was played in the sparkling metropolis of…Alexandria, Louisiana. It was played only once, in 1951, with McNeese State defeating Louisiana College.
Epson Ivy Bowl
Played annually from 1988 to 1996, the Epson Ivy Bowl was contested between a team of all-stars from Ivy League colleges (who had popularized football in the early 20th century) and a team of all-stars from Japanese colleges (where football wasn’t terribly popular). The Ivy Leaguers won every single time.
After glasnost, the policy enacted by Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985 to ease tensions with the West, plans were underway to hold an annual college football game in the U.S.S.R., also in the name of peace and understanding. USC and the University of Illinois agreed to play in 1989, but it turned out to be a logistical nightmare and the game never took place.
The California city is already home to the Rose Bowl, which is a step on the way to the national title for major schools. From 1946 to 1971, the city also played host to the Pasadena Bowl, which was essentially a mini-Rose Bowl, determining the national football championship for junior colleges.
For more football trivia read Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Sports Spectacular.