This year's game was televised during prime time on Saturday, December 28 and featured a 31-28 Wisconsin overtime win over Colorado. Wisconsin senior quarterback Brooks Bollinger led the Badgers on a last minute scoring drive highlighted by two fourth down conversions (fourth-and-19 and fourth-and-10) to send the game to the first overtime in Alamo Bowl history.
After Colorado didn't score on their first possession, Badger kicker Mike Allen connected on a 37-yard field goal for the win.
"We thought a Colorado-Wisconsin match-up would be a competitive game that would appeal to a national television audience," said Derrick Fox, Executive Director of the Alamo Bowl presented by MasterCard. "This year's Alamo Bowl presented by MasterCard adds to our track record of exciting games as three of the last five Alamo Bowls have been decided in the final minute. The game also provided tremendous exposure to our presenting sponsor MasterCard, our game sponsors and the city of San Antonio."
The 4.4 mark is the fourth highest rating in the Alamo Bowl's 10-year history trailing only the 6.3 rating in 1995 (Texas A&M's 22-20 victory over Michigan), the 5.2 rating in 1999 (Penn State's 24-0 win against Texas A&M) and the 4.9 rating in 1998 (Purdue's 37-34 win over Kansas State).
Since the start of the bowl's Big Ten-Big 12 Conference affiliation in 1995, the Alamo Bowl has averaged a 4.52 rating, the second highest mark of the 19 bowls that ESPN televises over that time period. With this year's 4.4 rating, the 2002 Alamo Bowl presented by MasterCard could finish as ESPN's top rated bowl game of the season.
This year was the second time the Alamo Bowl selected a team that lost in the Big 12 Championship. Both times the Big 12 team also lost in the Alamo Bowl to an unranked Big Ten opponent in heart-breaking fashion. Prior to Colorado falling to Wisconsin this year, Purdue quarterback Drew Brees threw a 24 yard touchdown with :30 in the game to upset Kansas State 37-34 in 1998. The Wildcats came into the game ranked #4 in the nation with a 11-1 record after losing to Texas A&M in the Big 12 Championship.
The Big Ten has won six of the last seven Alamo Bowls including the last two as underdogs. Overall, the Big Ten is 6-3 and the Big 12 is 2-7.
Alamo Bowl History
Below is a history of the ten Alamo Bowl games with attendance, television rating and team payout figures.
Tenth Anniversary Alamo Bowl presented by MasterCard
Wisconsin 31, Colorado 28 (OT) Saturday, December 28, 2002 Attendance: 50,690 TV Rating: 4.4 Team Payout: $1.35 million guarantee MVPs: Brooks Bollinger, Quarterback, Wisconsin (Offense) Jeff Mack, Linebacker, Wisconsin (Defense) Fred Jacoby Sportsmanship Award: Zac Colvin, Quarterback, Colorado Head Coaches: Barry Alvarez (Wisconsin) Gary Barnett (Colorado) Final Records: Wisconsin (8-6), Colorado (9-5) Highlight: Wisconsin quarterback Brooks Bollinger leads the Badgers on a last minute scoring drive converting two forth-and-long