The game was previously known as the Mobile Alabama Bowl from 1999 to 2000. It was then known as the GMAC Bowl from 2000 to 2010 when its corporate sponsorship was GMAC Financial Services. From 1999 to 2009, the bowl pitted a Conference USA team against a team from either the Mid-American Conference or the Western Athletic Conference. For the 2010 game the Atlantic Coast Conference was to participate in the bowl as its ninth bowl tie-in. The ACC failed to have sufficient bowl-eligible teams to fill the slot, and the bowl chose Sun Belt conference champion Troy as a replacement. The Mid-American Conference was the other conference tie-in.
The 2001 game between the Marshall Thundering Herd and East Carolina Pirates set the record as the highest scoring bowl game of all time, and Marshall achieved what was then the greatest scoring comeback in Bowl history. In this contest, Marshall battled back from a 38–8 deficit to win 64–61 in double overtime. Thundering Herd quarterback Byron Leftwich threw for 576 yards in the game.
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