fiesta bowl history

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fiesta bowl history

The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl has become one of the most popular postseason collegiate football ames in the country. It has a shorter history than most of the other postseason bowls, but what it lacks in length of history it makes up in quality of play.

The game was first conceived as a disgruntled Western Athletic Conference was unable to obtain a suitable bowl invitation of its top teams. In the late 1960’s, two of the champions of the WAC did not receive and invitation to any bowl, much less a top tier bowl, and in 1970 undefeated Arizona State was ignored by the top tier bowls and had to settle for birth in the Peach Bowl. With the creation of the new bowl, Fiesta Bowl ticket holders now had a chance to see the Western Athletic Conference champion play in Tempe, Arizona at Sun Devil Stadium. The game took off with flying colors, featuring multiple top 20 team match-ups.

Arizona and Arizona State both moved from the WAC to the Pac-10 in 1978, causing the Fiesta Bowl to break its ties with the WAC. The loss of the conference allegiance ended up improving the prestige of the Fiesta Bowl. Ticket holders were now treated to a New Year’s Day game that replaced the Cotton Bowl as one of the top four bowl games. Miami and Penn State, the top two teams in the nation, agreed to meet for the National Championship at the Fiesta Bowl in 1987. The lack of conference tie-ins allowed these two independent teams to play. This game was the most watched college football game in history at the time.

When the BCS restructuring took place in 1996, and the Fiesta Bowl was first to host the BCS’s championship game. The first overtime BCS championship was also played at Sun Devil Stadium when Miami took on the Ohio State Buckeyes. It took two overtimes for the Buckeyes to beat Miami by a final score of 31-24 to claim the 2002 National Championship.

Fans purchasing Fiesta Bowl tickets for the 2007 game won’t see the game in Sun Devil Stadium. With the completion the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals stadium the game has been moved to one of the most unique stadiums in America. With a seating capacity of up to 72,800, the stadium features a retractable roof and a retractable natural grass playing surface. The stadium is designed to resemble a coiled rattlesnake or a barrel cactus, both items native to the Glendale, Arizona surroundings. With the newest of the BCS alignments, Big XII fans will be clamoring for Fiesta Bowl tickets to see the champion of their league battle it out with a top tier opponent, except this year when the Fiesta Bowl will be hosting the BCS championship.

Ohio State has won three of the last four Fiesta Bowls. If the Buckeyes can make it 4 out of 5 they will be the national champions again. Ohio State fans are likely beginning to eye Tostitos Fiesta Bowl tickets, as should any fan of college football.


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