Fiesta Bowl

The Fiesta Bowl is an American college football bowl game played annually in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Between its origination in 1971 and 2006, the game was hosted in Tempe, Arizona at Sun Devil Stadium. Since 2007, it has been held at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

Since 2016, it has been sponsored by PlayStation and officially known as the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl.[2] For the January 2016 game, it was sponsored by BattleFrog, creators of the obstacle racing series featured in the ESPN program BattleFrog College Championship and Vizio for the December 2014 game.[3][4][5] From 1996 through the January 2014 game, Frito-Lay was the bowl's title sponsor through its Tostitos tortilla chip brand. Other previous sponsors include IBM (1993–1995) and Sunkist (1986–1990).

In 1998, the Fiesta Bowl became part of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS), and before 2006 every four years (most recently in 2010) was the designee for the national championship game. Beginning with the 2014 season, Fiesta Bowl became a member of College Football Playoff, hosting a semifinal game every three years; all the teams playing in this bowl will be selected by the CFP Selection Committee in those years. The Fiesta Bowl has donated more than $12 million to charity.[6]

Fiesta Bowl
PlayStation Fiesta Bowl
PlayStation Fiesta Bowl
StadiumState Farm Stadium
LocationGlendale, Arizona
Previous stadiumsSun Devil Stadium (1971–2006)
Previous locationsTempe, Arizona (1971–2006)
Conference tie-insAt-large/Group of Five, CFP (Dec. 2014–present)
Previous conference tie-insWAC
Big 12
PayoutUS$17 million (As of 2009)[1]
Former names
Fiesta Bowl (1971–1985, 1991–1992)
Sunkist Fiesta Bowl (1986–1990)
IBM OS/2 Fiesta Bowl (1993–1995)
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl (1996–Jan. 2014)
Vizio Fiesta Bowl (Dec. 2014)
BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl (Jan. 2016)
2017 season matchup
Washington vs. Penn State (Penn State 35–28)
2018 season matchup
UCF vs. LSU (LSU 40–32)


Origins (1968–1971)

Fiesta Bowl logo (no sponsor)
The current generic Fiesta Bowl logo (with no corporate sponsor logo attached).

The Fiesta Bowl was born from the Western Athletic Conference's frustrated attempts to obtain bowl invitations for its champions. In 1968 and 1969 respectively, champions Wyoming and Arizona State failed to secure any bowl selection. The next year, undefeated Arizona State was bypassed by the major bowls and had to settle for an appearance in the less prestigious Peach Bowl. The Fiesta Bowl therefore initially provided an automatic berth for the WAC champion.


In its first decade of existence, the Fiesta Bowl was played in the last week of December (including the afternoon of Christmas Day from 1976 to 1979). The 1971 inaugural game featured another top-ten Arizona State squad against top-twenty opponent Florida State. The 1974 game featured WAC champ BYU and their new coach, future Hall of Fame member LaVell Edwards in their first ever bowl game vs. Oklahoma State. BYU was in control until BYU's first All-American quarterback Gary Sheide went down with a leg injury and eventually lost 16–6. By 1975, the game was able to attract Big Eight co-champion Nebraska to play undefeated Arizona State in a matchup of top-five teams. In 1977, the game was again able to attract a top-five opponent in Penn State, despite WAC champion #16 BYU refusing to play in the bowl due to its being held on Sunday.

In 1978, Arizona and Arizona State both joined the Pac-10 Conference and the Fiesta Bowl's tie-in with the WAC ended as its champ went to the newly-inaugurated Holiday Bowl. From then until the advent of the Bowl Coalition, Fiesta Bowl matchups typically featured runners-up of major conferences and/or major independents.


The game continued to attract high quality matchups, so beginning with the 1981 game the Fiesta Bowl shifted to New Year's Day alongside the major bowl games—the Cotton, Orange, Sugar, and Rose. At the time NBC had the broadcast rights to the Fiesta, Rose, and Orange; the Fiesta was played first and had a late morning kickoff (11:30 a.m. MST). It was the first bowl game to acquire a title sponsor when it became the "Sunkist Fiesta Bowl" starting with the 1986 game.

A major breakthrough occurred after the 1986 season when the top two teams in the country, Miami and Penn State, agreed to play for the de facto national championship in the Fiesta Bowl. At the time, the traditional four "major" bowl games granted automatic bids to their conference champions. Both Miami and Penn State were independents at that time, and were thus free to choose a bowl. As such, the Fiesta Bowl and the Florida Citrus Bowl, each free from the obligation of conference tie-ins, vied to host the Miami–Penn State matchup in order to ensure that they would meet on the field. The Fiesta Bowl won the bidding and the game was set to be played on Friday, January 2, 1987—the night after the "big four" bowls of New Year's Day. Penn State won 14–10, and the game drew the largest television audience in the history of college football at the time. Two years later, #1 Notre Dame played undefeated #3 West Virginia for the national championship at the 1989 Fiesta Bowl on January 1.

The 1987 and 1989 games were two of four straight matchups of teams ranked in the AP Top 10 going into the bowl season to close out the 1980s. This significantly increased the Fiesta Bowl's prestige, to the point that it was now considered a major bowl by many fans and pundits. The 1988 game returned to New Year's Day, and the 1989 game kicked off three hours later (2:30 p.m. MST on NBC) and opposite the Rose Bowl, which had switched networks to ABC.


Before the 1991 game, several major universities declined invitations due to the State of Arizona's decision at that time not to adopt the Martin Luther King Holiday. However, in 1992, the Fiesta Bowl was invited to participate in the Bowl Coalition, a predecessor to the Bowl Championship Series. This assured the game would feature major conference champions or prestigious runners-up and cemented its status as a major bowl. When the Bowl Coalition was reconfigured as the Bowl Alliance, the Fiesta was included as one of the three top games.

In 1996, it hosted the Bowl Alliance National Championship game featuring undefeated #1 Nebraska playing undefeated #2 Florida for the national championship. Nebraska won the game 62–24, the largest win margin in the history of the national championship game, and the most points ever scored in a national championship game. Finally, with the addition of the Big Ten and Pac-10 conferences to the new Bowl Championship Series, the Fiesta Bowl became a permanent fixture in the four-year BCS National Championship Game rotation. In 1998, the Fiesta Bowl featured the first BCS National Championship Game, which Tennessee won over Florida State, 23 to 16.

Starting with the 1999 season, the Fiesta Bowl began hosting the Big 12 Conference champion in years when it was not slated as the BCS title game, an arrangement that continued to the end of the BCS era.


Fiesta Bowl 2006 from Flickr 81639095
2006 Fiesta Bowl, the last Fiesta Bowl game in Sun Devil Stadium

In 2002, the Fiesta Bowl had the right to take the Pac-10 Conference Champion, should that team not reach the Rose Bowl, which served as the national championship game that season. Oregon failed to qualify for the championship game, and thus played Colorado in the Fiesta Bowl. A similar arrangement was made for the 2006 Fiesta Bowl. However, instead of gaining the Pac-10 Conference champion in addition to their usual tie-in with the Big 12, the Fiesta Bowl would have had a choice of the two teams. This turned out to be a moot point as both the Big 12 champion Texas and Pac-10 champion Southern California qualified for the National Championship Game (USC's participation has since been vacated).[7]

Adrian Peterson OUvsBSU
2007 Fiesta Bowl, Boise State vs. Oklahoma; January 1, 2007, the first Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium

The BCS National Championship game returned to the Fiesta Bowl in 2003 with the Big Ten champions Ohio State Buckeyes beating the Big East champions Miami Hurricanes in the first overtime national championship game. The game went into double overtime with the Buckeyes coming out on top 31–24 to claim the 2002 national championship.

The Fiesta Bowl was the first BCS bowl to have had an entry from outside the parameters of the BCS (the Big 12, Big Ten, Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), Southeastern Conference (SEC), Pac-10, Big East, and Notre Dame had tie-ins, while all of the other conferences did not). The 2005 game saw undefeated Utah from the Mountain West Conference become the first BCS non-AQ school ever to play in a BCS game, easily defeating Big East champion Pittsburgh 35–7.

In 2007, the Fiesta Bowl game was played for the first time at the new then-named University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, across the Phoenix metropolitan area from Sun Devil Stadium. The undefeated Boise State Broncos won by defeating the Oklahoma Sooners 43–42 in overtime. It has been called one of the greatest college football games ever played, due to the combination of an underdog team, trick plays, comebacks by each team, and a thrilling overtime finish.[8]


The 2010 Fiesta Bowl featured #6 Boise State defeating #4 TCU, 17-10. It was the first time a BCS bowl matched-up two non-automatic qualifying teams (i.e. two teams from conferences without automatic BCS bids) and the first time that two teams who went undefeated faced each other in a BCS game outside of the national championship. In the 2011 Fiesta Bowl, Oklahoma State defeated Stanford 41–38. Notable players included Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon for Oklahoma State, and Andrew Luck for Stanford.

The December 2016 Fiesta Bowl served as a semifinal for the College Football Playoff. The Fiesta Bowl will host a semifinal, alongside the Peach Bowl, again in 2019, 2022, and 2025.

In November 2016, PlayStation was announced as the bowl's new title sponsor.[2]



In 1996, a group of students from Brigham Young University, led by BYU professor Dennis Martin, burned bags of Tostitos tortilla chips in a bonfire and called for a boycott of all Tostitos products.[9] This came after #5 ranked BYU was not invited to play in the 1996 Fiesta Bowl in favor of #7 ranked Penn State. This event is one of those referred to by proponents of college football implementing a playoff series rather than the controversial Bowl Alliance. Penn State went on to win the game over #20 Texas 38–15, while BYU defeated #14 Kansas State in the Cotton Bowl Classic 19–15.[10]

For the 2010 Fiesta Bowl, the selections of TCU and Boise State caused a great deal of controversy. For the first and only time in the BCS era, two BCS non-AQ teams were chosen to play in BCS bowls in the same bowl season: however, they ended up facing each other in this bowl. Because both non-AQ teams were placed in the same bowl game, the bowl was derisively referred to as the "Separate But Equal Bowl",[11] the "Quarantine Bowl", the "Fiasco Bowl", the "BCS Kids' Table",[12] etc. Some had called for a boycott because of this.[13] There was wide speculation that the BCS bowl selection committees maneuvered TCU and Boise State into the same bowl so as to deny them the chances to "embarrass" two AQ conference representatives in separate bowls, as Boise State had done in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl and Utah had done in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl and 2009 Sugar Bowl (prior to the game, non-AQ teams were 3–1 versus AQ teams in BCS bowls).[12][14] In response, Fiesta Bowl CEO John Junker called those allegations "the biggest load of crap that I've ever heard in my life" and said that "We're in the business of doing things that are on behalf of our bowl game and we don't do the bidding of someone else to our detriment."[15] Beyond the unappealing nature of a "David vs. David" contest which resulted from this pairing in a major bowl, the appeal was further diminished due to the fact that it was a rematch of the Poinsettia Bowl from the previous bowl season.

Financial scandals

In 2009, in the weeks prior to the 2010 Fiesta Bowl, past and present Fiesta Bowl employees alleged that they were encouraged to help maintain its position as one of the four BCS bowls by making campaign contributions to politicians friendly to the Fiesta Bowl, with those contributions subsequently reimbursed to the employees. If true, this would be a violation of both state and federal campaign finance laws.[16] Furthermore, as a non-profit organization, the Fiesta Bowl is prohibited from making political contributions of any kind.[17] The Fiesta Bowl commissioned an "independent review" which found "no credible evidence that the bowl's management engaged in any type of illegal or unethical conduct."[18]

The following year, in a November 2010 article, Sports Illustrated reported that Fiesta Bowl officials, including bowl CEO John Junker, spent $4 million since 2000 to curry favor from BCS bigwigs and elected officials, including a 2008 "Fiesta Frolic", a golf-centered gathering of athletic directors and head coaches. The journal also reported that Junker's annual salary was close to $600,000 and that the bowl, in 2007 turned an $11.6 million profit.[19] While these alleged activities are not illegal, they did result in considerable damage to the reputation of the Fiesta Bowl.

On March 29, 2011, the Fiesta Bowl Board of Directors released a 276-page "scathing internal report", commissioned by them to re-examine the accusations of illegal political activities.[20] The commission determined that $46,539 of illegal campaign contributions were made and the board immediately fired Fiesta Bowl CEO John Junker, who had already been suspended pending the results of this investigation.[21] The scandal threatened the Fiesta Bowl's status as a BCS game, as the BCS said it might replace the bowl in its lineup if officials could not convince them it should remain.[22][23] The BCS ultimately chose not to expel the Fiesta Bowl, instead fining the organization $1 million.

In June 2011 University of Arizona president Robert Shelton was hired to replace Junker.[24] On February 22, 2012, former CEO John Junker pleaded guilty to a federal felony charge in the campaign financing matter, and two members of his former staff pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges.[25] Junker was to be sentenced soon after, facing up to 2.5 years in prison as the result of his plea, but as of January 2014 his sentencing has been repeatedly postponed in return for cooperation in other cases.[26][27] In March 2014, Junker was sentenced to eight months in prison, with the sentence starting on June 13, 2014;[28] he was released on February 11, 2015.[29] On March 20, 2014, Junker was sentenced to three years of probation on state charges.[30]


As of the 2010–11 season, the game along with the rest of the BCS, exclusively airs on ESPN.[31] From 2007 through 2010, Fox telecast the game along with the other BCS games – the Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl, and BCS National Championship Game from 2006 though 2009, while only the Rose Bowl and the 2010 BCS National Championship Game aired on ABC in that period. From 1999 to 2006, the game aired on ABC as part of the first BCS package, and from 1996 to 1998 the game aired on CBS as part of its bowl coverage. Prior to that, NBC aired the game for several years. This game, along with the Orange Bowl, is one of only two bowl games ever to air on all the "Big 4" broadcast television networks in the United States.

ESPN Radio is the current radio home for the Fiesta Bowl.

In 2013, ESPN Deportes provided the first Spanish U.S. telecast of the Fiesta Bowl.[32]


In addition to the game, the annual Bank of Arizona Fiesta Bowl Parade takes place in downtown Phoenix, which includes marching bands from high schools as well as the two universities participating in the Fiesta Bowl and the two universities participating in the Cactus Bowl, along with floats, equestrian units, and a seven-member queen and court. It started back in 1973. Past Grand Marshals include many celebrities from sports and entertainment.

In 2018, the sponsor was changed to DesertFinancial and the parade subsequently renamed. Notable appearances in the 2018 parade included Cindy Mcain and the marching band from Salem High School in Salem, New Hampshire, which was the group that had traveled the farthest for the parade.

Game results

Rankings are based on the AP Poll prior to the game being played. Italics denote a tie game.

Date played Winning team Losing team Attnd.[33] Notes
December 27, 1971 #8 Arizona State 45 Florida State 38 51,089 notes
December 23, 1972 #15 Arizona State 49 Missouri 35 51,318 notes
December 21, 1973 #10 Arizona State 28 Pittsburgh 7 50,878 notes
December 28, 1974 Oklahoma State 16 #17 BYU 6 50,878 notes
December 26, 1975 #7 Arizona State 17 #6 Nebraska 14 51,396 notes
December 25, 1976 #8 Oklahoma 41 Wyoming 7 48,174 notes
December 25, 1977 #8 Penn State 42 #15 Arizona State 30 57,727 notes
December 25, 1978 #8 Arkansas 10 #15 UCLA 10 55,227 notes
December 25, 1979 #10 Pittsburgh 16 Arizona 10 55,347 notes
December 26, 1980 #10 Penn State 31 #11 Ohio State 19 66,738 notes
January 1, 1982 #7 Penn State 26 #8 USC 10 71,053 notes
January 1, 1983 #11 Arizona State 32 #12 Oklahoma 21 70,533 notes
January 2, 1984 #14 Ohio State 28 #15 Pittsburgh 23 66,484 notes
January 1, 1985 #14 UCLA 39 #13 Miami (Florida) 37 60,310 notes
January 1, 1986 #5 Michigan 27 #7 Nebraska 23 72,454 notes
January 2, 1987 #2 Penn State 14 #1 Miami (Florida) 10 73,098 notes
January 1, 1988 #3 Florida State 31 #5 Nebraska 28 72,112 notes
January 2, 1989 #1 Notre Dame 34 #3 West Virginia 21 74,911 notes
January 1, 1990 #5 Florida State 41 #6 Nebraska 17 73,953 notes
January 1, 1991 #18 Louisville 34 #25 Alabama 7 69,098 notes
January 1, 1992 #6 Penn State 42 #10 Tennessee 17 71,133 notes
January 1, 1993 #6 Syracuse 26 #10 Colorado 22 70,224 notes
January 1, 1994 #16 Arizona 29 #10 Miami (Florida) 0 72,260 notes
January 2, 1995 #4 Colorado 41 Notre Dame 24 73,968 notes
January 2, 1996BA #1 Nebraska 62 #2 Florida 24 79,864 notes
January 1, 1997 #7 Penn State 38 #20 Texas 15 65,106 notes
December 31, 1997 #10 Kansas State 35 #14 Syracuse 18 69,367 notes
January 4, 1999BCS #1 Tennessee 23 #2 Florida State 16 80,470 notes
January 2, 2000 #3 Nebraska 31 #6 Tennessee 21 71,526 notes
January 1, 2001 #5 Oregon State 41 #10 Notre Dame 9 75,428 notes
January 1, 2002 #2 Oregon 38 #3 Colorado 16 74,118 notes
January 3, 2003BCS #2 Ohio State 31 #1 Miami (Florida) 24 (2 OT) 77,502 notes
January 2, 2004 #7 Ohio State 35 #8 Kansas State 28 73,425 notes
January 1, 2005 #5 Utah 35 #19 Pittsburgh 7 73,519 notes
January 2, 2006 #4 Ohio State 34 #5 Notre Dame 20 76,196 notes
January 1, 2007 #9 Boise State 43 #7 Oklahoma 42 (OT) 73,719 notes
January 2, 2008 #11 West Virginia 48 #3 Oklahoma 28 70,016 notes
January 5, 2009 #3 Texas 24 #10 Ohio State 21 72,047 notes
January 4, 2010 #6 Boise State 17 #3 TCU 10 73,227 notes
January 1, 2011 #9 Oklahoma 48 #25 Connecticut 20 67,232 notes
January 2, 2012 #3 Oklahoma State 41 #4 Stanford 38 (OT) 69,927 notes
January 3, 2013 #5 Oregon 35 #7 Kansas State 17 70,242 notes
January 1, 2014 #15 UCF 52 #6 Baylor 42 65,172 notes
December 31, 2014 #21 Boise State 38 #12 Arizona 30 66,896 notes
January 1, 2016 #7 Ohio State 44 #8 Notre Dame 28 71,123 notes
December 31, 2016CFP #2 Clemson 31 #3 Ohio State 0 70,236 notes
December 30, 2017 #9 Penn State 35 #12 Washington 28 61,842 notes
January 1, 2019 #11 LSU 40 #7 UCF 32 69,927 notes
^BA Denotes Bowl Alliance Championship Game
^BCS Denotes BCS National Championship Game
^CFP Denotes College Football Playoff semifinal game

Game MVPs

Date played MVPs Team Position
December 27, 1971 Gary Huff Florida State QB
Junior Ah You Arizona State DE
December 23, 1972 Woody Green Arizona State HB
Mike Fink Missouri DB
December 21, 1973 Greg Hudson Arizona State SE
Mike Haynes Arizona State CB
December 28, 1974 Kenny Walker Oklahoma State RB
Phil Dokes Oklahoma State DT
December 26, 1975 John Jefferson Arizona State WR
Larry Gordon Arizona State LB
December 25, 1976 Thomas Lott Oklahoma QB
Terry Peters Oklahoma CB
December 25, 1977 Matt Millen Penn State LB
Dennis Sproul Arizona State QB
December 25, 1978 James Owens UCLA RB
Jimmy Walker Arkansas DT
December 25, 1979 Mark Schubert Pittsburgh K
Dave Liggins Arizona S
December 26, 1980 Curt Warner Penn State RB
Frank Case Penn State DE
January 1, 1982 Curt Warner Penn State RB
Leo Wisniewski Penn State NT
January 1, 1983 Marcus Dupree Oklahoma RB
Jim Jeffcoat Arizona State DL
January 2, 1984 John Congemi Pittsburgh QB
Rowland Tatum Ohio State LB
January 1, 1985 Gaston Green UCLA TB
James Washington UCLA DB
January 1, 1986 Jamie Morris Michigan RB
Mark Messner Michigan DT
January 2, 1987 D.J. Dozier Penn State RB
Shane Conlan Penn State LB
January 1, 1988 Danny McManus Florida State QB
Neil Smith Nebraska DL
January 2, 1989 Tony Rice Notre Dame QB
Frank Stams Notre Dame DE
January 1, 1990 Peter Tom Willis Florida State QB
Odell Haggins Florida State NG
January 1, 1991 Browning Nagle Louisville QB
Ray Buchanan Louisville FS
January 1, 1992 O.J. McDuffie Penn State WR
Reggie Givens Penn State OLB
January 1, 1993 Marvin Graves Syracuse QB
Kevin Mitchell Syracuse NG
January 1, 1994 Chuck Levy Arizona RB
Tedy Bruschi Arizona DE
January 2, 1995 Kordell Stewart Colorado QB
Shannon Clavelle Colorado DT
Date played MVPs Team Position
January 2, 1996 Tommie Frazier Nebraska QB
Michael Booker Nebraska CB
January 1, 1997 Curtis Enis Penn State TB
Brandon Noble Penn State DT
December 31, 1997 Michael Bishop Kansas State QB
Travis Ochs Kansas State LB
January 4, 1999 Peerless Price Tennessee WR
Dwayne Goodrich Tennessee CB
January 2, 2000 Eric Crouch Nebraska QB
Mike Brown Nebraska DB
January 1, 2001 Jonathan Smith Oregon State QB
Darnell Robinson Oregon State LB
January 1, 2002 Joey Harrington Oregon QB
Steve Smith Oregon DB
January 3, 2003 Craig Krenzel Ohio State QB
Mike Doss Ohio State SS
January 2, 2004 Craig Krenzel Ohio State QB
A. J. Hawk Ohio State OLB
January 1, 2005 Alex Smith Utah QB
Paris Warren Utah WR
Steve Fifita Utah NG
January 2, 2006 Troy Smith Ohio State QB
A. J. Hawk Ohio State OLB
January 1, 2007 Jared Zabransky Boise State QB
Marty Tadman Boise State S
January 2, 2008 Pat White West Virginia QB
Reed Williams West Virginia OLB
January 5, 2009 Colt McCoy Texas QB
Roy Miller Texas DT
January 4, 2010 Kyle Efaw Boise State TE
Brandyn Thompson Boise State CB
January 1, 2011 Landry Jones Oklahoma QB
Jamell Fleming Oklahoma CB
January 2, 2012 Justin Blackmon Oklahoma State WR
Justin Gilbert Oklahoma State CB
January 3, 2013 Marcus Mariota Oregon QB
Michael Clay Oregon LB
January 1, 2014 Blake Bortles UCF QB
Terrance Plummer UCF LB
December 31, 2014 Thomas Sperbeck Boise State WR
Tanner Vallejo Boise State LB
January 1, 2016 J.T. Barrett Ohio State QB
Eli Apple Ohio State CB
December 31, 2016 Deshaun Watson Clemson QB
Clelin Ferrell Clemson DE
December 30, 2017 Trace McSorley Penn State QB
Marcus Allen Penn State S
January 1, 2019 Joe Burrow LSU QB
Rashard Lawrence LSU DL

Appearances by team

Only teams with at least three appearances are listed.

Rank Team Appearances Record
1 Ohio State 8 5–3
2 Penn State 7 7–0
T3 Arizona State 6 5–1
T3 Nebraska 6 2–4
T5 Oklahoma 5 2–3
T5 Notre Dame 5 1–4
T7 Florida State 4 2–2
T7 Pittsburgh 4 1–3
T7 Miami 4 0–4
T10 Boise State 3 3–0
T10 Arizona 3 1–2
T10 Colorado 3 1–2
T10 Kansas State 3 1–2
T10 Tennessee 3 1–2

Appearances by conference

Updated through the January 2019 edition (48 games, 96 total appearances).

Rank Conference Appearances Won Lost Tied Pct.
1 Independents[n 1] 20 10 10 0 .500
T2 Pac-12[n 2] 12 6 5 1 .542
T2 Big 12 12 5 7 0 .417
T4 Big Ten 11 8 3 0 .727
T4 Big Eight 11 4 7 0 .364
T6 WAC 9 6 3 0 .667
T6 The American[n 3] 9 3 6 0 .333
8 SEC 6 2 4 0 .333
9 Mountain West 3 2 1 0 .667
10 ACC 2 1 1 0 .500
11 SWC 1 0 0 1 .500
  1. ^ Records reflect conference affiliations at the time the game was played; several teams—such as Penn State and Miami (Florida)—have appeared both as an Independent and as a conference member.
  2. ^ Includes appearances by teams when the conference was the Pac-10 (5–2–1).
  3. ^ Following the 2013 split of the original Big East along football lines, the FBS schools reorganized as the American Athletic Conference, which retains the charter of the original Big East. Teams representing the Big East appeared in 7 games, compiling a 2–5 record.

Game records

Team Performance vs. Opponent Year
Most points scored 62, Nebraska vs. Florida (24) 1996
Fewest points allowed 0, Clemson (31) vs. Ohio State
0, Arizona (29) vs. Miami
Largest margin of victory 38, Nebraska (62) vs. Florida (24) 1996
First downs 33, Texas vs. Ohio State
33, Arizona State vs. Missouri
Rushing yards 524, Nebraska vs. Florida 1996
Passing yards 458, Louisville vs. Alabama 1991
Total yards 718, Arizona State vs. Missouri 1972
Fewest Rushing yards allowed
Fewest Passing yards allowed
Fewest Total yards allowed
Individual Performance, Player, Team vs. Opponent Year
Total Offense 431, Browning Nagle, Louisville vs. Alabama (39 plays) 1991
All-purpose yards
All-purpose TDs
Rushing Yards 245, Marcus Dupree, Oklahoma vs. Arizona State (17 att., 0 TD) 1983
Rushing TDs 4, Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State vs. Notre Dame
4, Woody Green, Arizona State vs. Missouri
Passing yards
Passing TDs
Receiving yards
Receiving TDs
Long plays Performance, Player, Team vs. Opponent Year
Touchdown run 92, Saquon Barkley, Penn State vs. Washington 2017
Touchdown pass 85, Troy Smith to Santonio Holmes, Ohio State vs. Notre Dame 2006
Kickoff return
Punt return
Interception return
Fumble return
Field goal


See also


  1. ^ "Real Insight. Real Fans. Real Conversations". The Sporting News. Archived from the original on December 19, 2008. Retrieved 2012-11-28.
  2. ^ a b "Fiesta Bowl Names PlayStation® as New Title Sponsor" (Press release). Fiesta Bowl. November 15, 2016. Retrieved November 16, 2016.
  3. ^ "Vizio to sponsor Fiesta Bowl".
  4. ^ "Fiesta Bowl Announces VIZIO Partnership" (Press release). Fiesta Bowl. September 28, 2014. Archived from the original on October 30, 2014. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
  5. ^ "Fiesta Bowl, Cactus Bowl both looking for new naming rights sponsors". Phoenix Business Journal. Retrieved 2015-05-05.
  6. ^ Hobson, Will. "He runs one amateur football game per year. He makes more than $1 million - NY Daily News". Retrieved 2018-12-30.
  7. ^ "Oregon clinches berth in Fiesta Bowl; National title still a possibility". The Seattle Times. November 17, 2001.
  8. ^ Thamel, Pete (2007-01-02). "Playbook Full of Tricks Gives Boise State Dramatic and Defining Victory". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-01-02.
  9. ^ 1996 AP archives. December 11, 1996. Honolulu Star-Bulletin
  10. ^ Weinreb, Michael. "The Night College Football Went To Hell". ESPN. Retrieved 2010-01-03.
  11. ^ Matthew Sanderson (2009-12-07). "Boise Is In, But BCS Still Flawed". RealClearSports. Archived from the original on 11 December 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-07.
  12. ^ a b "Pre-Bowl Thoughts - 2010 Fiesta Bowl". December 31, 2009. Retrieved 31 December 2009.
  13. ^ Al Namias IV (2009-12-07). "Poinsettia Bowl: 2008 Redux". Bleacher Report. Archived from the original on 10 December 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-07.
  14. ^ "Instant Analysis – The Bowl Announcement". December 7, 2009. Archived from the original on 13 December 2009. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
  15. ^ Graham Watson (December 7, 2009). "Fiesta Bowl wasn't looking at the non-AQ distinction". Retrieved 26 December 2009.
  16. ^ "Fiesta Bowl employees say bowl repaid political contributions".
  17. ^ "Fiesta Bowl Scandal Causes Stir".
  18. ^ "Fiesta Bowl finds no wrongdoing after allegations of illegal political donations".
  19. ^ Murphy, Austin, and Dan Wetzel, "Does It Matter?", Sports Illustrated, 15 November 2010, p. 45.
  20. ^ "Final Report" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-05-11.
  21. ^ Fiesta Bowl fires CEO John Junker, Associated Press, March 29, 2011
  22. ^ "BCS confident it could cut ties with Fiesta Bowl if deemed necessary".
  23. ^ Wetzel, Dan, "BCS conducts shallow probe as party rages on", Yahoo! Sports, retrieved on 31 March 2011.
  24. ^ Associated Press, "Fiesta Bowl names new president", Japan Times, 15 June 2011, p. 15.
  25. ^ Harris, Craig (February 22, 2012). "Former Fiesta Bowl CEO John Junker pleads guilty to felony". Arizona Republic. Retrieved June 8, 2012.
  26. ^ Harris, Craig (May 22, 2012). "Sentencing postponed for former Fiesta Bowl exec Wisneski". Arizona Republic. Retrieved June 8, 2012.
  27. ^ Associated Press (2014-01-01). "John Junker update: Sentencing delay sought for ex-Fiesta Bowl chief". ' Retrieved 2014-01-03.
  28. ^ Associated Press (2014-03-13). "Ex-Fiesta Bowl chief headed to prison". ESPN. Retrieved 2014-03-18.
  29. ^ Harris, Craig (2015-02-18). "John Junker, ex-Fiesta Bowl CEO, completes prison sentence". Arizona Republic. Retrieved 2016-12-31 – via
  30. ^ Associated Press (2014-03-20). "Ex-CEO of Fiesta Bowl sentenced". ESPN. Retrieved 2014-03-20.
  31. ^ "Fox Sports pulls out of bidding to show BCS games". 17 November 2008.
  32. ^ "BCS National Championship and Bowl Games on ESPN Deportes". ESPN. Retrieved 24 December 2012.
  33. ^ "Bowl/All Star Game Records" (PDF). 2015. Retrieved 2018-12-15.

External links

1980 Fiesta Bowl

The 1980 Fiesta Bowl featured the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Penn State Nittany Lions. This was the last Fiesta Bowl played in December until 1997.

1982 Fiesta Bowl

The 1982 Fiesta Bowl was the first Fiesta Bowl played in January, in light of the bowl game's newgained popularity due to the sunny climate with had games with a team ranked in the top 10 appearing in the 8 of the previous 10 bowls. This one was no different, matching the Penn State Nittany Lions and the USC Trojans to end the 1981 NCAA Division I-A football season for both teams.

1988 Fiesta Bowl

The 1988 Sunkist Fiesta Bowl was a college football bowl game played on January 1 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. It was the 17th edition of the Fiesta Bowl and matched the independent #3 Florida State Seminoles and the fifth-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers of the Big Eight Conference.

1989 Fiesta Bowl

The 1989 Sunkist Fiesta Bowl, played on Monday, January 2, was the 18th edition of the Fiesta Bowl. It featured the top-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the third-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers. With both teams undefeated, the Fiesta Bowl was the stage for the "national championship" for the second time in three years. As in 1987, the Fiesta Bowl featured two independents squaring off for the national title.

Also, as in 1987, the game was played on January 2, but this was because New Year's Day fell on a Sunday in 1989 and, per protocols, all of the bowls that would normally take place that day were played on January 2. With NBC no longer televising the Rose Bowl, the kickoff for the Fiesta Bowl was moved three hours later, to 2:30 p.m. MST, and the game now had NBC's top broadcast team of Dick Enberg and Merlin Olsen.

1990 Fiesta Bowl

The 1990 Sunkist Fiesta Bowl was the 19th edition of the Fiesta Bowl, played on January 1, in Tempe, Arizona. The game featured the sixth-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers of the Big Eight Conference and the independent fifth-ranked Florida State Seminoles.

1992 Fiesta Bowl

The 1991 IBM OS/2 Fiesta Bowl, was a post-season college football bowl game between the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Tennessee Volunteers, played January 1, 1992, at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.

This game marked the end of Sunkist sponsorship, which had been title sponsor since 1985 and the beginning of IBM's. This game also marked Penn State's fifth appearance and Tennessee's first in the Fiesta Bowl.

1993 Fiesta Bowl

The 1993 IBM OS/2 Fiesta Bowl, played on January 1, 1993, was the 22nd edition of the Fiesta Bowl. The game featured the Colorado Buffaloes and the Syracuse Orangemen.

1997 Fiesta Bowl (January)

The 1997 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl game was a post-season college football bowl game between the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Texas Longhorns on January 1, 1997, at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. Penn State defeated Texas, 38-15. The game was part of the 1996-1997 Bowl Alliance of the 1996 NCAA Division I-A football season and represented the concluding game of the season for both teams.

The Longhorns, who were fresh off their upset of No. 3 Nebraska in the first ever Big 12 Championship Game, went into their second straight Alliance bowl with a five-game winning streak.

1999 Fiesta Bowl

The 1999 Fiesta Bowl, the designated BCS National Championship Game for the 1998 season, was played on January 4, 1999, in Tempe, Arizona at Sun Devil Stadium. The teams were the Tennessee Volunteers and Florida State Seminoles. Tennessee entered the contest undefeated and number one in the major polls. Florida State sophomore QB Chris Weinke was injured in Florida State's final ACC game of the regular season and did not participate in the championship game. Ultimately, Tennessee won their sixth National Championship after a gap of forty-seven years by beating the Seminoles by a score of 23–16. The game was the first BCS National Championship.

2000 Fiesta Bowl

The 2000 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, played on January 2, 2000, was the 29th edition of the Fiesta Bowl. The game was played at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona between the Tennessee Volunteers (ranked #5 in the BCS) and the Nebraska Cornhuskers (ranked #3 in the BCS). The matchup featured the two most current National Championship teams: Nebraska in 1997, and Tennessee in 1998. The teams first met two years earlier for the 1998 Orange Bowl.

2001 Fiesta Bowl

The 2001 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, played on January 1, 2001, was the 30th edition of the Fiesta Bowl. The game was played at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona, between #5 Oregon State and #10 Notre Dame.

In the game, Oregon State quarterback Jonathan Smith threw for 305 yards and 3 touchdowns and led the Beavers to a 41–9 rout. Chad Johnson had two touchdown receptions; future Cincinnati Bengals teammate T. J. Houshmandzadeh caught the other one. The Beavers scored 29 points in an eight-minute stretch of the third quarter to put the game away.Smith was named the offensive player of the game, and Beavers linebacker Darnell Robinson, who recorded two sacks, forced a fumble, and made an interception, was the defensive player of the game.

2002 Fiesta Bowl

The 2002 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, played on January 1, 2002, was the 31st edition of the Fiesta Bowl. The game was played at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona between the Colorado Buffaloes (ranked #3 in the BCS) and the Oregon Ducks (ranked #4 in the BCS). Oregon was ranked #2 in both the AP Poll and Coaches Poll, leading to some controversy that Oregon should have played for the 2002 BCS National Championship.

In the game, Oregon quarterback Joey Harrington threw for 350 yards and 4 touchdowns and led the Ducks to a 38–16 victory. Harrington was named offensive player of the game. Oregon cornerback Steve Smith had three interceptions, a Fiesta Bowl record, and was named defensive player of the game.This was the first edition of the Fiesta Bowl to match two schools from the Western United States. Previous editions had either only one representative from the West, or none.

Colorado and Oregon became conference rivals when the Buffaloes joined Oregon's conference, the Pac-12 Conference (formerly the Pacific-10 Conference), in 2011.

2010 Fiesta Bowl

The 2010 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl game was a post-season college football bowl game between the #4 TCU Horned Frogs, champions of the Mountain West Conference, and the #6 Boise State Broncos, champions of the Western Athletic Conference. The game was played Monday, January 4, 2010, at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The game was part of the 2009–10 Bowl Championship Series (BCS) of the 2009 NCAA Division I FBS football season and was the concluding game of the season for both teams involved.

For the second consecutive year, TCU and BSU faced off in a bowl game of historic significance. In the 2008 Poinsettia Bowl, TCU and Boise State played in the first non-BCS game ever in which both teams were ranked higher than both participants in a BCS bowl game in the same season (specifically the 2009 Orange Bowl), with the Horned Frogs winning 17–16.

2013 Fiesta Bowl

The 2013 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl was a postseason college football bowl game played on Thursday, January 3, 2013, at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The Kansas State Wildcats, champions of the Big 12 Conference, played the Oregon Ducks, an at-large selection from the Pac-12 Conference. This was the only bowl game of the season to feature two top-10 ranked teams, other than the 2013 BCS National Championship Game.

The game started at 6:30 p.m. (MST) and aired on ESPN. Oregon won the game by a score of 35 points to 17 over Kansas State, making its second Fiesta Bowl title for the Ducks (first since 2001 in the 2002 Fiesta Bowl).

2016 Fiesta Bowl (December)

The 2016 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl (December) was a college football bowl game that was played on December 31, 2016 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. This 46th Fiesta Bowl Game was a College Football Playoff semifinal with the winner of the game competing against the winner of the 2016 Peach Bowl in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship which took place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. It was one of the 2016–17 bowl games that concluded the 2016 FBS football season.

It was the second game to be called "the 2016 Fiesta Bowl", as the previous season's game was played on January 1, 2016. The previous two Fiesta Bowls were also played in the same calendar year as each other. The game's title sponsor was Sony Interactive Entertainment via its PlayStation brand as part of a multi-year deal with broadcasting and marketing rightsholder ESPN, which includes branded content and making PlayStation the official video gaming and virtual reality sponsor of the College Football Playoff. The winning team will receive the Molina Fiesta Bowl Trophy.

Clemson became just the second team in college football history to shut out Ohio State (11-2) in a bowl game, joining U.C. Berkeley in the 1921 Rose Bowl. The game also marked the first time that Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer was shut out in his career, in about 193 games, and his second major loss to Dabo Swinney in the past four seasons. The game also marked the second consecutive advance to the CFP National Championship game by the Clemson football program.

2016 Fiesta Bowl (January)

The 2016 Fiesta Bowl was a college football bowl game that was played on January 1, 2016 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The 44th Fiesta Bowl was one of the New Year's Bowls. It was one of the 2015–16 bowl games that concluded the 2015 FBS football season.

The game was televised on ESPN and ESPN Deportes, and broadcast on ESPN Radio and XM Satellite Radio, with the kickoff time set for 1:00 P.M. ET (11 A.M. MT). Sponsored by obstacle racing series BattleFrog, it was officially known as the BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl.Coincidentally, it took place 10 years after the 2006 Fiesta Bowl, that was also played by Ohio State and Notre Dame. That was also the last time Notre Dame participated in the Fiesta Bowl.

Ohio State wound up beating Notre Dame, 44-28.

2017 Fiesta Bowl

The 2017 Fiesta Bowl was a college football bowl game played on December 30, 2017, at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The 47th Fiesta Bowl was one of the New Year's Bowls of the College Football Playoff, and one of the 2017–18 bowl games concluding the 2017 FBS football season.

The game was televised on ESPN and ESPN Deportes, and broadcast on ESPN Radio and XM Satellite Radio, with the kickoff set for 4:00 PM ET (2 PM MT). The game's title sponsor was Sony Interactive Entertainment via its PlayStation brand as part of a multi-year deal with broadcasting and marketing rightsholder ESPN, which includes branded content and making PlayStation the official video gaming and virtual reality sponsor of the College Football Playoff; the game is officially known as the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl.

2019 Fiesta Bowl (January)

The 2019 Fiesta Bowl (January) was a college football bowl game that was played on January 1, 2019. It was the 48th edition of the Fiesta Bowl, and was one of the 2018–19 bowl games concluding the 2018 FBS football season. Sponsored by Sony Interactive Entertainment via its PlayStation brand, the game was officially known as the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl.

Tempe, Arizona

Tempe ( tem-PEE'; Oidbaḍ in O'odham), also known as Hayden's Ferry during the territorial times of Arizona, is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, with the Census Bureau reporting a 2017 population of 185,038. The city is named after the Vale of Tempe in Greece. Tempe is located in the East Valley section of metropolitan Phoenix; it is bordered by Phoenix and Guadalupe on the west, Scottsdale on the north, Chandler on the south, and Mesa on the east. Tempe is also the location of the main campus of Arizona State University.

Fiesta Bowl Game
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