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Fiesta Bowl

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As the youngest of the New Year’s Six College Football Playoff bowl games, the Fiesta Bowl, now sponsored by PlayStation, all began in 1971. That’s when the Western Athletic Conference, desperate to obtain bowl invitations (specifically for champion teams like Wyoming and Arizona State), created its own bowl game.

Once 1978 rolled around, Arizona and Arizona State joined the Pac-12 Conference and the Fiesta Bowl dropped its affiliation with the Western Athletic Conference. To this day, the Fiesta Bowl remains unaffiliated with any conference, and the matchup is decided by the CFP committee, which ultimately makes for a closer, high-quality matchup.

The Glendale, Arizona-based matchup grew year after year, and suddenly, the brand new bowl game earned prestige for high-quality matchups, and the late-December game moved up in the ranks alongside the New Year’s Day major bowl games in 1981. This promotion also led to a title sponsorship from Sunkist in 1986.

Increasing in popularity into the 2000s, the Fiesta Bowl was even host to one of the greatest football games ever played: the 2007 Fiesta Bowl between Boise State and Oklahoma. The first game played at the new University of Phoenix Stadium saw the undefeated Broncos beat the Sooners 43-42 in overtime, but not without a fight: the Sooners had an incredible comeback using trick plays to push overtime.

In 2014, the BCS committee selected the Fiesta Bowl to be a part of college football semifinals and would host a semifinal game once every three years. The Fiesta Bowl will host the semifinals in 2019, 2022 and 2025, until the next contract is renewed. Ohio State holds the title for most appearances in the Fiesta Bowl, with seven appearances and five wins, followed by Penn State with a fantastic record of six appearances and six wins, and Arizona State with five appearances and five wins.

Players that compete in the Fiesta Bowl are usually incredibly talented, and many of the game MVP winners have gone on to lead exceptional NFL careers, including Curt Warner, Kordell Stewart, AJ Hawk, and more recently Blake Bortles and Marcus Mariota.

As host to a game between the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Washington Huskies, you can expect the news, odds and trends to start pouring in from our editorial team, so keep an eye on the Fiesta Bowl matchup for everything you’ll need to bet on the Fiesta Bowl this December.

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