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College Football Betting Online: As the youngest of the New Year’s Six bowl games, the Fiesta Bowl has made some impressive strides during its rise to major bowl status. Not only have there been quality opponents matched up in the desert, there have been exhilarating contests as well. Who can forget Boise State’s win over favorite Oklahoma in the 2007 contest. Or the first overtime National Championship game in 2003. The game annually pits top-ranked teams against each other and will do so again following the 2017 season.
The 2017 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl is scheduled for Saturday, December 30, at 4 p.m. ET. ESPN will televise the game from University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.
PlayStation Fiesta Bowl Odds at BookMaker.eu
Penn State Nittany Lions -3
Washington Huskies +3
Back-to-back midseason losses to Ohio State and Michigan State were the only smudges on an otherwise strong season for the Penn State Nittany Lions. Penn State deserves this prestigious bowl game. It’ll be interesting to see the Lions back in the desert for the first time in two decades.
While it’s been awhile, the Nittany Lions program is no stranger to the Fiesta Bowl. They’re undefeated in this game including notching their 1986 national title at this venue.
On the other side of this matchup, Washington will be making its eighth consecutive bowl game appearances as the Huskies, once again, bring an offense loaded with talent and a strong defense to the game.
Penn State’s offense is probably the cornerstone, but the defense cannot be ignored either. While these two teams have the talent to play top-caliber football any day of the week, both have had their hiccups at times. For the Lions, it was against Ohio State and Michigan State. For Washington, the hiccup came against Stanford. This team can beat anyone when it’s on.
For the Lions, the team was a top-10 performer on both sides of the ball based on scoring and the team brings a balanced offense that can run and pass along with a strong defense that specializes in shutting down the opposing running game.
Washington was better at moving the ball on the ground than in the air this year so that matchup could come heavily into play. In the end, however, the Washington defense must win this game for the Huskies. If this comes down to the offenses, this game goes to Penn State. If anyone can shutdown both Trace McSorley and Saquon Barkley, however, it’s Washington.
Fiesta Bowl Format
The Fiesta Bowl came about after the champion of the Western Athletic Conference failed to receive a bowl invitation in both 1968 and 1969. In 1970 Arizona State went undefeated and felt slighted by not getting invited to a “major” bowl game. Instead, the Sun Devils accepted an invitation to the Peach Bowl, capping their 11-0 season with a victory over North Carolina.
The WAC champion received a berth in the Fiesta Bowl starting with the 1971 season and ASU made the most of it by winning the first three bowl games and four of the first five. In 1978, both Arizona and Arizona State left for the Pac-10, taking the game with them and leaving the WAC without a connection to the Fiesta Bowl.
With no conference tie-ins, the bowl continued to draw high-profile programs. The 1986 season game attracted No. 1 Miami against No. 2 Penn State in what was essentially the national championship game. Both schools were independents at the time and chose to meet in the desert. In 1998 the bowl became part of the BCS and hosted two national championship games. The bowl became one of the New Year’s Six games under the new CFP format and will host a national semifinal in the 2019 season game.
Fiesta Bowl Game Results
|Season ||Winners ||Losers|
|2015||Ohio State||Notre Dame|
|2011||Oklahoma State||Stanford (OT)|
|2006||Boise State||Oklahoma (OT)|
|2005||Ohio State||Notre Dame|
|2003||Ohio State||Kansas State|
|2002||Ohio State||Miami (FL) (OT)|
|2000||Oregon State||Notre Dame|
|1988||Notre Dame||West Virginia|
|1986||Penn State||Miami (FL)|
|1980||Penn State||Ohio State|
|1977||Penn State||Arizona State|
|1971||Arizona State||Florida State|
*1978 Fiesta Bowl ended in tie
The Fiesta Bowl experienced a quick rise to major bowl status due in part to its destination and because there were no conference affiliations after the WAC was released in the late 1970s. This allowed the game to invite a number of high profile independent programs and teams that failed to win a conference championship.
A stretch of five consecutive years to close out the decade of the 1980s featured matchups between teams ranked in the AP top-10, further cementing the status of the game as a major player in the bowl lineup. The 1998 season saw the Fiesta Bowl host the first BCS National Championship Game, won by Tennessee 23-16 over Florida State. The bowl hosted the Big 12 champion in years it didn’t have the BCS title game. That arrangement continued until 2013 when the BCS gave way to the College Football Playoff.
In 2007 the game moved to the Phoenix suburb of Glendale into the new University of Phoenix Stadium and the venue was christened with what many call one of the greatest bowl games ever played. Underdog Boise State surrendered 25 unanswered points to Oklahoma, but tied the game late in regulation and won it in overtime with a two-point conversion.
The bowl hosted a CFP semifinal last season with Clemson pitching the second shutout in the game’s history, 31-0 over Ohio State to advance to the CFP title game, which it won over Alabama.
Most All-Time Wins at Fiesta Bowl
|Wins ||Team ||Years Won|
|6||Penn State||1977, 1980, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996|
|5||Arizona State||1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1982|
|5||Ohio State||1983, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2015|
|3||Boise State||2006, 2009, 2014|
|2||Florida State||1987, 1989|
|2||Oklahoma State||1974, 2011|
The 2002 season game featured a matchup between Big Ten champ Ohio State and Big East champ Miami. The matchup was a double-overtime thriller with the Buckeyes earning another National Championship with a 31-24 victory. It was the first national title game to play overtime.
Ohio State is no stranger to the Fiesta Bowl, appearing in a record eight games, including the last two. The Buckeyes drubbed No. 8 Notre Dame two seasons ago and were handed their first shutout loss in the Urban Meyer era by Clemson in last season’s game. After their 31-0 win the Tigers went on to defeat Alabama in the CFP Championship game.
Penn State has enjoyed its visits to the desert during bowl season. The Nittany Lions have won six Fiesta Bowls without a loss, defeating six different teams. In all 37 programs have appeared in the bowl with 39 of the 46 games featuring teams ranked in the top-25 of the AP poll.
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