December 20th, 2012 by Colin M Jarman
The College Football BCS Bowl Series comprises four Major Bowls plus the BCS Title game. ESPN America & ESPN Player will be showing all four of the Major BCS Bowls live (with as-live / on-demand reruns) plus the season-ending Championship climax.
Here is our look at each of our Top Five College Bowls with a potted history of the big games.
5. FIESTA BOWL
The youngest (by far) of the current BCS Bowl Games, the Fiesta Bowl came into being in 1971 to provide a principal bowl game in Arizona for local state teams overlooked by the then major Bowls. In the first Fiesta Bowl in Tempe, AZ, Arizona State beat Florida State 45-38 on home turf in Sun Devil Stadium and would go on to win four of the first five Fiesta Bowls.
In 2007, the Bowl moved to University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ.
MVPs of the Fiesta Bowl have included: Alex Smith (2005), Joey Harrington (2002), Kordell Stewart (1995), Tedy Bruschi (1994) and Marcus Dupree (1983).
Jan 3rd 2013: #5 Kansas State (11-1) v #4 Oregon (11-1)
4. SUGAR BOWL
Although the idea for a New Year’s Day Bowl Game in New Orleans was first proposed in 1927, the first Sugar Bowl game was eventually played in Tulane Stadium in 1935. Fittingly, Tulane beat Temple 20-14. The Sugar Bowl was played on the Tulane Campus until 1974 when it switched to the much larger Louisiana Superdome.
The Bowl was named after the thriving sugar industry based in and around Louisiana. Given its location in the South-East of the USA, the Sugar Bowl became the premier bowl for the SEC champion.
MVPs of the Sugar Bowl have included: Tim Tebow (2010), JaMarcus Russell (2007), Jerome Bettis (1992), Bo Jackson (1984), Dan Marino (1982) and Herschel Walker (1981).
Jan 2nd 2013: #21 Louisville (10-2) v #3 Florida (11-1)
3. ORANGE BOWL
First staged in 1935, when the Bucknell Bison beat the local Hurricanes 35-0 at Miami Field (the later site of the Orange Bowl stadium).
The BCS version of the Orange Bowl is now staged in Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens. The 2012 game saw West Virginia (led by MVP Geno Smith) pummel Clemson by a record 70-33.
Other Orange Bowl MVPs include: Andrew Luck (2011), Carson Palmer (2003), Charlie Ward (1993 & 94), Raghib Ismail (1990), Bernie Kosar (1984) and Joe Namath (1965).
Jan 1st 2013: #12 Florida State (11-2) vs. #15 Northern Illinois (12-1)
2. ROSE BOWL
Kicking off on Jan 1st 1902, the Rose Bowl is known as “The Granddaddy of Them All” as it inspired other New Year Bowl Games in the years to come. As the climax of the “Tournament of Roses” the game is played in the historic 100,000-seater Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA.
Traditionally a showdown between champions from the PAC-8/10/12 and Big Ten conferences, the first Rose Bowl saw Michigan stomp on Stanford 49-0.
Rose Bowl MVPs include: Mark Sanchez (2009), Vince Young (2005 & 06), Andre Johnson (2002), Warren Moon (1978), Jim Plunkett (1971) and OJ Simpson (1968).
Jan 1st 2013: #6 Stanford (11-2) vs. Wisconsin (8-5)
1. BCS BOWL
The BCS Championship Game was created in 1998 to pit the top two teams in nation in a head-to-head for the National Title and overall #1 ranking. The original format saw this title decider rotate between the Rose, Orange, Fiesta and Sugar Bowls.
The first BCS Championships in 1999 saw Tennessee beat Florida State 23-7 in the Fiesta Bowl.
Since 2007, the Title Game has been a separate Bowl Game in its own right; the first such seeing Florida beat Ohio State 41-14.
BCS Bowl Game MVPs have included: Marcell Dareus & Mark Ingram (2009), Tim Tebow (2009), Vince Young (2005), Matt Leinart (2004) and Andre Johnson (2001).
Jan 7th 2013: #1 Notre Dame (12-0) v #2 Alabama (12-1)
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