The origin of the Fiesta Bowl comes from the Western Athletic Conference. Upset that its champions in 1968 and '69 were not invited to any bowl and 1970 champion Arizona State played in the Peach Bowl, conference supporters created the Fiesta Bowl, which initally guaranteed an invite for its champion.

The bowl's tie-in with the WAC ended in 1978, when Arizona and Arizona State moved to the then-Pac-10 conference.

Memorable moments

• In 1987, Miami and Penn State, the nation's top two teams battled for the national championship in the Fiesta Bowl. Penn State won 14-10 and the game drew the largest television rating in college football history at that time.

• In 1991, several schools turned down invitations to the Fiesta Bowl because the state of Arizona did not recognize the Martin Luther King holiday.

• In 1999, the Fiesta Bowl played host to the first BCS national championship game. Tennessee defeated Florida State 23-16.

• The 2007 Fiesta Bowl has been called one of the greatest college football games ever played. Oklahoma scored 25 unanswered points to take the lead for the first time with little more than a minute remaining in the game. A total of 37 points were scored between 1:26 left in regulation and the end of the game. Boise State,down 35-28 with 1:02 left, pulled off the "hook and lateral" play to tie the game and send it into overtime. The overtime culminated with a variation of the "Statue of Liberty" play on a gutsy 2-point conversion that sealed the win for Boise State.

• At the end of the 2007 game, Boise State running back Ian Johnson proposed to his girlfriend, head cheerleader Chrissy Popadics, on live television. She accepted.

FIESTA BOWL RESULTS
YEAR WINNER SCORE LOSER SCORE
1971 Arizona State 45 Florida State 38
1972 Arizona State 49 Missouri 35
1973 Arizona State 28 Pittsburgh 7
1974 Oklahoma State 16 BYU 6
1975 Arizona State 17 Nebraska 14
1976 Oklahoma 41 Wyoming 7
1977 Penn State 42 Arizona State 30
1978 Arkansas 10 UCLA 10
1979 Pittsburgh 16 Arizona 10
1980 Penn State 31 Ohio State 19
1982 Penn State 26 Southern California 10
1983 Arizona State 32 Oklahoma 21
1984 Ohio State 28 Pittsburgh 23
1985 UCLA 39 Miami 37
1986 Michigan 27 Nebraska 23
1987 Penn State 14 Miami 10
1988 Florida State 31 Nebraska 28
1989 Notre Dame 34 West Virginia 21
1990 Florida State 41 Nebraska 17
1991 Louisville 34 Alabama 7
1992 Penn State 42 Tennessee 17
1993 Syracuse 26 Colorado 22
1994 Arizona 29 Miami 0
1995 Colorado 41 Notre Dame 24
1996 Nebraska 62 Florida 24
1997 Penn State 38 Texas 15
1997 Kansas State 35 Syracuse 18
1999 Tennessee 23 Florida State 16
2000 Nebraska 31 Tennessee 21
2001 Oregon State 41 Notre Dame 9
2002 Oregon 38 Colorado 16
2003* Ohio State 31 Miami 24 (2 OT)
2004 Ohio State 35 Kansas State 28
2005 Utah 35 Pittsburgh 7
2006 Ohio State 34 Notre Dame 20
2007 Boise State 43 Oklahoma 42 (OT)
2008 West Virginia 48 Oklahoma 28
2009 Texas 24 Ohio State 21
2010 Boise State 17 TCU 10
2011 Oklahoma 48 Connecticut 20
2012 Oklahoma State 41 Stanford 38 (OT)
2013 Oregon 35 Kansas State 17
2014 UCF 52 Baylor 42
2014 Boise State  38 Arizona 30
2016 Ohio State 44 Notre Dame 28
2016 Clemson 31 Ohio State 0
2017 Penn State 35 Washington 28
Two games played in 1997, 2014, and 2016 (January and December); no game played in 1998 or 2015.