The Holiday Bowl had its beginnings as a way to get the Western Athletic Conference an automatic bowl bid after the Fiesta Bowl ended its association with the WAC when Arizona and Arizona State left the conference. Now, the bowl matches the third-place team in the Pac-12 with the fifth-place team in the Big 12.
There are unusual ancillary events associated with the Holiday Bowl. For example, the Wiener Nationals, which is the national championship in dachshund racing. Fans going to the game can also enjoy the Big Bay Balloon Parade.
• In 1980, BYU came back from 20 points down to defeat Southern Methodist on a hail mary. Surrounded by SMU players, BYU tight end Clay Brown somehow got his hands on the ball to tie the game. Kurt Gunther kicked the extra point with no time left on the clock to give the Cougars a 46-45 victory in what has been known as "The Miracle Bowl."
• The 1984 game actually decided the national championship. BYU was ranked No. 1, and thanks to the WAC's contract with the Holiday Bowl, the nation's top team was committed. BYU defeated Michigan 24-17.
• In 2004, fourth-ranked Cal missed a spot in the BCS by .0129 points. Not only did it miss the BCS, it got beat in the Holiday Bowl by No. 23 Texas Tech 45-31.
• In 2012, No. 17 UCLA was relegated to the Holiday Bowl after it lost the Pac-10 championship game. The Bruins' consolation prize? A 49-19 defeat at the hands of unranked Baylor.
|1986||Iowa||39||San Diego State||38|
|1995||Kansas State||54||Colorado State||21|
|2002||Kansas State||34||Arizona State||27|
|2013||Texas Tech||37||Arizona State||23|