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Every Team's Best Bowl Moment
Ohio State QB Craig Krenzel
Ohio State QB Craig Krenzel
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Dec 25, 2009


Merry Christmas. From Ohio State's classic win over Miami in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl, to the Pete Giftopolous interception to give Penn State a Fiesta Bowl win over Miami to ... ? What was every 2009/2010 bowl team's best post-season moment? Richard Cirminiello goes back to provide the best memories of the bowl bunch.

2009-2010 Bowl Season

Every Team's Best Bowl Moment


By Richard Cirminiello

- 2009-2010 CFN Bowl Central


New Mexico Bowl

Best Bulldog Bowl Moment: In one of the more historic victories in school history, Fresno State toyed with Pac-10 powerhouse USC in the 1992 Freedom Bowl. The Bulldogs picked off three Rob Johnson passes and outgained the favored Trojans 405-183 in a surprisingly easy 24-7 win.

Best Cowboy Bowl Moment: Although this will give Wyoming a dozen bowl appearances, it can only boast a single victory since a 1966 Sun Bowl defeat of Florida State. It came in the 2004 Las Vegas Bowl over UCLA, 24-21. A heavy underdog, the Cowboys got a Corey Bramlet to John Wadkowski touchdown pass with 57 seconds left to snap a six-game postseason losing streak.

St. Petersburg Bowl

Best Scarlet Knight Bowl Moment: The Scarlet Knights knocked on the bowl door in 2005 before kicking it down a year later, picking up a school-first bowl victory in the inaugural Texas Bowl. Rutgers used big plays from RB Ray Rice and WR Tim Brown to jump on Kansas State early, pulling away in the second half for an easy 37-10 win.

Best Knight Bowl Moment: While the outcome didn’t wind up in its favor, UCF’s first bowl appearance was one of the more exciting games of the 2005 bowl season. Facing Nevada in the Hawaii Bowl, the Knights dropped a 49-48 overtime shootout, despite getting 11 catches for 210 yards and three touchdowns from WR Brandon Marshall.

New Orleans Bowl

Best Golden Eagle Bowl Moment: TCU entered the 2000 Mobile Alabama Bowl with the nation’s No. 1 defense, top rusher in LaDainian Tomlinson, and a nifty 10-1 record. The Horned Frogs left the Heart of Dixie with their second blemish. Southern Miss rallied in the fourth quarter to stun TCU, 28-21, when Jeff Kelly found Kenneth Johnson for the game-winning touchdown with eight ticks left in the game.

Best Blue Raider Bowl Moment: This marks just the second time since joining the FBS that Middle Tennessee will cap a season in a bowl game. Its first appearance occurred in 2006, a 31-14 Motor City Bowl loss to Central Michigan and RB Ontario Sneed, who scored a pair of touchdowns.

Las Vegas Bowl

Best Beaver Bowl Moment: Oregon State has been to three Rose Bowls over the last 60 years, but even those trips to Pasadena paled in comparison to the 2001 Fiesta Bowl. Pac-10 laughingstocks no more, the Beavers rode a 29-point third quarter outburst to embarrass No. 10 Notre Dame, 41-9. Few victories in school history carried more clout for the OSU football program.

Best Cougar Bowl Moment: From 1978 to 1984, BYU and the Holiday Bowl were synonymous with the magic and excitement of the postseason. That was never truer than in 1980, when Jim McMahon and the high-voltage Cougars engineered an incredible comeback for the school’s first bowl triumph. Trailing SMU 38-19 at the start of the fourth quarter, BYU stormed back, pulling out a miraculous win when McMahon connected with TE Clay Brown from 41 yards out as time expired.

Poinsettia Bowl

Best Ute Bowl Moment: Four years ago, the Utes set the bowl bar pretty doggone high for future teams to reach, beating Pitt in the Fiesta Bowl and becoming the first non-automatic qualifier to ever get invited to a BCS bowl game. Last January, Utah raised the bar a notch higher, shocking Alabama, 31-17, to finish unbeaten and No. 2 in the country behind Florida.

Best Golden Bear Bowl Moment: You’ve got to venture all the way back to 1938 and the days of Vic Bottari to find a truly meaningful Cal bowl victory. The “Thunder Team”, as it was dubbed, shut out Alabama 13-0 in the Rose Bowl, en route to the Bears’ second and last national championship. Cal finished its season in Pasadena eight times from 1921-1959, but hasn’t been back since.

Hawaii Bowl

Best Wolf Pack Bowl Moment: In one of the most exciting games of the 2005 bowl bonanza, Nevada got by UCF in the Hawaii Bowl, 49-48, in overtime. In a wild, see-saw game that featured 1,178 yards of offense, the Wolf Pack got off the island with a win after Matt Prater missed an extra point that would have sent the game to a second extra session.

Best Mustang Bowl Moment: Just because SMU hasn’t sniffed the postseason since 1984 does not mean the school lacks history in this area. The Mustangs’ most memorable moment came in the 1983 Cotton Bowl, a 7-3 win over Pittsburgh to finish the season with no losses and just a tie to Arkansas. Though Dan Marino was the more heralded quarterback entering the game, Lance McIlhenny was the hero, scoring the game’s only touchdown and deftly running the option with the help of Eric Dickerson and Craig James.

Little Caesars Bowl

Best Bobcat Bowl Moment: The Bobcats’ next bowl victory will also be their first victory, so the high points are scarce. Ohio has taken the collar in its three postseason opportunities, losing to Southern Miss in the 2006 GMAC Bowl, Richmond in the 1968 Tangerine Bowl, and West Texas A&M in the 1962 Sun Bowl.

Best Thundering Herd Bowl Moment: While it’s getting hard to recall, Marshall was a postseason regular between 1997 and 2004, routinely arriving as the MAC champion. During that stretch, no game showcased the program’s resiliency and quick-strike offense more than the 2001 GMAC Bowl, an instant classic. In the highest scoring game in bowl history, the Herd and QB Byron Leftwich overcame a 30-point halftime deficit to stun East Carolina in double-overtime, 64-61.

Meineke Bowl

Best Panther Bowl Moment: Ranked No. 9 before the 1976 season began, Pittsburgh wrapped up the national championship with a dominant 27-3 win over Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. Heisman winner Tony Dorsett rushed for a Sugar Bowl-record 202 yards, and the Panther defense one-upped the vaunted Junkyard Dawgs, keeping the Bulldogs out of the end zone for the first time all season.

Best Tar Heel Bowl Moment: The Gator Bowl has been the scene of some of North Carolina’s biggest postseason triumphs, and nearly half of its 12 bowl wins. None was more impressive than the 1998 variety, which featured a 42-3 Tar Heel demolition of Virginia Tech. The blowout put an exclamation point on an 11-1 season, one of the most successful in Carolina history.

Emerald Bowl

Best Eagle Bowl Moment: The 1984 season will forever be remembered fondly by Eagle fans. It was the year of Flutie, the Heisman and the miracle in Miami. It was also the scene of Boston College’s first bowl win in 44 years, a 45-28 thumping of Houston in the 1985 Cotton Bowl. Flutie threw three touchdown passes, but the real hero was running back Troy Stradford, who ran for 196 yards and was named the game’s MVP.

Best Trojan Bowl Moment: There have been a ton of memorable Rose Bowl wins in USC’s storied past; however, the 2005 Orange Bowl was the site of the program’s most impressive moment, a 55-19 demolition of unbeaten Oklahoma to win a second straight national championship. Matt Leinart set an Orange Bowl record with five touchdown passes, while the mighty Trojans raised debates whether they were a modern-day dynasty.

Music City Bowl

Best Wildcat Bowl Moment: Considering that Kentucky has won just a handful of bowl games over the last 60 years, there aren’t many options. If you dig deep enough, however, you’ll find a hidden gem in the 1951 Sugar Bowl. Under the guidance of Bear Bryant, the Wildcats shocked national champion Oklahoma, 13-7, behind a stingy defense and a pair of Wilbur Jamerson touchdowns to finish with 11 wins for the first time in school history.

Best Tiger Bowl Moment: It’s been more than a quarter of a century since Clemson participated in one of college football’s marquee bowl games. Back in 1982, the Tigers played No. 4 Nebraska in the Orange Bowl, with national supremacy hinging on the outcome. Danny Ford’s underrated defensive unit frustrated the star-studded Husker offense in a 22-15 win that gave the Tigers a perfect season and its only national championship.

Independence Bowl


Best Bulldog Bowl Moment: Georgia has a very rich bowl tradition that includes 45 invites and victories in the Rose Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Gator Bowl, Orange Bowl, and Sugar Bowl. Fueled by freshman sensation Herschel Walker, the Dawgs took a perfect mark into the 1981 Sugar Bowl, where No. 7 Notre Dame awaited. Walker shook off a dislocated shoulder in the first quarter to score a pair of touchdowns, leading Georgia to a 17-10 win and the national title.

Best Aggie Bowl Moment: In one of the most important wins of the modern era, the Aggies shackled Heisman winner Tim Brown and defeated No. 12 Notre Dame, 35-10, in the 1988 Cotton Bowl. The A&M attack was spearheaded by a couple of freshmen, QB Bucky Richardson, who was named game MVP, and RB Darren Lewis, who tossed a game-tying touchdown pass on a halfback option.

Champs Sports Bowl

Best Badger Bowl Moment: Wisconsin won three Rose Bowls under the watchful eye of Barry Alvarez, but none that generated more electricity in Madison than the 1994 victory. The 21-16 win over UCLA was the school’s first on New Year’s Day, capping the Badgers’ first Big Ten title in 32 years. More than 70,000 rabid fans made the trip to Pasadena, giving Wisconsin a unique home-field advantage in the Bruins’ home stadium.

Best Hurricane Bowl Moment: The first of Miami’s five national championships came on the heels of one of the most riveting games in college football history, the 1984 Orange Bowl. The ‘Canes, a team with few stars, were considerable underdogs to Nebraska, which entered the game on a 22-game winning streak. The game featured Husker guard Dean Steinkuhler's "fumblerooskie" touchdown run and a game-saving tip of an attempted two-point conversion pass by Miami safety Ken Calhoun. The 31-30 win marked the emergence of the ‘Canes as a national power.

EagleBank Bowl

Best Owl Bowl Moment: Throughout the long history of Temple football, there have been just a pair of bowl appearances, losing the inaugural Sugar Bowl to Tulane in 1935 and defeating Cal, 28-17, in the 1979 Garden State Bowl. RB Kevin Duckett was one of the catalysts of a team that finished 10-2 and generated some brief excitement around Philadelphia.

Best Bruin Bowl Moment: UCLA was almost unbeatable in the 1980s, winning seven of eight bowl games, including three Rose Bowls. However, the 1960s were home to its most unforgettable postseason victory. Before 1964, the Bruins had played in five Rose Bowls, losing each one. The 1965 squad mercifully ended that futility in a thriller with No. 1 Michigan State that ended when three Bruin defenders stopped a game-tying two-point conversion with under a minute left in the game.

Humanitarian Bowl

Best Falcon Bowl Moment: In the inaugural 1992 Las Vegas Bowl, the Falcons withstood a furious second-half rally from Nevada, pulling the game out 35-34 on a fourth down touchdown pass from Erik White to Dave Hankins with 22 seconds left. It was the second win of what become a four-game postseason winning streak for the program.

Best Vandal Bowl Moment: Idaho has never lost a bowl game at the FBS level. Of course, the Vandals have made just one appearance, a 42-35 victory over Southern Miss in the 1998 Humanitarian Bowl. The Big West champs overcame a productive day from RB Derrick Nix, getting 291 yards and four touchdown passes from QB John Welsh.

Holiday Bowl

Best Wildcat Bowl Moment: Although the Wildcats have yet to appear in the Rose Bowl, they were pretty formidable between 1986 and 1998, winning five games in eight tries. The pinnacle was the 1994 Fiesta Bowl spanking of No. 10 Miami. Arizona created four turnovers and got 142 yards on the ground from Chuck Levy, pitching the only shutout in Fiesta Bowl history.

Best Husker Bowl Moment: Nebraska’s massive bowl resume includes an unheard of 30 New Year’s Day appearances. You can go in so many directions with this question, such as pasting No. 2 Alabama in the 1972 Orange Bowl, pounding Notre Dame 40-6 in the 1973 Orange Bowl in Bob Devaney’s final game, breaking a seven-game bowl slide, or winning the national title with a win over Miami in the 1995 Orange Bowl. However, no game stands out more than the 62-24 demolition of Florida in the 1996 Fiesta Bowl. In a match up of No. 1 vs. No. 2, the Huskers rushed for a bowl-record 524 yards, putting forth one of the most dominant big game performances the sport has ever witnessed.

Sun Bowl

Best Sooner Bowl Moment: Although the last five BCS bowl appearances have been eminently forgettable, OU’s 24-17-1 bowl record ranks among the best of any program with at least 15 appearances. The Sooners, regulars in Miami throughout the years, used the 2001 Orange Bowl as a vehicle to regaining their status as a perennial national title contender. The Oklahoma defense suffocated high-powered Florida State in a shocking 13-2 win that captured the school’s seventh national championship.

Best Cardinal Bowl Moment: When you’re a member of the Pac-10, success is measured by Rose Bowl victories. For Stanford, that hasn’t happened since the early 1970s. The Cardinal actually won back-to-back games in 1971 and 1972 under the guidance of head coach John Ralston. In 1971, it handed Ohio State its first loss of the year, 27-17, behind Heisman-winning QB Jim Plunkett. In 1972, it gave Michigan its lone blemish, 13-12, on the strength of QB Don Bunce and a game-winning field goal from Rod Garcia with 12 seconds left.

Armed Forces Bowl

Best Falcon Bowl Moment: One of the most decisive postseason wins in Air Force history came in the 1998 Oahu Bowl, a 45-25 demolition of the Pac-10’s Washington. The Falcons were uncommonly balanced in the lopsided victory, generating 232 yards on the ground and 267 yards through the air from game MVP, QB Blane Morgan.

Best Cougar Bowl Moment: The last second upset of Nebraska in the 1980 Cotton Bowl warrants real strong consideration; however, it’s the 30-21 win over unbeaten Maryland in the 1977 Cotton Bowl that has a special place in the hearts of Cougar fans. The school’s first trip to a New Year’s Day bowl game was the finishing touch on an unforgettable season that saw Houston stun the Southwest Conference by winning the league in its debut as a member.

Texas Bowl

Best Middie Bowl Moment: Ben Fay will forever be a part of Navy football lore. He was the backup quarterback, who came off the bench in the fourth quarter of the 1996 Aloha Bowl to help upset Cal, 42-38. The senior led the offense on touchdown drives of 80 and 84 yards over the final 10:38 as the Academy captured its first bowl win in 18 years.

Best Tiger Bowl Moment: The 2005 comeback win over South Carolina in the Independence Bowl was nice, but Missouri’s biggest bowl conquests reside deep in the past, nine New Year’s Day bowl games before 1971 and not one until 2007. A 21-14 defeat of Navy in the 1961 Orange Bowl ended a seven-game bowl losing streak, propelling the Tigers to No. 5 in the AP Poll and capping the best season in school history. In the win, the Mizzou D held Heisman winner Joe Bellino to just four yards on the ground.

Insight Bowl

Best Gopher Bowl Moment: It’s been quite some time since Minnesota reigned supreme in the Big Ten or played a game in Pasadena. Almost half a century, in fact. Behind the play of legendary quarterback Sandy Stephens and a terrific defensive effort, the Gophers beat UCLA 21-3 in the 1962 Rose Bowl to avenge a loss to Washington in Pasadena a year earlier.

Best Cyclone Bowl Moment: In nine mostly forgettable bowl appearances, Iowa State has won just a pair of games, the 2000 Insight Bowl and the 2004 Independence Bowl. That 2000 edition won nine games, jumping out to a big lead on the Panthers behind the running of Ennis Haywood, receiving of Chris Anthony, and passing of Sage Rosenfels.

Chick-fil-A Bowl

Best Hokie Bowl Moment: Meeting Florida State for the national championship in the 2000 Sugar Bowl was quite an accomplishment, but whooping a one-loss Texas team in the 1995 game was even better. Led by big plays from receiver Bryan Still and an attacking defense, the Big East champs won their tenth straight game, earning a second helping of national respect.

Best Volunteer Bowl Moment: UT’s postseason resume is comprised of 30 New Year’s Day bowl games, including seven Sugar Bowls, six Cotton Bowls, four Orange Bowls, three Fiesta Bowls, and two Rose Bowls. Your dad and granddad might disagree, but none was more significant than the 1999 Fiesta Bowl, which guaranteed the Vols their second national championship. Big days from Tee Martin and Peerless Price catapulted Tennessee to a 23-16 win over Florida State in the maiden BCS championship game.

Outback Bowl

Best Wildcat Bowl Moment: No contest. When you’re the Big Ten’s perennial doormat and you haven’t been to a bowl game in 47 years, an unexpected berth in the Rose Bowl is more than a great bowl moment—it’s the modern day high point for your program. Such was the case for the 1995 ‘Cats, which shocked the world by winning the conference title and earning a trip to Pasadena. They led favored USC early in the fourth quarter before succumbing, 41-32.

Best Tiger Bowl Moment: Over the years, the Tigers have given their fans plenty to cheer about in the postseason. High on the list of shining moments was the school's only Sugar Bowl win, a 9-7 triumph over Michigan in 1984. In a classic defensive struggle with the Wolverines, Auburn pulled out the game when Al Del Greco split the uprights with under a minute left. The 11-1 Tigers finished No. 2 in the polls behind a Miami team that upset unbeaten Nebraska in the Orange Bowl.

Gator Bowl

Best Mountaineer Bowl Moment: The postseason had been a horror show for West Virginia…until the 2006 Sugar Bowl and the 2008 Fiesta Bowl. The same program that had lost 11 of its previous 12 bowls jumped all over heavily-favored Georgia in the Georgia Dome, holding on for a 38-35 win that ranks among the most important in school history. Two Januarys ago, the ‘eers, seemingly a rudderless ship, rallied around interim coach Bill Stewart, to stun Oklahoma in Arizona, 48-28, behind the heroics of Pat White and Noel Devine.

Best Seminole Bowl Moment: The ‘Noles’ 14-game bowl unbeaten streak from 1982-1998 is one of the most incredible runs of any kind in college football history. The high point of that boon—and there were many—was the classic 1994 Orange Bowl with Nebraska that matched the top two teams in the country. Florida State took an 18-16 lead on a Scott Bentley chip shot with 21 seconds left, but had to watch as a Byron Bennett field goal attempt fittingly sailed wide left before wrapping up the win and the school’s first national championship.

Capital One Bowl

Best Nittany Lion Bowl Moment: In one of the most memorable bowl games of all-time, Penn State shocked Miami in the 1987 Fiesta Bowl to earn its second national championship in four years. With a record-breaking 70 million viewers watching, the Lions intercepted Heisman winner Vinny Testaverde five times, the last one by Pete Giftopoulos at the Penn State one-yard line to seal an unexpected and heart-stopping 14-10 win.

Best Tiger Bowl Moment: Look no further than the 2004 Sugar Bowl, a more-dominant-than-the-score-indicated 21-14 win over Oklahoma, which gave LSU a share of its first national championship in 45 years. The Tigers harassed Heisman winner Jason White from the opening drive, getting just enough of an offensive spark from freshman RB Justin Vincent to pull off the mild upset in the Superdome.

Rose Bowl

Best Duck Bowl Moment: There have been Rose Bowls, a Cotton Bowl and a slew of minor bowls in Oregon’s history, all of which paled in comparison to the 2002 Fiesta Bowl. Joey Harrington threw four touchdown passes, Steve Smith picked off three passes, and the No. 2 Ducks put a bow on the most successful season in school history by pummeling No. 3 Colorado 38-16.

Best Buckeye Bowl Moment: Beyond the plethora of Rose Bowl wins, nothing could compare to the 2003 Fiesta Bowl. In one of the most thrilling college football games of all-time, Ohio State upset Miami in overtime to cop its first unanimous national championship in 34 years. A distant runner-up was the come-from-behind win against USC in the 1969 Rose Bowl that put the finishing touches on that previous national title.

Sugar Bowl

Best Gator Bowl Moment: How good was the 41-14 thumping of Ohio State in the BCS Championship Game three years ago? Good enough to trump the 52-20 annihilation of No. 1 and unbeaten Florida State in the 1997 Sugar Bowl as the best moment in Florida bowl history. Considered by many to be out of the top-ranked Buckeyes’ league, the Gators feasted on their slower opponent, holding Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith and Ohio State to just 82 yards of total offense.

Best Bearcat Bowl Moment: Even a broken hand and unseasonably cold weather in Texas couldn’t keep Cincinnati QB Gino Guidugli from carving up the Marshall defense in the 2004 Fort Worth Bowl. The senior threw for 231 yards and a pair of touchdowns, leading the Bearcats to a 32-14 victory, their first in postseason play in seven years.

International Bowl


Best Bull Bowl Moment: In 2005, South Florida played in its first bowl game, a 14-0 loss to NC State in the Meineke Car Care Bowl. A year later, the Bulls won their first bowl game, a 24-7 defeat of East Carolina in the inaugural PapaJohns.com Bowl. In another important stride for head coach Jim Leavitt and the program, USF got a pair of touchdown runs from RB Benjamin Williams and an outstanding effort from a defense that delivered six sacks and was particularly nasty in the red zone.

Best Huskie Bowl Moment: There wasn’t much drama or many style points, but Northern Illinois’ 34-21 win over Troy in the 2004 Silicon Valley Classic was a landmark victory for a program that was breaking a 21-year postseason dry spell.

PapaJohns.com Bowl

Best Gamecock Bowl Moment: South Carolina has won four of its last six bowl games, the only four postseason victories in school history. In the 2002 Outback Bowl, the Gamecocks allowed Ohio State to rally from a 28-point deficit before Daniel Weaver booted a game-winning 42-yard field goal for a sigh-of-relief victory. It was South Carolina’s second straight win over the Buckeyes in Tampa and a symbol of just how far the program had progressed under Lou Holtz.

Best Husky Bowl Moment: Connecticut’s first bowl invitation was a stepping stone moment for a young program that hadn’t been competing in I-A very long. Just three years after elevating from I-AA, the Huskies pounded Toledo in the 2004 Motor City Bowl, 39-10, behind the passing of star QB Dan Orlovsky and the play of an opportunistic and unheralded defense.

Cotton Bowl

Best Cowboy Bowl Moment: One of the great offensive displays in postseason history, Oklahoma State ambushed Wyoming 62-14 in the 1988 Holiday Bowl. The Cowboys cranked out 698 yards and 34 first downs behind Heisman winner Barry Sanders’ 222 yards and five touchdowns on the ground, and a near- perfect passing performance from current head coach Mike Gundy.

Best Rebel Bowl Moment: Under legendary head coach Johnny Vaught, Ole Miss made a habit out of playing in big bowl games in the 1950s and 1960s. The most memorable was a 21-0 thumping of LSU in the 1960 Sugar Bowl that avenged a loss to the Tigers during the regular season. The 10-1 Rebels notched their eighth shutout of the season and outgained their SEC rival 363-74.

Liberty Bowl


Best Pirate Bowl Moment: In one of the most memorable wins in school history, East Carolina rallied from a 17-point fourth quarter deficit to beat long-time rival North Carolina State in the 1992 Peach Bowl. In front of the largest crowd to ever watch two North Carolina teams play, Pirate QB Jeff Blake ran for a score and threw a pair of touchdown passes in the final eight minutes for a pulsating 37-34 victory. The win gave the Pirates state bragging rights and a No. 9 ranking in the final AP poll.

Best Razorback Bowl Moment: The Hogs have been victorious in just 11 of 36 bowl appearances, and only twice in the last two decades. One of their sweetest wins came in the 1978 Orange Bowl against heavily- favored and second-ranked Oklahoma. Arkansas got a bowl-record 205 yards rushing and 52 yards receiving from third-string tailback Roland Sales, cruising to a 31-6 win over the Sooners. Sales was pressed into action when the team’s top two backs were suspended for the game.

Alamo Bowl

Best Spartan Bowl Moment: While rival Michigan has a timeshare in Pasadena, it’s been a long time since Michigan State has played a meaningful game in January. The Spartans are 3-1 in the Rose Bowl, including a couple of wins over UCLA in the 1950s. In the 1954 game, No. 3 Michigan State rallied from a 14-0 halftime deficit to pull out the win, getting a touchdown run and a back-breaking punt return for a score from RB Billy Wells.

Best Red Raider Bowl Moment: Over the years, the bowl season has been anything but festive for Tech. Covering 32 games since 1937, it’s lost 21 times and played in January just four times over the last half century. The 1953 squad was a rare exception. That explosive 11-1 team blew out Auburn 35-13 in a historic 1954 Gator Bowl. The game marked the first time Tech was broadcast on television and gave birth to the Masked Rider as a fabled school tradition.

Fiesta Bowl

Best Bronco Bowl Moment: Is there really any debate? Boise State arguably delivered the most memorable and thrilling performance in bowl history in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, a 43-42 upset of Oklahoma in overtime. A frequent participant in the local Humanitarian Bowl, the Broncos took their inventive brand of football on the road, winning on a Statue of Liberty two-pointer that’ll forever be a part of sports lore.

Best Horned Frog Bowl Moment: Generations before the current Frogs were even out of diapers, TCU was winning Southwest and national titles in the 1930s with All-Americans, such as Sammy Baugh and Davey O’Brien. O’Brien’s 1938 TCU team capped off a perfect season with a 15-7 Sugar Bowl victory over then- No. 5 Carnegie Tech.

Orange Bowl

Best Hawkeye Bowl Moment: For the 11 members of the Big Ten conference, success is measured in terms Rose Bowl berths and victories. For the Hawkeyes, that level of success hasn’t reached their campus since the latter half of the 1950s. Iowa beat Oregon State and Cal in 1957 and 1959, respectively for their only Rose Bowl victories. The 38-12 win over the Golden Bears was particularly impressive as the offense rolled up 441 of its 528 total yards on the ground.

Best Yellow Jacket Bowl Moment: Tech boasts a nifty 22-15 bowl record, including 8-7 since 1985. The Jackets did most of their big-game damage in the 1940s and 1950s; however, it was the 1991 Florida Citrus Bowl which means the most to today’s generation of Tech fans. Led by the passing of Shawn Jones and the running of William Bell, Bobby Ross’ team pummeled Nebraska 45-21, en route to an unbeaten season and the UPI’s share of the national championship.

GMAC Bowl

Best Trojan Bowl Moment: In its brief stay in the FBS, Troy has dropped two of its three bowl appearances, losing to Northern Illinois in the 2004 Silicon Valley Bowl and Southern Miss in the 2008 New Orleans Bowl. In the lone victory, the Trojans, routed Rice in the 2006 New Orleans Bowl, getting 319 total yards and five touchdowns out of star QB Omar Haugabook.

Best Chippewa Bowl Moment: Central Michigan has taken part in five bowl games, but only the 2006 Motor City Bowl ended with a victory. The Chippewas handled Middle Tennessee State, 31-14, getting a pair of touchdowns from Ontario Sneed to cap a sensational MAC-championship year with their first 10-win season since 1979.

BCS Championship

Best Longhorn Bowl Moment: With all due respect to its recent thrilling comeback wins over USC and Michigan in the Rose Bowl, nothing defines the Texas bowl experience more than the Cotton Bowl, home to almost half of the program’s bowl destinations. Arguably the most rewarding of those trips to Dallas was in 1970, when the ‘Horns came from behind twice in the fourth quarter to beat a Notre Dame team that was ending a 44-year self-imposed bowl-moratorium. The win, No. 500 in school history, cemented UT’s second national title.

Best Crimson Tide Bowl Moment: With an NCAA-record 57 invites and 31 victories, you can make a credible argument for about a dozen different games. By a sliver, the nod here goes to the 1979 Sugar Bowl over the 1993 Sugar Bowl. Both produced national championships, but the 14-7 win over top-ranked Penn State more than a quarter century ago featured an epic, game-saving goal line stand from the ‘Bama D that’s etched in the memory of everyone that witnessed it.