1987 Fiesta Bowl

1987 Fiesta Bowl

NCAA Football YearlyGame
NCAA Football YearlyGame

1987 Fiesta Bowl

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The 1987 Sunkist Fiesta Bowl was a college football bowl game sponsored by Sunkist. It was part of the bowl season of the 1986 NCAA Division I-A football season. The game was the 16th edition of the Fiesta Bowl, played annually since 1971. The 1987 game was played on January 2, 1987, at the Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. The game pitted the #1 Miami Hurricanes against the #2 Penn State Nittany Lions and was televised on NBC. The game drew the largest television audience in the history of college football.

The 1987 Fiesta Bowl was originally scheduled for January 1, but moved to January 2 to accommodate this undisputed "winner-take-all" championship game. Up to this point, the Fiesta Bowl had been considered a minor bowl game, or, at best, a mid-major bowl game. However, since the only two unbeaten teams in the nation in 1986 were independents not affiliated with a conference, none of the four "major" bowl games were able to accommodate the matchup; the Cotton Bowl was tied to the Southwest Conference champion, the Rose Bowl had to pit the Big Ten and Pac-10 champs, the Orange Bowl was obligated to take the Big 8 champion, and the Sugar Bowl was always hosted by the Southeastern Conference champion. This left the Fiesta Bowl and Citrus Bowl, which did not have conference tie-ins at the time, to bid for the rights to host the game, which the Fiesta Bowl won.Looney, Douglas S. - College Football....
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