What Are the 4 Major College Football Bowls?

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The big college football bowls provide us with some exciting moments as we watch the NFL stars of the future perform, but which are the biggest bowls to look out for? 

These games are among the highlights of the season and often provide memorable occasions. So what do you need to know about the main ones?

The Rose Bowl

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Commonly known as The Granddaddy of Them All, this is the oldest and most famous of the bowl games still being played. It takes place on New Year’s Day, but it sometimes gets moved to the next day if January 1 falls on a Sunday. The Rose Bowl has been going for over a century, with the first one played back in 1902.

One of the reasons for believing that this is the biggest bowl game is that it gets the highest attendance. Teams play for the Leishman Trophy and it usually features the Big Ten and Pac-12 conference winners battling it out. However, it has also been used in the College Football Playoffs for some years.

The setting is the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, and the capacity of over 92,000 spectators means that it generates an electric atmosphere in the planet’s 16th biggest stadium. 2022 saw an incredible game where the Ohio State Buckeyes beat the Utah Utes 48-45. In terms of the most legendary Rose Bowls, it’s hard to beat the 2006 event where the Texas Longhorns beat the USC Trojans by 41 to 38.

The latest college football odds let us see who the favorites are in each of the college football conferences. As we look forward to a new season, Clemson, NC State, Boston College, and Syracuse are among the hotly-tipped teams in each division. Each of them will be trying their best to get to one of the New Year’s Six bowls to try and earn the title of the country’s best college team.  

The Sugar Bowl

New Orleans, Louisiana is the setting for the annual Sugar Bowl game each New Year. The history of this event goes back to 1935, which means that it’s second only to the Rose Bowl in history and prestige. It moved to the current location of the Louisiana Superdome in the 1970s and has traditionally been dominated by teams from the Southeastern Conference.

This is one of the New Year’s Six bowls that help us to try and work out who the best college football team is each season.  As well as offering the Sugar Bowl trophy, it’s also been used as a playoff, with this role now rotating between the main bowls. Alabama has the most appearances, with a 9-7 record in their 16 Sugar Bowls to date making them the most frequent winner too.

The 2022 game attracted a crowd of over 66,000 to see the Baylor Bears against the Ole Miss Rebels. Both had completed 10-2 records in their respective conferences, to set this up as the chance to see who was the overall best team from the Big 12 and the SEC. In the end, the Bears won by 21 to 7.

The Orange Bowl

Given that the Orange Bowl also dates back to 1935, there is some debate over where it or the Sugar Bowl is the second-oldest of the bowls. The Sun Bowl also started that year, as the trend for playing bowls games between the teams from different leagues or parts of the country took hold. This event is held in Miami and is now played at the Hard Rock Stadium.

During the early years, the Orange Bowl was a game between various conference winners, before it started to focus more on the Big Eight Conference winners playing against other teams from across the country. Oklahoma has had the most appearances here, with 20 games. Their 12-8 record also makes them the most successful Orange Bowl team, ahead of Nebraska with their 8-9 record. Home team Miami sits in third place with a 6-4 record, and Florida State has gone 5-5.  

As the last version took place on December 31 rather than New Year’s Day, it was called the 2021 Orange Bowl. The Georgia Bulldogs came into it with a 21-1 record, the same as their rivals the Michigan Wolverines. In the end, the Bulldogs ran out 34-11 winners after taking the lead early in a strong start.   

The Fiesta Bowl

The Fiesta Bowl, held annually in Phoenix, is the 4th bowl game on our list, meaning that we’ve left out the Cotton Bowl and the Peach Bowl. With a history going back to 1971, the Fiesta Bowl is more recent than the others we’ve looked at but has provided some great moments in that time.

This game gets played at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale. January 1, 2022 was the date of the last game, as the Oklahoma State Cowboys defeated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 37-35. Interestingly, these teams had never played each other before, and this first meeting went right to the wire.

-In collaboration with Fortis Media

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