Re-visiting the 2006 Fiesta Bowl

by Travis Normand
May 8, 2020

If you don’t listen to the “Solid Verbal,” you really should. It is probably the best college football podcast out there. It started back in 2008 and I have never missed an episode.

During this COVID-19 pandemic, the hosts of the Solid Verbal show (Ty and Dan) have been revisiting great games from the recent past. I am a little behind on the show right now, but so far they have covered the 2005 “Bush Push” game between Notre Dame and USC, and I am currently listening to them discuss the 2007 Fiesta Bowl between Oklahoma and Boise State.

While I encourage you to listen to their recent episode about the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, I can’t help but post about it myself.

I remember the 2007 Fiesta Bowl very well, as it was one of the most exciting games I had ever seen (at the time). In fact, during the 2006 season, I was co-hosting a podcast for titled the “Fan Show.” My co-hosts (Brandon and Hunter) and I were recording an episode of the “Fan Show” around bowl season, and towards the end of the show we ran through all the bowl games and gave a quick-pick of who we thought would win.

I remember Hunter was leading that segment and he skipped over the Fiesta Bowl. I called him out for skipping it, and he asked me if we really needed to discuss it. I replied that we did because “I am picking Boise State to win that one out-right!” He scoffed at the idea, and like always, we had some friendly back-and-forth about it. However, a few nights later, when Boise State pulled the upset over Oklahoma, I felt pretty good about my upset pick!

I have the audio from that show saved on a hard drive somewhere, and if I ever find it, I will post it here.

In any event, here is the game in its entirety (hosted on


If you don’t have time for the entire game, here are some highlights from the game:

College Football Playoff Unveils National Championship Trophy

College Football Playoff Trophy

by Travis Normand

Yes, I am analyzing the new national championship trophy.  However, if you have been reading my site and if you know me at all, you know that I have a particular fascination with all things college football trophy related.

  • See the press release Here
  • See the College Football Playoff Trophy info sheet Here
  • See the College Football Playoff’s website Here

So the College Football Playoff unveiled its national championship trophy on July 14, 2014. While I like the new trophy (and I think it will continue to grow on me), it is no where near the trophy that was given out during the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) era (see the AFCA National Championship Trophy).  There is something so simplistic and fantastic about the crystal football that was awarded to the BCS champion, which was not captured in this new trophy.

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BCS Champions – Undefeated (SEC still leads it)

BCS Logo 2012by Travis Normand

Question of the day: How many teams have won the BCS National Championship with an undefeated record?

Answer: Of the 15 BCS Championships (since 1998), 9 have been won by teams with perfect records.

However, if you look at the history of these undefeated teams, it appears as if going undefeated is becoming less and less common.  For example, from 1998 to 2005, every BCS Champion was undefeated, except for the 2003 LSU Tigers (7/8 or 87.5%).  Since 2005, the BCS crown has gone to an undefeated team only twice (2/5 or 40%).

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The College Football Playoff is here

by Travis Normand

If you know me, you know that I am NOT a fan of a playoff in college football.  However, I thought I would at least share the fact that the (now inevitable) playoff has its own website:

Just passing the info along, as always.

[Update] I noticed (at the bottom of the page at that the 2017 semi-final games are set to be played in the Chick-fil-a Bowl and the Fiesta Bowl.  If this is what we can look forward to with a playoff, then go ahead and count me as already bored.


College Football’s National Championship Coming to North Texas

2009 Cotton Bowl Classic

News Release
Wednesday, April 24th, 2013
College Football’s National Championship Coming to North Texas

ARLINGTON, April 24, 2013 — College football’s national championship is returning to North Texas for the first time in 37 years.

It was announced earlier today by the Conference Commissioners meeting in Pasadena, Calif., that the first National Championship game in the new four-team playoff will be played at Cowboys Stadium on Monday, January 12, 2015.

In the new College Football Playoff, the national semi-final games will be played on New Year’s Day, 2015, at the Rose Bowl Game in Pasadena, and at the Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. The two winning teams will advance to Arlington to play for the National Championship.

“We set out to land college football’s biggest game, and I’m thrilled to say that after nearly four decades, the National Championship game is coming back to North Texas,” said Tommy Bain, Chairman of the Stadium Events Organizing Committee. “Securing the first National Championship game as part of the new playoff system is a great honor, but it wouldn’t have been possible without the unwavering support of a dynamic combination of organizations, including the Cowboys Stadium staff, the Jones family and the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic.”

Eight times the National Championship has been won or lost in North Texas, all at the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic, but not since January 2, 1978, when fifth-ranked Notre Dame surprised No. 1 Texas, 38-10. The Irish then vaulted to No. 1 in the final rankings.

“We couldn’t be more excited about bringing college football’s biggest game to Cowboys Stadium, said Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys. “It is an honor and a privilege to have been selected to host the first national championship as part of the new playoff structure. This is a major win for our region. When designing and building Cowboys Stadium, our goal was to create a grand stage for championship events just like this. Rest assured, we all pledge to do everything we can to make sure this game exceeds everyone’s highest expectations.”

In June, 2012, the AT&T Cotton Bowl, the Dallas Cowboys and Cowboys Stadium combined efforts to establish the Stadium Events Organizing Committee. The SEOC is a non-profit entity that will be responsible for supporting the Conference Commissioners and College Football Playoff staff in producing the National Championship game at Cowboys Stadium.

For more:

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AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic to Join the College Football Playoff [Quotes]

News Release
Wednesday, April 24th, 2013
AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic to Join the College Football Playoff

ARLINGTON, April 24, 2013 — The AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic, one of college football’s original New Year’s Day post-season bowls, will once again play its game on the biggest stage. Conference Commissioners announced today that the Classic has been selected to join the new four-team playoff system that will commence after the 2014 regular season.

“This is one of the great days in the 78-year history of the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic,” said Tommy Bain, Chairman of the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic. “Our dream and vision has been to return to the top of the college football landscape. Every decision that we have made, including moving our game to Cowboys Stadium, has been strategically focused on hosting college football’s biggest games. It’s gratifying to see the hard work by so many has brought the Classic back to the highest level.”

In this new format, the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic joins five other bowls that will constitute the new College Football Playoff. These bowls will rotate the two semifinal games as part of a new 12-year cycle. The Classic will host a semifinal game once every three years. The matchup in the other years will be determined by a new selection committee overseen by the conference commissioners.

“The enormous fan support in North Texas has enabled the AT&T Cotton Bowl to produce sellout games on an annual basis and demonstrate to the nation that this area deserves to be a part of the new four-team playoff format,” said Bain. “Of course, we would not be in this position without the outstanding support of AT&T and our great partnership with the Dallas Cowboys and the Jones family for providing us the opportunity to move our game into the finest football stadium in the world.”

The AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic has served as the backdrop of some of college football’s greatest postseason matchups. The first Classic was played in 1937 between TCU and Marquette with the Horned Frogs winning, 16-6. The Cotton Bowl has played host to 12 Heisman winners, including Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel this past January.

“Our ultimate goal has always been to shine the spotlight on the great sport of college football while supporting higher education, and creating memories that will last a lifetime,” Rick Baker, President/CEO of the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic said. “Ever since the Southwest Conference closed its doors nearly two decades ago, so many dedicated people have worked tirelessly to get the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic back to its place as one of college football’s biggest bowls. We are grateful to the commissioners and the Playoff Group for giving us this special opportunity.”

The AT&T Cotton Bowl moved to Cowboys Stadium in 2009 after 73 years at Cotton Bowl Stadium. The Classic has averaged more than 83,000 fans the past five years and has sold out each year at Cowboys Stadium. Last year’s matchup between Texas A&M and Oklahoma drew 87,025 fans, marking the second largest crowd in the game’s history.

The 2014 AT&T Cotton Bowl, scheduled for Friday, Jan. 3rd, marks the final year of the current agreement matching a team from the Southeastern Conference against a team from the Big 12. The new playoff system begins the following year.

For more:

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[Press Release] Tournament of Roses unveils new logo to commemorate 100th Rose Bowl Game

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


PASADENA, Calif. – The Tournament of Roses along with its partners, the Big Ten and Pac-12 Conferences, and the Bowl Championship Series unveiled a series of new programs including a new logo and modifications to the champion’s trophy to commemorate the 100th Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO.

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Texas Aggies are the early preseason No. 1

English: Texas A&M University "aTm" ...

by Travis Normand

You read the headline correctly, the Texas Aggies are considered the No. 1 overall team — in a very early preseason poll — for the 2013 season.

While I personally couldn’t be more excited and flattered by the ranking, I take it with a grain of salt.  Why?  Because there are a lot of reasons for ranking the Aggies number one, however, none of these reasons really matter as it is currently January 16, 2013.

On the other hand, the person that gave A&M the top spot in this early poll is none other than Dennis Dodd (senior college football columnist for  In other words, the number one spot was not given by some “hack” with a blog by the name of  It was given by one of the most well-respected national college football writers.

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Keith Arnold interview on

by Travis Normand

If you love college football and you are not listening to the podcast, you are missing out.

As readers of this blog know, I post random items and thoughts as I find them.  This means I post a lot of stuff that is anything but “timely.”  As it works out, I tend to find things later than most, which means I post about them later as well.  However, this isn’t always a bad thing.

For example, Ty and Dan (co-hosts of interviewed Keith Arnold of the blog “Inside the Irish” on January 4, 2013.  Had I listened to the interview that very same day, I may not have found it as interesting as I did.  Instead, I listened to the interview today (Jan. 14), a week after the national title game.

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Perspective on Bowls vs Playoff

BCS Logo 2012by Travis Normand

If you have been following my blog for any period of time, you know that I am anti-playoff (for college football).  I have many reasons for this, but that is for another post.  In fact, now that I think of it, I have mentioned that I am anti-playoff before but I don’t believe I have ever made a comprehensive post that details my reasoning behind it.  I should do that soon.

With the 2012 season officially over, we are one step closer to the first college football playoff. While the playoff discussion/debate has changed a little (it is now more about “what is the best playoff format,” instead of “whether or not we should have a playoff at all”), I still think the debate over whether or not to have a playoff is one worth having.  After all, we don’t have it yet and anything can change.

Anyway, whenever I find an article containing an interesting perspective or thought process to the “playoff debate,” I try to share it here.   So, when I found this article on, I couldn’t wait to share it.

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