Texas A&M’s First Orange Bowl

by Travis Normand

As you are likely aware, Texas A&M just won the 2021 Orange Bowl by defeating the University of North Carolina on January 2, 2021. However, while this was A&M’s first Orange Bowl victory, it was A&M’s second Orange Bowl invitation.

The Aggies first played in the Orange Bowl following the 1943 season (on January 1, 1944); but A&M lost to LSU in that game. At the time, the Aggies probably didn’t know it would take them until 2021 to earn a second Orange Bowl invite.

In any event, the 1943 Aggies were affectionately referred to as the “Kiddie Corps.” In 2009, Rusty Burson wrote about the Kiddie Korps, their season, and their Orange Bowl appearance. His article is as follows:

Continue reading

College Football’s Grand Slam (updated)

by Travis Normand

January 4, 2021

Notre Dame was unable to win its second grand slam title as the Irish were defeated by Alabama in the January 1, 2021 Rose Bowl game (played in Arlington, Texas).

However, Alabama (Rose), Oklahoma (Cotton), Ohio State (Sugar), and Texas A&M (Orange) all picked up a bowl victory that counts towards a grand slam title (whether it is their first, next, etc.). See the last table in this post for a full list of teams needing only one more win for a grand slam title.

Continue reading

College Football’s Grand Slam

by Travis Normand

December 23, 2020

Notre Dame has a chance to win another grand slam this 2020-2021 season!

There might be a better name for this, and if I think of one, I will update this post. On the other hand, if you think of one you would like to share, please let me know by posting in the comments below.

Of all the bowl games, there are four that have always been considered as the biggest and best. Those four bowls are the: (1) Rose Bowl; (2) Cotton Bowl; (3) Sugar bowl; and (4) Orange Bowl. Which got me wondering, how many college football programs have won all four of these bowl games?

I did the research and found the answer; and the following is a break-down of those programs that have pulled off what I am calling the “College Football Grand Slam!”

There are nine (9) programs that have won all four of the major bowl games, and have thus won a “College Football Grand Slam.” Those nine programs are: Alabama, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Miami, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, and Texas.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL’S GRAND SLAM WINNERS

SchoolNumber of Grand Slams Won
Alabama4
Georgia2
Georgia Tech1
Miami1
Notre Dame1
Ohio State1
Oklahoma1
Penn State1
Texas2
Continue reading

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 TexAgs.com 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 YouTube.com):

 

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

SEC vs. SEC, No apologies, I loved it!

Travis Normand
January 8, 2018

Final (OT), Alabama 26 and Georgia 23. This post is not a national championship game re-cap, it’s not completely about Nick Saban, and it’s not a 2017 season in review. If anything, it might be a little bit of all of the above, as well as my immediate reaction to the Alabama vs. Georgia championship game. I consider this my farewell message to the 2017 college football season and my contemplations after tonight’s championship game. 

Tonight the Crimson Tide picked up their fifth national championship in nine seasons, their 17th overall (depending on who you ask), and Nick Saban’s sixth (five at Alabama and one at LSU; tie-ing Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant for the most national championships during the poll era, or post 1936).

Over the past week, ever since Alabama won the Sugar Bowl and Georgia won the Rose Bowl, there has been a lot of talk about whether it is “good” for the game of college football to have an all-SEC national championship game. If you know me, you know that I am not the biggest advocate of using a playoff to determine the national champion of college football. This puts me in the minority, as most people favor a playoff. Further, most people grew tired of the old system where “we” selected the national champion (especially under the BCS system where “we” tried to manipulate which teams would get selected to play for a national championship).

Continue reading

Completing the journey

by Travis Normand
September 2, 2017
Updated: September 4, 2017

Today (September 2, 2017) I start the final leg of a journey I started almost 20 years ago. This grand slam, or superfecta, which can no longer be accomplished due to the loss of the Orange Bowl stadium and the non-use of the Cotton Bowl stadium, will be completed tomorrow when I attend the UCLA vs. Texas A&M football game in the original Rose Bowl stadium.

As many of you know, college football has four major bowl games which are traditionally the Sugar, Cotton, Orange, and Rose. Not only are these bowl games, but at one point in time they were all played in stadiums built for that purpose (or in stadiums that were named after the bowl game itself). In other words, the Cotton Bowl game was played in the Cotton Bowl stadium (as was the Orange and Rose Bowl).

The one exception to this rule is the Sugar Bowl game, as that was originally played in Tulane Stadium in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Sugar Bowl game has never had its own stadium (or otherwise stated, there has never been a stadium that was merely built for the purpose of hosting the Sugar Bowl game; and while Tulane Stadium was referred to as the Sugar Bowl, it was never officially named that).

However, when the sun rises over the San Gabriel Mountains on Monday morning, I will finally be able to say that I have seen A&M play in all three original historic bowl venues, as well as in the Sugar Bowl game.

Now, before you get too much further into what I have written, please take note (if you have not done so already), the distinction between the bowl game and the bowl stadium, as they are entirely two separate things. A perfect example is the Cotton Bowl. As you will read, I have seen the Aggies play in the Cotton Bowl game in the original Cotton Bowl stadium. However, for the purposes of this article, what is most important is having seen them play in the original historic stadium. I make this distinction because, for example, I may someday get a chance to see A&M play in an Orange Bowl game, however it will not be played in the original historic stadium as that is gone forever.

Continue reading

Longhorns are through with Alamo Bowl

by Travis Normand

“Don’t get me wrong — I love the Alamo Bowl,” UT defensive back Quandre Diggs said. “But I don’t want to come back here.” (link)

You don’t want to come back? I am sure that Alamo Bowl officials can see to it that you don’t come back.

Of course, after getting drilled 30-7 by the Ducks, I can see why you might not want to come back for more.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 23, 2013

TOURNAMENT OF ROSES® UNVEILS NEW LOGO, TROPHY TO COMMEMORATE 100TH ROSE BOWL GAME

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.

Continue reading

Increase in Bowl Attendance; Viewership Increases and Ratings

Jan. 10, 2013
For Immediate Release
Football Bowl Association (FBA)

More Than Half of All Bowls Show Increase in Attendance

ORLANDO (FBA) – Eighteen of the 35 Football Bowl Association member bowls had increased attendance during this year’s bowl season. Overall, attendance at bowl games fell 2.4 percent this year compared to the same games last year, the Football Bowl Association announced today.

‘We had some great crowds at many bowls across the country, ‘ said Wright Waters, Executive Director of the Football Bowl Association. ‘Historically, the bowls have averaged close to 50,000 fans in attendance, and this year held true to form.’

The largest crowd of the bowl season belonged to the Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO with 93,359 fans in attendance to watch Stanford play Wisconsin. Finishing second in attendance, the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic had the second-largest crowd in the game’s 77-year history, with 87,025 on hand to watch Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M knock off Oklahoma.

Fourteen bowl games had crowds in excess of 50,000 and overall, 1,722,833 college football fans attended bowls this season.

‘If you compare bowl game attendance to other sports, including regular season college football, the stats this year measure up to what we are seeing across the country,’ said Waters. ‘There are lots of factors that affect attendance whether it is the state of the economy, weather or the matchups … many things bowls have control over, and many they don’t.’

For more information about the Football Bowl Association, visit footballbowlassociation.org.

Click here for a printable .pdf version of this release.

Continue reading