1. Sports

The Holiday Bowl

By

The problem for many so-called “minor” bowl games is that they just don’t ever manage to forge any kind of identity.

Lost amid the rest of the minor-bowl pack, struggling to find or keep a sponsor, many bowl games find that they just can’t break through—can’t ever create any kind of buzz around an event that, at the end of the day, is pretty much a glorified scrimmage.

It’s a common problem in the bowl landscape. But it’s not one the Holiday Bowl has ever had.

For whatever reason, the San Diego-based Holiday Bowl, which has been played at Qualcomm Stadium every year since 1978, has had an identity almost from the very start. It has historically been high-scoring, highly entertaining and, more often than not, downright thrilling. There’s a certain Wild West atmosphere to this bowl game that seems completely fitting its West Coast roots—the game sits in he heart of Pac-12 country (and WAC country, too) and so, perhaps inevitably, has featured a wide-open, pass-happy style of play (the 1980 game between BYU and SMU ended 46-45, with BYU coming out on top) that thrills fans and, more likely than not, drives defensive purists crazy.

Originally founded to pit the champion of the WAC against an at-large opponent, the game in some ways lucked out by hosting WAC champion BYU in its first seven iterations. BYU was in ascendance at the time, and when the Cougars sealed their first-ever national championship with a 24-17 win over Michigan in the 1984 game, the Holiday Bowl was officially on the map. In the years since, as the college football landscape has been rocked by conference realignment and constant bowl shuffling, the game has retained an air of importance that many other bowls would envy.

Currently sponsored by Bridgepoint Education, the game now pits teams from the Big 12 and Pac-12. It is typically played in late December, with the date changing often through the years.

December 22, 1978: Navy 23, BYU 16

December 21, 1979 Indiana, 38 BYU 37

December 19, 1980 BYU 46, SMU 45

December 18, 1981 BYU 38, Washington State 36

December 17, 1982 Ohio State 47, BYU 17

December 23, 1983 BYU 21, Missouri 17

December 21, 1984 BYU 24, Michigan 17

December 22, 1985 Arkansas 18, Arizona State 17

December 30, 1986 Iowa 39, San Diego State 38

December 30, 1987 Iowa 20, Wyoming 19

December 30, 1988 Oklahoma State 62, Wyoming 14

December 29, 1989 Penn State 50, BYU 39

December 29, 1990 Texas A&M 65, BYU 14

December 30, 1991 BYU 13, Iowa 13

December 30, 1992 Hawaii 27, Illinois 17

December 30, 1993 Ohio State 28, BYU 21

December 30, 1994 Michigan 24, Colorado State 14

December 29, 1995 Kansas State 54, Colorado State 21

December 30, 1996 Colorado 33, Washington 21

December 29, 1997 Colorado State 35, Missouri 24

December 30, 1998 Arizona 23, Nebraska 20

December 29, 1999 Kansas State 24, Washington 20

December 29, 2000 Oregon 35, Texas 30

December 28, 2001 Texas 47, Washington 43

December 27, 2002 Kansas State 34, Arizona State 27

December 30, 2003 Washington State 28, Texas 20

December 30, 2004 Texas Tech 45, California 31

December 29, 2005 Oklahoma 17, Oregon 14

December 28, 2006 California 45, Texas A&M 10

December 27, 2007 Texas 52, Arizona State 34

December 30, 2008 Oregon 42, Oklahoma State 31

December 30, 2009 Nebraska 33, Arizona 0

December 30, 2010 Washington 19, Nebraska 7

December 28, 2011 Texas 21, California 10

December 27, 2012 Baylor 49, UCLA 26

  1. About.com
  2. Sports
  3. College Football
  4. Bowl Games
  5. The Holiday Bowl - History of the Holiday Bowl

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.