Did You Know ...?
BOSTON — * The Fiesta Bowl Parade annually attracts 400,000 street spectators, making it Arizona's largest one-day event. (The Rose Bowl Parade attracts about 1 million spectators.)
* The Poulan/Weed Eater Independence Bowl is the only bowl game named after a piece of lawn-care equipment.
* The 1987 national championship game played at the Fiesta Bowl between Penn State and Miami remains the most-watched college football game. A national television audience of 70 million watched the historic game.
* This year's Orange Bowl half-time extravaganza is called "Country Stars and Stripes" and stars "The Mavericks."
* The Outback Bowl, formerly Hall of Fame Bowl, is named after a steakhouse chain.
* The first night game in Orange Bowl history was played in 1965, when coach Bear Bryant's No. 1-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide, led by quarterback Joe Namath, was upset by Texas, 21-17.
* In l902, the Tournament of Roses Association decided to beef up the day's activities with a football game. Trailing Michigan 49-0 in the third quarter, the Stanford team gave up. The lopsided score prompted the tournament to give up football in favor of Roman-style chariot races until 1916.
* The Fiesta Bowl pits Michigan, whose 767 total wins are the most by any Division I college football team, against Alabama, which has won 712 games itself. The Crimson Tide will also be making a record 48th bowl appearance.
* Where's Notre Dame? The Fighting Irish (8-3) chose not to participate in a bowl after a loss in its last game against Southern California that knocked it out of the alliance-bowl picture.
* We wuz robbed: Wyoming had a fine season (10-2) and has an exciting offense led by All-American wide receiver Marcus Harris. But the team wasn't chosen to play in a bowl. Wyoming plays in the lightly regarded Western Athletic Conference, which apparently influenced bowl officials.
* Deja vu, Part 2: This year's Sugar Bowl rematch of Florida and Florida State is reminiscent of 1994. That year the two teams tied 31-31 in November, only to meet again in the Sugar Bowl Jan. 2. Florida State won that showdown, 23-17.
* By the numbers: Florida's Danny Weurffel is the first quarterback to exceed a passing-efficiency rating of 170 in consecutive seasons. The rating system takes into account total yards, yards gained per passing attempt, interceptions, and touchdown passes.