Much speculation took place that Notre Dame would play the Texas Longhorns in the same bowl, but alas, here we are. The Fighting Irish will face head coach Matt Campbell’s Cyclones for the first time ever.
The Fighting Irish last played in this bowl in 2011, when it was the Champs Sports Bowl, losing to the Florida State Seminoles 18-14. Here’s a bit of fun trivia: that game had the second highest attendance of any iteration of this bowl, behind the inaugural Blockbuster Bowl of 1990. That game between Penn State and Florida State hosted 74,021 fans. The 2011 game between the Irish and Seminoles had an attendance of 68,305. It will be interesting to see how many Irish and Cyclone fans head to Orlando for the uh... Camping World Bowl experience.
Understandably, Notre Dame fans are not excited to play the underachieving Cyclones. Iowa State began the season as a ranked team, but finished at 7-5. They tied for third in the Big 12. Iowa State’s biggest win of the season was a two-point victory over the aforementioned Texas Longhorns, but they’ve also suffered losses to Iowa, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Baylor, and Kansas State.
The last time Notre Dame played a bowl game in this same stadium, they defeated LSU. I won’t mention the other bowl game in Orlando that took place. Stay tuned to One Foot Down for more coverage of bowl season and the Notre Dame Football season wrap-up, and be sure to leave your thoughts on this match-up in the comments!