Is Liberty capable of achieving the biggest upset in recent Fiesta Bowl history?

Can Liberty Pull Off Biggest Upset In Recent Fiesta Bowl History?
Fact Checked by Young Ruth

The upcoming Fiesta Bowl matchup at Glendale’s State Farm Stadium between Liberty and Oregon has the potential to be a historic game.

Lynchburg’s team, the Conference USA champions, are the ultimate underdogs in a game, reminiscent of when the UCF Knights shocked everyone by defeating the favored Baylor Bears in 2014. Despite being 17-point underdogs, the Knights pulled off a 52-42 victory, ending the season with a 12-1 record under coach George O’Leary.

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Fast forward a decade and Liberty is once again in a familiar situation in Jamey Chadwell’s first year as head coach. The team is gearing up for the Fiesta Bowl with an impressive 13-0 record, poised to demonstrate their skills on a national stage.

If the Flames can achieve an upset, they will do so as a 17.5-point underdog with a +550 moneyline at ESPN BET Arizona. In preparation for the Jan. 1 game on ESPN, reviewed the most notable upsets in the Fiesta Bowl since 2006.

Biggest Upsets in the Fiesta Bowl Since 2006

Year Spread Result
2013Baylor -17UCF 52, Baylor 42
2022Michigan -9TCU 51, Michigan 45
2007Oklahoma -8West Virginia 48, Oklahoma 28
2009TCU -7Boise State 17, TCU 10
2006Oklahoma -7Boise State 43, Oklahoma 42, OT

This year, the Fiesta Bowl will not be hosting the College Football Playoff semifinals as it did last year. According to Arizona betting apps, Michigan is a slight favorite over Alabama with odds of +185 and +200, respectively. In the other semifinal, Texas is favored by 4.5 points over Washington with odds of -190 and +160.

Liberty has the potential to become one of the all-time Cinderellas in the Fiesta Bowl.

The Flames have an opportunity to leave their mark on Fiesta Bowl history by potentially matching the Knights’ success. The Arizona bowl game is known for unexpected upsets, as seen in TCU’s victory over Michigan in last year’s CFP semifinal. Despite being 9-point underdogs, TCU managed to pull off a thrilling 51-45 win on game day.

Between 2006 and 2009, there were three surprising victories by teams that were underdogs by seven points or more. One of these upsets occurred in 2007 when West Virginia defeated Oklahoma 48-28, despite being an eight-point underdog.

Boise State made a name for themselves with two memorable upsets at the Fiesta Bowl, defeating TCU in 2009 and Oklahoma in 2006. Oregon and Liberty have never played each other in football. Arizona sportsbooks have set the over/under for their game at 66.5 total points.



Peterson Christopher

Peterson Christopher, who has dedicated over seven years to covering sports and sports betting in Arizona for outlets like, the Tucson Weekly, and the Green Valley News, now holds the position of lead writer at

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