Notre Dame and Florida State will meet for the second time in a bowl game. The first was a 31-26 FSU victory in the 1996 Orange Bowl.
2 Quarterbacks in Notre Dame history who won their first two bowl starts. The first was Joe Montana in the 1978 and 1979 Cotton Bowls against Texas and Houston, respectively, with the former resulting in a national title. The other was Tony Rice in 1989 and 1990 starts against 11-0 teams from West Virginia (Fiesta) and Colorado (Orange), with the former again winning a national championship. Sophomore Tommy Rees will attempt to become the third after helping the Irish past Miami last year in the Sun Bowl.
4 Classes in Notre Dame history that graduated with a 3-0-bowl record. The 1973, 1974, 1975 and 1976 recruiting classes all went 3-0 in bowls, with the Irish opting not to go after the 1975 (8-3 record) and 1979 (7-4) seasons. This year’s seniors — Class of 2012 — are attempting to become the fifth. As freshmen they were in the Hawaii Bowl in 2008 (49-21 win versus Hawaii), did not play in a bowl as sophomores and last year as juniors defeated Miami in the Sun Bowl, 33-17.
No Notre Dame four-year graduating class has ever been 4-0 in bowls.
7-5 Record for Notre Dame when it makes its debut in a bowl, as it will in the Dec. 29 Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando. The Irish won the first time they played in the Rose (1925), Sugar (1973), Gator (1976), Liberty (1983), Fiesta (1989), Hawaii (2008) and Sun (2010), with the Sugar and Fiesta resulting in national titles. Notre Dame lost the first time it competed in the Cotton, (1970), Orange (1973), Aloha (1984), Independence (1997) and Insight (2004).
13 Different bowl games Notre Dame will have played in after the Champs Sports Bowl, its 31st postseason game overall (15-15 record). The Irish have played in the Cotton Bowl seven times (5-2 record). The runner-up for the most bowl games they have played in is the Orange Bowl with five (2-3). Notre Dame also has played four times in the Sugar (2-2) and Fiesta (1-3) and three times in the Gator (1-2).
22 Years the Champs Sports Bowl has been under various names or sponsorships — but the first time it will be sold out when Notre Dame and Florida State play on Dec. 29. Within days of the Dec. 4 announcement of the natchup between the two programs, the listed capacity of 65,438-seat in Orlando, Fla., had sold all its tickets.
30 Consecutive bowl games for Champs Sports Bowl opponent Florida State, the longest active streak in the nation, well ahead of No. 2 Florida (21) and No. 3 Virginia Tech (19). The last time the Seminoles weren’t in a bowl was after a 6-5 season in 1981 — the year they first played the Irish in the regular season and won, 19-13. FSU is a remarkable 21-7-1 during that stretch, highlighted by its amazing 13-0-1 run from 1982-95.
Notre Dame’s longest streak of playing in bowls is the nine years under head coach Lou Holtz from 1987 through 1995.
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