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Liberty Bowl

The Liberty Bowl is the eighth-oldest college football bowl, first played in 1959 in Philadelphia, the home of the Liberty Bell.

In its early days the Liberty Bowl was played in cold conditions, in front of small crowds. For those reasons, in 1964 the Liberty Bowl became the first major college bowl to be played indoors, at the Convention Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Utah beat West Virginia 32-6. The following year the Liberty Bowl moved to Memphis, Tennessee and the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, where it’s been played ever since, often on New Year’s Eve. 

These days the Liberty Bowl matches the SEC against the Big 12. Recent Liberty Bowls are trending high-scoring; from 2011 to 2016, six Liberty Bowls averaged a shade under 60 points, going 5-1 on the OVER. 

Penn State won the first two Liberty Bowls, beating a Bear Bryant Alabama squad 7-0 and Oregon 41-12. Bryant eventually coached the Crimson Tide in three more Liberty Bowls, including his last game, a 21-15 victory over Illinois in 1982.

In 1962 Oregon State quarterback Terry Baker, the Heisman Trophy winner that year, scored the only touchdown of the game on a 99-yard run, giving his Beavers a 6-0 Liberty Bowl victory over Villanova. In 1971 Tennessee made its first appearance in its home-state bowl, beating Arkansas 14-13. The Volunteers returned to the Liberty Bowl three years later and defeated Maryland 7-3, and they beat Minnesota in the 1986 game 21-14. But Tennessee has not been back to the Liberty Bowl since.

In 1983 Notre Dame made its only Liberty Bowl appearance, beating a Doug Flutie-led Boston College outfit 19-18. Flutie won the Heisman the following season.

Air Force did a four-year stint at the Liberty Bowl from 1989 to 1992, losing to Ole Miss, beating Ohio State and Mississippi State, then losing to Ole Miss again. And in 2007 Mississippi State defeated Central Florida 10-3 in front of a Liberty Bowl-record crowd of nearly 64,000.

Over the years Miami, Auburn, Virginia Tech, USC, Texas A&M, Nebraska, LSU, Georgia, Michigan State and Stanford, among many college football powers, have all played in the Liberty Bowl.

This season’s Liberty Bowl will see the Iowa State Cyclones take on the Memphis Tigers. The Cyclones were a great team to back during the regular season, as they went 8-2-2 ATS, including 5-1 ATS on the road. Memphis is no slouch either, as the Tigers have covered the spread in five of their last six games. Check out our Iowa State vs Memphis betting preview here.

For updated lines and great Props for all Bowl games head over to Bovada today.

Liberty Bowl History
YearBowlTeamScoreTeamScoreSpreadATS WinnerSU Winner
1995Liberty BowlStanford13East Carolina19+3E.CARE.CAR
1996Liberty BowlSyracuse30Houston17+16HOUSTOSYRACU
1997Liberty BowlPittsburgh7Southern Miss41-10S.MISSS.MISS
1998Liberty BowlBYU27Tulane41-7TULANETULANE
1999Liberty BowlColorado State17Southern Miss23-6.5COLOSTS.MISS
2000Liberty BowlColorado State22Louisville17+1.5COLOSTCOLOST
2001Liberty BowlBYU10Louisville28-2.5LOUISVLOUISV
2002Liberty BowlColorado State3TCU17+3TCUTCU
2003Liberty BowlUtah17Southern Miss0+2UTAHUTAH
2004Liberty BowlBoise State40Louisville44-9.5BOISELOUISV
2005Liberty BowlTulsa31Fresno State24-7.5TULSATULSA
2006Liberty BowlHouston36South Carolina44-5S.CAROS.CARO
2007Liberty BowlCentral Florida3Mississippi State10+3MISS STMISS ST
2008Liberty BowlEast Carolina19Kentucky25+3KENTUCKENTUC
2009Liberty BowlArkansas20East Carolina17+7.5E.CARARK
2010Liberty BowlCentral Florida10Georgia6-6UCFUCF
2011Liberty BowlCincinnati31Vanderbilt24-2CINCINCINCIN
2012Liberty BowlTulsa31Iowa State17+2.5TULSATULSA
2013Liberty BowlMississippi State44Rice7+7MISS STMISS ST
2014Liberty BowlWest Virginia37Texas A&M45+3.5Texas A&MTexas A&M
2015Liberty BowlKansas State23Arkansas45-13.5ArkansasArkansas
2016Liberty BowlGeorgia31TCU23-3GeorgiaGeorgia
2017Liberty BowlIowa State-Memphis-   

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