Did you know that three of the last five Super Bowl upsets were preceded by an upset in a major college bowl game played on the same field?
Included in the number are two Super Bowl upsets played in a venue where a college bowl didn’t occur that season: 2011-12 (XLVI) and 2013-14 (XLVIII).
That means that all three of the last three Super Bowls that shared a common field with what was once referred to as a “BCS” bowl game (Fiesta, Orange, Rose and Sugar) resulted in the underdog winning both games, just days apart from each other.
Whether it’s a freaky coincidence or a magical process where one upset prepares the playing field for another, the results are crystal clear.
Take a look at the last five Super Bowl upsets:
Met-Life Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
No 2013-14 College Bowl Game at Met-Life Stadium.
Super Bowl XLVIII – Feb. 2, 2014: 2.5-point underdog Seattle upsets Denver 43-8.
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, La.
Sugar Bowl – Jan. 2, 2013: 14-point underdog Louisville upsets Florida 34-31.
Super Bowl XLVII – Feb. 3, 2013: 4.5-point underdog Baltimore upsets San Francisco 34-31.
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Ind.
No 2011-12 College Bowl Game at Lucas Oil Stadium
Super Bowl XLVI – Feb. 5, 2012: 2.5-point underdog N.Y. Giants upset New England 21-17.
Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens, Fla.
Orange Bowl – Jan. 5, 2010: 4-point underdog Iowa upsets Georgia Tech 24-14.
Super Bowl XLIV – Feb. 7, 2010: 5-point underdog New Orleans upsets Indianapolis 31-17.
University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.
Fiesta Bowl – Jan. 2, 2008: 7-point underdog West Virginia upsets Oklahoma 48-28.
Super Bowl XLII – Feb. 3, 2008: 12-point underdog N.Y. Giants upset New England 17-14.
This gives brand-new meaning to 3-point underdog No. 20 Boise State’s 38-30 upset win over No. 10 Arizona in this year’s Fiesta Bowl, played on Dec. 31, 2014 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.
It’s the same venue as this year’s Super Bowl, on Feb. 1, where the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots will clash for all of the NFL marbles.
Other notable shared-field upsets include the 1969-70 Sugar Bowl, when No. 13 Ole Miss upset No. 3 Arkansas 27-22 in Tulane Stadium in New Orleans. Ten-days later, 12-point underdog Kansas City pounded Minnesota 23-7 on the same field in Super Bowl IV.
Then there was the 2001-02 Sugar Bowl, when No. 12 LSU upended No. 7 Illinois 47-34 in the Superdome. A month later, 14-point underdog St. Louis edged New England 20-17 on the same field in Super Bowl XXXVI.
Given the ever-shifting line for this Sunday’s Super Bowl—Odds Shark currently has New England as a one-point favorite—we may not know until game time who the actual underdog is.
Either way, the team that is favored, even slightly, may be in peril of becoming the fourth recent Super Bowl favorite to share an upset loss with a college football team. In this case that team would be Arizona.
Historic odds courtesy of Vegas Insider.