The 2016 Fiesta Bowl may not be part of the College Football Playoffs, but the matchup of Number Eight Notre Dame against Number Seven Ohio State is being looked at as the “real” national championship game, after the Buckeyes barely missed out on the Big Ten Championship with a nail-biting 17-13 defeat to Michigan State on November 21.
The miscue by the Buckeyes allowed the Spartans to sneak into the playoff seminfinals in the Number Three position, facing Alabama in the Cotton Bowl on New Year’s Eve. Ohio State at 11-1 gets the Notre Dame Fighting Irish — who finished their season at 10-2 losing only to top-ranked Clemson in October, and in their final game, dropping a squeaker 38-36 at Stanford.
But many college football experts still consider Ohio State, last season’s national champion, the best college football team in the country with Notre Dame not far behind — and looked on by some as a better team than the Fighting Irish squad that played for, and lost, the national championship in the 2012 season, falling to Alabama.
To find out how to watch the Fiesta Bowl — Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Ohio State Buckeyes — live online, see the streaming information in the final paragraph of this article. Kickoff is scheduled for 11 a.m. local time at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, 1 p.m. Eastern Time, 10 a.m. Pacific.
Notre Dame fans can get pumped up for the game with the following video, which gives a behind-the-scenes look at the Irish season that now culminates in a New Year’s Day Fiesta Bowl bid.
For fans of both teams, the Fiesta Bowl may mark the last time for at least a few years that they see their favorite schools play football at the level worthy of a New Year’s Day bowl game, as both Notre Dame and Ohio State will lose several top players, likely to the National Football League draft, following this season.
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For the Buckeyes, 21-year-old All-American defensive end Joey Bosa has already told Coach Urban Meyer that he won’t be back at school for his senior year after declaring himself eligible for the 2016 NFL draft. The move was no surprise coming from the Ohio State star, who is considered a real possibility to go first overall in the draft.
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer says DE Joey Bosa will forego his senior season and enter the NFL draft. pic.twitter.com/lKriobPQDQ
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 31, 2015
Running back Ezekiel Elliot and quarterback Cardale Jones have also said they will enter the NFL draft.
Notre Dame is set to lose linebacker Jaylon Smith and offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley, both of whom are expected to be snapped up by NFL teams in the first round of the draft.
But first, the two teams must get through the New Year’s Day Fiesta Bowl — the first time the two midwestern powers have faced each other since the Fiesta Bowl in 2006. In fact, Notre Dame and Ohio State have played each other just five times in their histories, with Ohio State holding the narrow 3-2 edge.
While Las Vegas oddsmakers have installed Ohio State as a 6 1/2 point favorite going into the Fiesta Bowl game, some experts see a possible emotional letdown for the Buckeyes, who expected to be competing for back-to-back national championships this years, which could open the way for a narrow Notre Dame upset victory.
To watch the Fiesta Bowl New Year’s Day game live online from University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona — the Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Ohio State Buckeyes — use the stream provided by WatchESPN at this link. Fans who do not have credentials to log in to WatchESPN can watch the game via the Sling TV internet package at this link. The package, which includes a variety of channels — including ESPN — costs $20 per month and can be accessed on mobile devices with the Sling TV app as well as on computers and some set-top devices. Sling TV offers a seven-day free trial, so subscribers can choose whether or not to keep the service after they watch the Notre Dame vs. Ohio State Fiesta Bowl game live online.
[Featured Photo By Jeff Gross / Getty Images]