January 1, 1935
Bison Capture First Orange Bowl
Bucknell 26 Miami 0
Bucknell, champion of the smaller Eastern colleges, was the first team invited to the Orange Bowl Classic, which had been called the Palm Festival for the previous two years. The Bison defense held Miami to just four first downs and 28 yards total offense en route to the inaugural 26-0 victory.
January 1, 1936
Catholic Holds Off Late Rally
Catholic 20 Mississippi 19
The second Orange Bowl Classic featured out-of-state schools Catholic University and the University of Mississippi, with Catholic prevailing 20-19.
January 1, 1937
Desperation Pass Upsets Maroons
Duquesne 13 Mississippi St. 12
A desperation 72-yard touchdown pass from tailback Boyd Brumbaugh to Ernie Hefferle spelled an end to Mississippi State’s upset hopes as Duquesne edged the Bulldogs 13-12.
January 1, 1938
Auburn Squeaks by Spartans
Auburn 6 Michigan State 0
In the lowest scoring game in Orange Bowl history, Auburn won 6-0 while Michigan State’s offense sputtered the entire day. The Tigers participated in the Orange Bowl after the Southeastern Conference officials voted 7-6 lifting a ban which forbade SEC teams from playing postseason games in bowls other than the Rose and Sugar Bowls. A sellout crowd of nearly 19,000 attended the game at Miami's brand-new $360,000 Orange Bowl Stadium.
January 1, 1939
Orange Bowl Declared "Major Bowl"
Tennessee 17 Oklahoma 0
A match-up of undefeated Tennessee and Oklahoma propelled the Orange Bowl into the "major bowl" arena in 1939. It took some marketing and public relations moves by the OBC's Earnie Seiler to bring the Sooners to South Florida. Seiler went to Norman and covered the campus with posters of palm trees, beaches and Miami's young women. After a stirring pep talk to the OU squad, the Sooners voted to accept the Orange Bowl offer over more lucrative ones from the Cotton, Rose and Sugar Bowls.