The 1987 Fiesta Bowl was a college football bowl game that served as the final game of the 1986 NCAA Division I-A football season. The game was the 16th edition of the Fiesta Bowl, played annually since 1971 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.
This particular Fiesta Bowl was played on January 2, 1987 and pitted the #1 Miami Hurricanes against the #2 Penn State Nittany Lions, with the national championship going to the winner. Due to this implication, the organizers of the Fiesta Bowl — which, since it established itself as a January bowl, had been played in the afternoon — agreed to push the game back one day from its usual January 1 date.
The game was carried by NBC, per their contract to carry the Fiesta Bowl, and was the most watched college football game in history to that point (and remains the most watched college football game in history as of 2013). The ratings record is one that may never be broken, considering college football ratings have dropped since the major postseason games switched to pay television in 2011.