Spectator sports are marked by traditions, like dumping Gatorade on the winning coach and setting the losing coach's Honda on fire. Feel the heat of competition with this GrouponLive deal: for $9, you get one north end-zone general-admission ticket (pictured in red) to see the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl featuring Southern Methodist University and Fresno State at Aloha Stadium on Monday, December 24, at 3 p.m. (up to an $18 value). Gates open at 1:30 p.m, and the will call window opens at 11 a.m.
The 11th annual Sheraton Hawaii Bowl pairs Mountain West champs Fresno State and Conference-USA's Southern Methodist University for a Christmas Eve showdown at Oahu's Aloha Stadium. Stamping their plane ticket to Hawaii on the strength of five consecutive wins to end the regular season, Fresno State will make their 12th bowl appearance in 14 years. Quarterback Derek Carr’s precise passing will lead a Bulldog squad that was the No. 13 scoring offense in the nation, averaging 40.2 points and 488.5 total yards of offense per game. Safety Phillip Thomas has also been named a first-team All-American by CBSSports.com after leading the Fresno State defense and reminding teammates to look both ways before crossing the street.
On the opposite sideline, SMU head coach June Jones will direct the game plan for his school's fourth straight postseason game after a bowl dry spell that lasted nearly 25 years. The team will hang their hopes on the throwing arm of QB Garrett Gilbert and history's tendency to repeat itself, specifically the 2009 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, when the Mustangs trounced Nevada 45–10.