The 1990 Federal Express Orange Bowl was a college footballbowl game that was played on January 1, 1990 as part of the 1989 NCAA Division I-A football season. The 56th edition of the Orange Bowl featured the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and the Colorado Buffaloes. Colorado entered the game undefeated and ranked number one in both polls, while Notre Dame entered the game coming off their only loss of the season to the rival Miami Hurricanes in the final week of the season. Notre Dame would spoil a championship season for the Buffaloes with a 21-6 victory, Colorado's loss allowed Miami to win the National Championship, with Notre Dame finishing number two.
The loss by Colorado opened up the National Championship for Miami, but several analysts/pollsters felt that Notre Dame was also worthy of the title. Notre Dame and Miami had lost one game and Notre Dame had played a much more difficult schedule. However the head to head matchup proved too much to overcome as Miami was voted number one in both polls. Notre Dame would have to settle for number two.