The Citrus Bowl is an annual college football bowl game played at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida. The bowl is operated by Florida Citrus Sports, a non-profit group that also organizes the Camping World Bowl and Florida Classic.
|Vrbo Citrus Bowl|
|Stadium||Camping World Stadium|
|Previous stadiums||Florida Field (1973)|
|Previous locations||Gainesville, Florida (1973)|
|Conference tie-ins||Big Ten, SEC|
|Previous conference tie-ins||OVC (1948–1967)|
|Payout||US$8,224,578 (2019 season)|
Tangerine Bowl (1947–1982)
Florida Citrus Bowl (1983–1993)
CompUSA Florida Citrus Bowl (1994–1999)
Ourhouse.com Florida Citrus Bowl (2000)
Capital One Florida Citrus Bowl (2001–2002)
Capital One Bowl (2003–2014)
Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl (2015–2017)
Citrus Bowl presented by Overton's (2018)
|2018 season matchup|
|Penn State vs. Kentucky (Kentucky 27–24)|
|2019 season matchup|
|Michigan vs. Alabama (January 1, 2020)|
The game was first played as the Tangerine Bowl in 1947 before being renamed as the Florida Citrus Bowl in 1983. When Capital One was the game's title sponsor between 2001 and 2014, the game was referred to simply as the Capital One Bowl from 2003 to 2014. Other previous sponsors include CompUSA (1994–1999), Ourhouse.com (2000), and Buffalo Wild Wings (2015–2017) and Overton's (2018). Presently, it is being sponsored by Vrbo, a vacation rental marketplace, and is known as the Vrbo Citrus Bowl.
Since becoming one of the premier bowls, the Citrus Bowl is typically played at 1 p.m. EST on New Year's Day, immediately before the Rose Bowl, both of which have been televised on ESPN since 2011. When January 1 is a Sunday, the game has been played on January 2 or December 31, to avoid conflicting with the National Football League schedule. As of 2019, at $8.55 million per team, it has the largest payout of all the non-College Football Playoff (CFP) bowls. In nearly every year since 1985, the game has featured two teams ranked in the Top 25.
The game, which began play in 1947, is one of the oldest of the non-CFP bowls, along with the Gator Bowl and Sun Bowl. By 1952, the game was dubbed the "Little Bowl with the Big Heart", because all the proceeds from the game went to charity.
Before 1968, the game featured matchups between schools throughout the South, often featuring the Ohio Valley Conference champion or other small colleges, although a few major colleges did play in the bowl during this early era as well.
In 1968, the Boardwalk Bowl in Atlantic City took over as a regional final, and the Tangerine Bowl became a major college bowl game, featuring teams from the University Division (which became Division I in 1973).
In 2004, the bowl bid to become the fifth BCS game, but was not chosen, primarily due to the stadium's aging condition. In July 2007, the Orange County Commissioners voted in favor of spending $1.1 billion to build the Amway Center for the Orlando Magic, the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, and to upgrade the Citrus Bowl stadium.
Following the 2014 game, Capital One ceased its sponsorship of the bowl, and moved its sponsorship to the Orange Bowl. Buffalo Wild Wings was announced as the new title sponsor of the bowl game in 2014. Buffalo Wild Wings had previously been the title sponsor of what is now the Cactus Bowl. In the offseason of 2017, Buffalo Wild Wings ceased sponsoring the bowl as the search for a new sponsor is ongoing.
The 2016 season game was played on December 31, the first time in 30 years that the game was not played on January 1 or 2nd.
From 1968 through 1975, the bowl featured the Mid-American Conference (MAC) champion against an opponent from the Southern Conference (1968–1971), the Southeastern Conference (SEC) (1973–1974), or an at-large opponent (1972, 1975). MAC teams were 6–2 during those games.
As the major football conferences relaxed restrictions on post-season play in the mid-1970s, the bowl went to a matchup between two at-large teams from major conferences, with one school typically (but not always) from the South.
From the 1987 season through the 1991 season, the bowl featured the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) champion against an at-large opponent. ACC teams were 3–2 during those games.
From the 1992 season through the 2015 season, the bowl featured an SEC vs. Big Ten matchup – the SEC won 14 of those games, while the Big Ten won 10.
During the 1990s, the second-place finisher in the SEC typically went to this bowl. Florida coach Steve Spurrier, speaking to the fact that Tennessee occupied that spot three of four years as Florida finished first, famously quipped "You can't spell 'Citrus' without U-T!"
Currently, the bowl has tie-ins with the SEC and the Big Ten, holding the first selection after the CFP selection process for both conferences. Since the formation of the CFP, the Citrus Bowl has a chance to occasionally host an ACC team, replacing the Big Ten representative. This will happen the years in which the Orange Bowl is not a CFP semi-final game and selects a Big Ten team to match against their ACC team. This happened following the 2016 season, as the Orange Bowl was not a CFP semi-final and invited Michigan of the Big Ten to face Florida State of the ACC; the Citrus Bowl then invited Louisville of the ACC to face LSU of the SEC. The next year, Wisconsin was invited to the Orange Bowl, so the SEC's LSU was pitted against Notre Dame, who received an invite in lieu of an ACC team.
The undefeated 1955 Hillsdale College football team refused an invitation to the game when bowl officials insisted that Hillsdale's four African-American players would not be allowed to play in the game.
The University at Buffalo's first bowl bid was to the Tangerine Bowl in 1958. The Tangerine Bowl Commission hoped that the Orlando High School Athletic Association (OHSAA), which operated the stadium, would waive its rule that prohibited integrated sporting events. When it refused, the team unanimously voted to skip the bowl because its two black players (halfback Willie Evans and end Mike Wilson) would not have been allowed on the field. Buffalo would not be bowl-eligible for another 50 years. During the 2008 season, when the Bulls were on the verge of bowl eligibility, the 1958 team was profiled on ESPN's Outside the Lines. The 2008 team went on to win the Mid-American Conference title, and played in the International Bowl.
In early 1973, construction improvements were planned for the then 17,000-seat Tangerine Bowl stadium to expand to over 51,000 seats. In early summer 1973, however, construction was stalled due to legal concerns, and the improvements were delayed. Late in the 1973 season, Tangerine Bowl President Will Gieger and other officials planned to invite the Miami Redskins and the East Carolina Pirates to Orlando for the game. On November 19, 1973, East Carolina withdrew its interests, and the bowl was left with one at-large bid. In an unexpected and unprecedented move, game officials decided to invite the Florida Gators, and move the game to Florida Field in Gainesville, the Gators' home stadium. The larger stadium would be needed to accommodate the large crowd expected. The move required special permission from the NCAA, and special accommodations were made. Both teams would be headquartered in Orlando for the week, and spend most of their time there, including practices, and would be bused up to Gainesville.
The participants were greeted with an unexpected event, a near-record low temperature of 25 degrees Fahrenheit (-4 degrees Celsius). Despite the home-field advantage, in the game nicknamed the "Transplant Bowl", Miami University (OH), who found the cold much more to its liking, defeated the Gators 16–7. One of the players on the victorious Redskins squad was future Gators coach Ron Zook.
The one-time moving of the game, and the fears of a permanent relocation, rejuvenated the stalled stadium renovations in Orlando. The game returned to Orlando for 1974, and within a couple of years, the expansion project was complete.
The "Capital One Mascot Challenge" (formerly known as the "Capital One National Mascot of the Year") was a contest where fans voted for their favorite college mascot. The contest began in 2002 with the winner being named during the halftime; the winning school was awarded $20,000 towards their mascot program. With the ending of Capital One's sponsorship of the Citrus Bowl, the challenge was moved in 2014 to the Orange Bowl with Capital One's sponsorship of that game.
The most recent Mascot Challenge was held in 2014, and it is unknown if it will resume.
|List of Capital One Mascot Challenge winners|
|2002||Monte||University of Montana|
|2003||Cocky||University of South Carolina|
|2004||Monte||University of Montana|
|2005||Herbie Husker||University of Nebraska–Lincoln|
|2006||Butch T. Cougar||Washington State University|
|2007||Zippy||University of Akron|
|2008||Cy the Cardinal||Iowa State University|
|2009||The Bearcat||University of Cincinnati|
|2010||Big Blue||Old Dominion University|
|2011||Wolfie Jr.||University of Nevada, Reno|
|2012||Raider Red||Texas Tech University|
|2013||Rocky the Bull||University of South Florida|
Rankings are based on the AP Poll prior to the game being played. Italics denote a tie game.
|No.||Season||Date played||Winning team||Losing team||Attnd.||Notes|
|1||1946||January 1, 1947||Catawba||31||Maryville||6||9,000||notes|
|2||1947||January 1, 1948||Catawba||7||Marshall||0||9,000||notes|
|3||1948||January 1, 1949||Murray State 21, Sul Ross State 21||9,000||notes|
|4||1949||January 2, 1950||Saint Vincent||7||Emory & Henry||6||9,500||notes|
|5||1950||January 1, 1951||Morris Harvey||35||Emory & Henry||14||10,000||notes|
|6||1951||January 1, 1952||Stetson||35||Arkansas State||20||12,500||notes|
|7||1952||January 1, 1953||East Texas State||33||Tennessee Tech||0||12,340||notes|
|8||1953||January 1, 1954||Arkansas State 7, East Texas State 7||12,976||notes|
|9||1954||January 1, 1955||Omaha||7||Eastern Kentucky||6||12,759||notes|
|10||1955||January 2, 1956||Juniata 6, Missouri Valley 6||10,000||notes|
|Teams competing from both NCAA College & University divisions|
|11||1956||January 1, 1957||West Texas State||20||Mississippi Southern||13||11,000||notes|
|12||1957||January 1, 1958||East Texas State||10||Mississippi Southern||9||10,500||notes|
|13||1958||December 27, 1958||East Texas State||26||Missouri Valley||7||4,000||notes|
|14||1959||January 1, 1960||Middle Tennessee||21||Presbyterian||12||12,500||notes|
|15||1960||December 30, 1960||The Citadel||27||Tennessee Tech||0||13,000||notes|
|16||1961||December 29, 1961||Lamar||21||Middle Tennessee||14||6,000||notes|
|17||1962||December 22, 1962||Houston||49||Miami (OH)||21||7,500||notes|
|18||1963||December 28, 1963||Western Kentucky||27||Coast Guard||0||7,500||notes|
|NCAA College Division (Small College) East Regional Final|
|19||1964||December 12, 1964||East Carolina||14||Massachusetts||13||8,000||notes|
|20||1965||December 11, 1965||East Carolina||31||Maine||0||8,350||notes|
|21||1966||December 10, 1966||Morgan State||14||West Chester||6||7,138||notes|
|22||1967||December 16, 1967||Tennessee–Martin||25||West Chester||8||5,500||notes|
|NCAA University Division (Major College)|
|23||1968||December 27, 1968||Richmond||49||#15 Ohio||42||16,114||notes|
|24||1969||December 26, 1969||#20 Toledo||56||Davidson||33||16,311||notes|
|25||1970||December 28, 1970||#15 Toledo||40||William & Mary||12||15,664||notes|
|26||1971||December 28, 1971||#14 Toledo||28||Richmond||3||16,750||notes|
|27||1972||December 29, 1972||Tampa||21||Kent State||18||20,062||notes|
|NCAA Division I|
|28||1973||December 22, 1973||#15 Miami (OH)||16||Florida||7||37,234||notes|
|29||1974||December 21, 1974||#15 Miami (OH)||21||Georgia||10||20,246||notes|
|30||1975||December 20, 1975||#12 Miami (OH)||20||South Carolina||7||20,247||notes|
|31||1976||December 18, 1976||#14 Oklahoma State||49||BYU||21||37,812||notes|
|32||1977||December 23, 1977||#19 Florida State||40||Texas Tech||17||44,502||notes|
|NCAA Division I-A|
|33||1978||December 23, 1978||NC State||30||Pittsburgh||17||31,356||notes|
|34||1979||December 22, 1979||LSU||34||Wake Forest||10||38,666||notes|
|35||1980||December 20, 1980||Florida||35||Maryland||20||52,541||notes|
|36||1981||December 19, 1981||Missouri||19||#18 Southern Miss||17||50,045||notes|
|37||1982||December 18, 1982||#18 Auburn||33||Boston College||26||51,296||notes|
|38||1983||December 17, 1983||Tennessee||30||#16 Maryland||23||50,500||notes|
|39||1984||December 22, 1984||Georgia 17, #15 Florida State 17||51,821||notes|
|40||1985||December 28, 1985||#17 Ohio State||10||#9 BYU||7||50,920||notes|
|41||1986||January 1, 1987||#10 Auburn||16||USC||7||51,113||notes|
|42||1987||January 1, 1988||#14 Clemson||35||#20 Penn State||10||53,152||notes|
|43||1988||January 2, 1989||#9 Clemson||13||#10 Oklahoma||6||53,571||notes|
|44||1989||January 1, 1990||#11 Illinois||31||#16 Virginia||21||42,890||notes|
|45||1990||January 1, 1991||#2 Georgia Tech||45||#19 Nebraska||21||73,328||notes|
|46||1991||January 1, 1992||#14 California||37||#13 Clemson||13||64,192||notes|
|47||1992||January 1, 1993||#8 Georgia||21||#15 Ohio State||14||65,861||notes|
|48||1993||January 1, 1994||#13 Penn State||31||#6 Tennessee||13||72,456||notes|
|49||1994||January 2, 1995||#6 Alabama||24||#13 Ohio State||17||71,195||notes|
|50||1995||January 1, 1996||#3 Tennessee||20||#4 Ohio State||14||70,797||notes|
|51||1996||January 1, 1997||#9 Tennessee||48||#11 Northwestern||28||63,467||notes|
|52||1997||January 1, 1998||#6 Florida||21||#11 Penn State||6||70,797||notes|
|53||1998||January 1, 1999||#15 Michigan||45||#11 Arkansas||31||67,584||notes|
|54||1999||January 1, 2000||#9 Michigan State||37||#10 Florida||34||62,011||notes|
|55||2000||January 1, 2001||#17 Michigan||31||#20 Auburn||28||66,928||notes|
|56||2001||January 1, 2002||#8 Tennessee||45||#17 Michigan||17||59,653||notes|
|57||2002||January 1, 2003||#19 Auburn||13||#10 Penn State||9||66,334||notes|
|58||2003||January 1, 2004||#11 Georgia||34||#12 Purdue||27 (OT)||64,565||notes|
|59||2004||January 1, 2005||#11 Iowa||30||#12 LSU||25||70,229||notes|
|60||2005||January 2, 2006||#20 Wisconsin||24||#7 Auburn||10||57,221||notes|
|NCAA Division I FBS|
|61||2006||January 1, 2007||#5 Wisconsin||17||#13 Arkansas||14||60,774||notes|
|62||2007||January 1, 2008||Michigan||41||#12 Florida||35||69,748||notes|
|63||2008||January 1, 2009||#15 Georgia||24||#18 Michigan State||12||59,681||notes|
|64||2009||January 1, 2010||#11 Penn State||19||#15 LSU||17||63,025||notes|
|65||2010||January 1, 2011||#16 Alabama||49||#9 Michigan State||7||61,519||notes|
|66||2011||January 2, 2012||#9 South Carolina||30||#20 Nebraska||13||61,351||notes|
|67||2012||January 1, 2013||#6 Georgia||45||#23 Nebraska||31||59,712||notes|
|68||2013||January 1, 2014||#9 South Carolina||34||#19 Wisconsin||24||56,629||notes|
|69||2014||January 1, 2015||#16 Missouri||33||#25 Minnesota||17||48,624||notes|
|70||2015||January 1, 2016||#14 Michigan||41||#19 Florida||7||63,113||notes|
|71||2016||December 31, 2016||#20 LSU||29||#13 Louisville||9||46,063||notes|
|72||2017||January 1, 2018||#14 Notre Dame||21||#17 LSU||17||57,726||notes|
|73||2018||January 1, 2019||#16 Kentucky||27||#13 Penn State||24||59,167||notes|
|74||2019||January 1, 2020||#9 Alabama vs. #17 Michigan||notes|
Multiple players were recognized in some games – detail, where known, is denoted with B (outstanding back), L (outstanding lineman), O (outstanding offensive player), D (outstanding defensive player), or M (overall MVP) per contemporary newspaper reports.
Three players have been recognized in multiple games; Chuck Ealey of Toledo (1969, 1970, 1971), Brad Cousino of Miami (OH) (1973, 1974), and Anthony Thomas of Michigan (1999, 2001).
Only teams with at least three appearances are listed.
Appearances by conference
Note: this table reflects games played since 1968, when the bowl started hosting major college teams.
Updated through the January 2019 edition (51 games, 102 total appearances).
- Records are based on a team's conference affiliation at the time the game was played.
- For example, Penn State has appeared both as a Big Ten team and as an Independent team.
Note: When there is a tie, the most recent one will be listed.
|Team||Performance vs. Opponent||Year|
|Most points scored (one team)||56, Toledo||1969|
|Most points scored (both teams)||91, Richmond vs. Ohio||1968|
|Most points scored (losing team)||42, Ohio||1968|
|Fewest points scored (winning team)||7, Omaha (tied with 2 others)||1955|
|Fewest points scored (both teams)||7, Catawba vs. Marshall||1948|
|Fewest points allowed||0, East Carolina (tied with 4 others)||1965|
|Largest margin of victory||42, Alabama||2011|
|Fewest yards allowed|
|Fewest rushing yards allowed|
|Fewest passing yards allowed|
|Individual||Record, Player vs. Opponent||Year|
|Long Plays||Record, Player vs. Opponent||Year|
|Miscellaneous||Record, Team vs. Team||Year|
Most editions of the Citrus Bowl have been televised by ABC, who is the current broadcaster. ESPN televised the game in 2011 and 2012, NBC televised it in 1984 and 1985, and Mizlou televised it in 1979 and 1982. Broadcast information for the bowl's early years is incomplete.
- "2019 Bowl Schedule". collegefootballpoll.com. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
- "Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl > Home". buffalowildwingscitrusbowl.com. Archived from the original on 2014-10-23.
- "Bowl Game Payouts are Practically a Small Fortune in College Football". Fan Buzz College and Professional Sports News.
- "Capital One to sponsor Orange Bowl". SI.com. Archived from the original on 2017-12-07.
- Repchak, Matt (21 October 2014). "Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl begins new era for Orlando's New Year's Day game". Florida Citrus Sports. Archived from the original on 21 October 2014. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
- Fuhrmeister, Chris (October 18, 2013). "The 14 best Steve Spurrier quotes of now and then". SB Nation. Archived from the original on March 7, 2017. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
- Whaley, Anson (December 4, 2016). "Sorting out the ACC Bowl slotting mess, Pitt missed good chance to slide into elite bowl game". SB Nation. Archived from the original on March 7, 2017. Retrieved March 6, 2017 – via cardiachill.com.
- "1955 Football Team". hillsdalechargers.com. Archived from the original on January 16, 2017. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
- Cramer, Dick (December 2, 1955). "Better Kind Of Glory". The Michigan Daily. Ann Arbor, Michigan. p. 4. Archived from the original on April 24, 2018. Retrieved March 3, 2017 – via The Michigan Daily Digital Archives.
- "Race Bias Makes Lemon Of Tangerine Bowl Bid". New York Age. New York City. December 6, 1958. Archived from the original on April 24, 2018. Retrieved March 3, 2017 – via newspapers.com.
- Neal, Eric (2008). "All Or Nothing". ESPN. Archived from the original on December 3, 2008. Retrieved November 20, 2008.
- "1958 Buffalo Football". hobbsbrother4. February 18, 2010. Archived from the original on October 27, 2015. Retrieved March 3, 2017 – via YouTube.
- Schmuck, Peter (December 25, 2015). "1966 Morgan State bowl team that broke barriers to be honored". The Baltimore Sun. Archived from the original on March 2, 2017. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
- Clark, Bill (December 22, 1973). "Temp Takes Miami Bounce So Put On The Woolies". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on April 24, 2018. Retrieved March 7, 2017 – via newspapers.com.
- Orlando Sentinel-Star (November 20, 1973); Various articles- Accessed via microfilm 01-03-2007.
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