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 (Alabama 35–16)|
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). Currently, 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[update], 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 2014 season was also the last time that the contest was held.
|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.||Date played||Game name||Winning team||Losing team||Attnd.|
|1||January 1, 1947||Tangerine Bowl||Catawba||31||Maryville||6||9,000|
|2||January 1, 1948||Tangerine Bowl||Catawba||7||Marshall||0||9,000|
|3||January 1, 1949||Tangerine Bowl||Murray State 21, Sul Ross State 21||9,000|
|4||January 2, 1950||Tangerine Bowl||Saint Vincent||7||Emory & Henry||6||9,500|
|5||January 1, 1951||Tangerine Bowl||Morris Harvey||35||Emory & Henry||14||10,000|
|6||January 1, 1952||Tangerine Bowl||Stetson||35||Arkansas State||20||12,500|
|7||January 1, 1953||Tangerine Bowl||East Texas State||33||Tennessee Tech||0||12,340|
|8||January 1, 1954||Tangerine Bowl||Arkansas State 7, East Texas State 7||12,976|
|9||January 1, 1955||Tangerine Bowl||Omaha||7||Eastern Kentucky||6||12,759|
|10||January 2, 1956||Tangerine Bowl||Juniata 6, Missouri Valley 6||10,000|
|Teams competing from both NCAA College & University divisions|
|11||January 1, 1957||Tangerine Bowl||West Texas State||20||Mississippi Southern||13||11,000|
|12||January 1, 1958||Tangerine Bowl||East Texas State||10||Mississippi Southern||9||10,500|
|13||December 27, 1958||Tangerine Bowl||East Texas State||26||Missouri Valley||7||4,000|
|14||January 1, 1960||Tangerine Bowl||Middle Tennessee||21||Presbyterian||12||12,500|
|15||December 30, 1960||Tangerine Bowl||The Citadel||27||Tennessee Tech||0||13,000|
|16||December 29, 1961||Tangerine Bowl||Lamar||21||Middle Tennessee||14||6,000|
|17||December 22, 1962||Tangerine Bowl||Houston||49||Miami (OH)||21||7,500|
|18||December 28, 1963||Tangerine Bowl||Western Kentucky||27||Coast Guard||0||7,500|
|NCAA College Division (Small College) East Regional Final|
|19||December 12, 1964||Tangerine Bowl||East Carolina||14||Massachusetts||13||8,000|
|20||December 11, 1965||Tangerine Bowl||East Carolina||31||Maine||0||8,350|
|21||December 10, 1966||Tangerine Bowl||Morgan State||14||West Chester||6||7,138|
|22||December 16, 1967||Tangerine Bowl||Tennessee–Martin||25||West Chester||8||5,500|
|NCAA University Division (Major College)|
|23||December 27, 1968||Tangerine Bowl||Richmond||49||#15 Ohio||42||16,114|
|24||December 26, 1969||Tangerine Bowl||#20 Toledo||56||Davidson||33||16,311|
|25||December 28, 1970||Tangerine Bowl||#15 Toledo||40||William & Mary||12||15,664|
|26||December 28, 1971||Tangerine Bowl||#14 Toledo||28||Richmond||3||16,750|
|27||December 29, 1972||Tangerine Bowl||Tampa||21||Kent State||18||20,062|
|NCAA Division I|
|28||December 22, 1973||Tangerine Bowl||#15 Miami (OH)||16||Florida||7||37,234|
|29||December 21, 1974||Tangerine Bowl||#15 Miami (OH)||21||Georgia||10||20,246|
|30||December 20, 1975||Tangerine Bowl||#12 Miami (OH)||20||South Carolina||7||20,247|
|31||December 18, 1976||Tangerine Bowl||#14 Oklahoma State||49||BYU||21||37,812|
|32||December 23, 1977||Tangerine Bowl||#19 Florida State||40||Texas Tech||17||44,502|
|NCAA Division I-A|
|33||December 23, 1978||Tangerine Bowl||NC State||30||Pittsburgh||17||31,356|
|34||December 22, 1979||Tangerine Bowl||LSU||34||Wake Forest||10||38,666|
|35||December 20, 1980||Tangerine Bowl||Florida||35||Maryland||20||52,541|
|36||December 19, 1981||Tangerine Bowl||Missouri||19||#18 Southern Miss||17||50,045|
|37||December 18, 1982||Tangerine Bowl||#18 Auburn||33||Boston College||26||51,296|
|38||December 17, 1983||Florida Citrus Bowl||Tennessee||30||#16 Maryland||23||50,500|
|39||December 22, 1984||Florida Citrus Bowl||Georgia 17, #15 Florida State 17||51,821|
|40||December 28, 1985||Florida Citrus Bowl||#17 Ohio State||10||#9 BYU||7||50,920|
|41||January 1, 1987||Florida Citrus Bowl||#10 Auburn||16||USC||7||51,113|
|42||January 1, 1988||Florida Citrus Bowl||#14 Clemson||35||#20 Penn State||10||53,152|
|43||January 2, 1989||Florida Citrus Bowl||#9 Clemson||13||#10 Oklahoma||6||53,571|
|44||January 1, 1990||Florida Citrus Bowl||#11 Illinois||31||#16 Virginia||21||42,890|
|45||January 1, 1991||Florida Citrus Bowl||#2 Georgia Tech||45||#19 Nebraska||21||73,328|
|46||January 1, 1992||Florida Citrus Bowl||#14 California||37||#13 Clemson||13||64,192|
|47||January 1, 1993||Florida Citrus Bowl||#8 Georgia||21||#15 Ohio State||14||65,861|
|48||January 1, 1994||Florida Citrus Bowl||#13 Penn State||31||#6 Tennessee||13||72,456|
|49||January 2, 1995||Florida Citrus Bowl||#6 Alabama||24||#13 Ohio State||17||71,195|
|50||January 1, 1996||Florida Citrus Bowl||#3 Tennessee||20||#4 Ohio State||14||70,797|
|51||January 1, 1997||Florida Citrus Bowl||#9 Tennessee||48||#11 Northwestern||28||63,467|
|52||January 1, 1998||Florida Citrus Bowl||#6 Florida||21||#11 Penn State||6||70,797|
|53||January 1, 1999||Florida Citrus Bowl||#15 Michigan||45||#11 Arkansas||31||67,584|
|54||January 1, 2000||Florida Citrus Bowl||#9 Michigan State||37||#10 Florida||34||62,011|
|55||January 1, 2001||Florida Citrus Bowl||#17 Michigan||31||#20 Auburn||28||66,928|
|56||January 1, 2002||Florida Citrus Bowl||#8 Tennessee||45||#17 Michigan||17||59,653|
|57||January 1, 2003||Capital One Bowl||#19 Auburn||13||#10 Penn State||9||66,334|
|58||January 1, 2004||Capital One Bowl||#11 Georgia||34||#12 Purdue||27 (OT)||64,565|
|59||January 1, 2005||Capital One Bowl||#11 Iowa||30||#12 LSU||25||70,229|
|60||January 2, 2006||Capital One Bowl||#20 Wisconsin||24||#7 Auburn||10||57,221|
|NCAA Division I FBS|
|61||January 1, 2007||Capital One Bowl||#5 Wisconsin||17||#13 Arkansas||14||60,774|
|62||January 1, 2008||Capital One Bowl||Michigan||41||#12 Florida||35||69,748|
|63||January 1, 2009||Capital One Bowl||#15 Georgia||24||#18 Michigan State||12||59,681|
|64||January 1, 2010||Capital One Bowl||#11 Penn State||19||#15 LSU||17||63,025|
|65||January 1, 2011||Capital One Bowl||#16 Alabama||49||#9 Michigan State||7||61,519|
|66||January 2, 2012||Capital One Bowl||#9 South Carolina||30||#20 Nebraska||13||61,351|
|67||January 1, 2013||Capital One Bowl||#6 Georgia||45||#23 Nebraska||31||59,712|
|68||January 1, 2014||Capital One Bowl||#9 South Carolina||34||#19 Wisconsin||24||56,629|
|69||January 1, 2015||Citrus Bowl||#16 Missouri||33||#25 Minnesota||17||48,624|
|70||January 1, 2016||Citrus Bowl||#14 Michigan||41||#19 Florida||7||63,113|
|71||December 31, 2016||Citrus Bowl||#20 LSU||29||#13 Louisville||9||46,063|
|72||January 1, 2018||Citrus Bowl||#14 Notre Dame||21||#17 LSU||17||57,726|
|73||January 1, 2019||Citrus Bowl||#16 Kentucky||27||#13 Penn State||24||59,167|
|74||January 1, 2020||Citrus Bowl||#9 Alabama||35||#17 Michigan||16||59,746|
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.
Includes two Southern Miss appearances under their former name, Mississippi Southern.
Appearances by conferenceEdit
Note: this table reflects games played since 1968, when the bowl started hosting major college teams.
Updated through the January 2020 edition (52 games, 104 total appearances).
|Conference||Record||Appearances by season|
|SEC||36||22||13||1||.625||1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1986*, 1992*, 1994*, 1995*, 1996*, 1997*, 2001*, 2002*, 2003*, 2008*, 2010*, 2011*, 2012*, 2013*, 2014*, 2016, 2018*, 2019*||1973, 1974, 1993*, 1998*, 1999*, 2000*, 2004*, 2005*, 2006*, 2007*, 2009*, 2015*, 2017*||1984|
|Big Ten||28||12||16||0||.429||1985, 1989*, 1993*, 1998*, 1999*, 2000*, 2004*, 2005*, 2006*, 2007*, 2009*, 2015*||1992*, 1994*, 1995*, 1996*, 1997*, 2001*, 2002*, 2003*, 2008*, 2010*, 2011*, 2012*, 2013*, 2014*, 2018*, 2019*|
|ACC||10||4||6||0||.400||1978, 1987*, 1988*, 1990*||1979, 1980, 1983, 1989*, 1991*, 2016|
|Independents||9||3||5||1||.389||1972, 1977, 2017*||1975, 1978, 1981, 1982, 1987*||1984|
|MAC||8||6||2||0||.750||1969, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1975||1968, 1972|
|Big Eight||4||2||2||0||.500||1976, 1981||1988*, 1990*|
|SoCon||4||1||3||0||.250||1968||1969, 1970, 1971|
- Games marked with an asterisk (*) were played in January of the following calendar year.
- 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.
- Conferences that are defunct or not currently active in FBS are marked in italics.
- Independent appearances: Boston College (1982), Florida State (1977, 1984), Notre Dame (2017*), Penn State (1987*), Pittsburgh (1978), South Carolina (1975), Southern Miss (1981), and Tampa (1972).
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|
The bowl has been broadcast by Mizlou (1976–1983), NBC (1984–1985), and ABC since then, with the exception of ESPN for the 2011 and 2012 editions. Broadcast information for earlier editions of the bowl is lacking.
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