Russell Athletic Bowl

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Russell Athletic Bowl
Russell Athletic Bowl.jpg
Russell Athletic Bowl logo
Stadium Orlando Citrus Bowl Stadium
Location Orlando, Florida
Previous stadiums Joe Robbie Stadium/Pro Player Stadium (1990–2000)
Previous locations Miami Gardens, Florida (1990–2000)
Operated 1990-present
Conference tie-ins ACC, Big 12
Payout US$2,325,000 (As of 2011)[1]
Blockbuster (1990–1993)
Carquest (1994–1997)
MicronPC (1998–2000)
Florida Tourism (2001)
Mazda (2002–2003)
Champs Sports (2004–2011)
Russell Athletic (2012–present)
Former names
Sunshine Classic (1990, working title)
Blockbuster Bowl (1990–1993)
Carquest Bowl (1994–1997)
MicronPC Bowl (1998) Bowl (1999–2000)
Visit Florida Tangerine Bowl (2001)
Mazda Tangerine Bowl (2002–2003)
Champs Sports Bowl (2004–2011)
2013 matchup
Louisville vs. Miami (Florida) (Louisville 36-9)
2014 matchup
Oklahoma vs. Clemson (Dec 29, 2014)

The Russell Athletic Bowl is an annual college football bowl game that is played in Orlando, Florida, at the Orlando Citrus Bowl Stadium. The bowl is operated by Florida Citrus Sports, a non-profit group which also organizes the Citrus Bowl and Florida Classic.

The bowl was founded in 1990 by Raycom[2] and was originally played at Joe Robbie Stadium outside of the city of Miami. It went by the name Blockbuster Bowl, CarQuest Bowl, and the MicronPC Bowl.

In 2001, the bowl changed hands, and was relocated to Orlando. The bowl briefly became known as the Tangerine Bowl, a historic moniker, which was the original title of the game now known as the Citrus Bowl. Foot Locker, the parent company of Champs Sports, purchased naming rights in 2004, naming it the Champs Sports Bowl. On June 18, 2012, naming rights were purchased by Russell Athletic for the 2012-2015 games.[3]

The game currently has tie-ins with the ACC and Big 12.



What is now the Russell Athletic Bowl was sprung from a desire to hold a second bowl game in the Miami area. It would be an accompaniment to the long-established and well-known Orange Bowl, and would showcase the brand new stadium in the area that was built in 1987. The Orange Bowl game was still being played in the aging old stadium, whereas this new game would be played in the new stadium.

Miami Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga quickly joined forces with bowl organizers and brought in Blockbuster Video, which he owned at the time, as title sponsor.[2] The inaugural game, played on December 28, 1990, pitted Florida State and Penn State, and two legendary coaches, Bobby Bowden versus Joe Paterno in front of over 74,000 at Joe Robbie Stadium.[2] Subsequent games, however, never matched the success of the first, even though the bowl was moved to the more prestigious New Year's Day slot starting in 1993.

In 1994, CarQuest Auto Parts became the title sponsor after Huizenga sold Blockbuster Video to Viacom. The New Year's Day experiment was short lived as the organizers of the more established Orange Bowl received permission to move their game into Joe Robbie Stadium beginning in 1996.[2] That bumped the Carquest Bowl back to the less-desirable December date. After the 2000 playing, Florida Citrus Sports took over the game and moved it to Orlando.

Before gaining Blockbuster Entertainment as the corporate sponsor for the inaugural event, the game was tentatively referred to as the Sunshine Classic.[2]


From 2006-2010, the bowl matched teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Big Ten Conference. Under the terms of a television deal signed with ESPN in 2006, the bowl will be held after Christmas Day from 2006 onward, and be shown on ESPN in prime time. The change was made to move the game from the less-desirable pre-Christmas date utilized from 2001–2004.

From 2005-2009, the stadium faced challenges in preparing the stadium for two bowl games in less than one week (the Citrus Bowl is traditionally held New Year's Day). This was also in part due to the Florida high school football championship games being held at the stadium the shortly before the bowls. In 2009, rainy weather turned the stadium's grass field into a muddly, sloppy, quagmire for both bowl games. In 2010, the stadium switched to artificial turf, facilitating the quick turnaround necessary.

On August 18, 2009, the Champs Sports Bowl announced that the Big East will be one of the tie-in conferences for four years starting in 2010, and continued after the conference was renamed the American Athletic Conference following the 2013 reorganization. They will also have the option of selecting Notre Dame once out of the four years (which they did in 2011). On October 7, 2009, the Champs Sports Bowl announced that they had extended their agreement with the Atlantic Coast Conference for the same term. The game will match the third pick from the ACC against the second selection from the Big East. The previous agreement matched the 4th pick from the ACC against the 4th or 5th pick from the Big Ten.[4] The University of Notre Dame, representing the Big East (as permitted in the agreement with the conference) and Florida State University from the ACC played in the 2011 bowl. The Big 12 Conference and the Atlantic Coast Conference are the tied-in conferences, starting in 2014.

Game results[edit]

For the annual college football game which was called the Tangerine Bowl from 1947 to 1982, see Citrus Bowl (game).
Champs Sports Bowl logo (2004-11)
Season Date Winning Team Losing Team Location Notes
1990 December 28, 1990 Florida State 24 Penn State 17 Miami Gardens, Florida
1991 December 28, 1991 Alabama 30 Colorado 25 Miami Gardens 1991 notes
1992 January 1, 1993 Stanford 24 Penn State 3 Miami Gardens 1993 notes
1993 January 1, 1994 Boston College 31 Virginia 13 Miami Gardens
1994 January 2, 1995 South Carolina 24 West Virginia 21 Miami Gardens
1995 December 30, 1995 North Carolina 20 Arkansas 10 Miami Gardens
1996 December 27, 1996 Miami (FL) 31 Virginia 21 Miami Gardens
1997 December 29, 1997 Georgia Tech 35 West Virginia 30 Miami Gardens
1998 December 29, 1998 Miami (FL) 46 NC State 23 Miami Gardens
1999 December 30, 1999 Illinois 63 Virginia 21 Miami Gardens 1999 notes
2000 December 28, 2000 NC State 38 Minnesota 30 Miami Gardens 2000 notes
2001 December 20, 2001 Pittsburgh 34 NC State 19 Orlando, Florida 2001 notes
2002 December 23, 2002 Texas Tech 55 Clemson 15 Orlando 2002 notes
2003 December 22, 2003 NC State 56 Kansas 26 Orlando 2003 notes
2004 December 21, 2004 [5] Georgia Tech 51 Syracuse 14 Orlando 2004 notes
2005 December 27, 2005 Clemson 19 Colorado 10 Orlando 2005 notes
2006 December 29, 2006 Maryland 24 Purdue 7 Orlando 2006 notes
2007 December 28, 2007 Boston College 24 Michigan State 21 Orlando 2007 notes
2008 December 27, 2008 Florida State 42 Wisconsin 13 Orlando 2008 notes
2009 December 29, 2009 Wisconsin 20 Miami (FL) 14 Orlando 2009 notes
2010 December 28, 2010 NC State 23 West Virginia 7 Orlando 2010 notes
2011 December 29, 2011 Florida State 18 Notre Dame 14 Orlando 2011 notes
2012 December 28, 2012 Virginia Tech 13 Rutgers 10 (OT) Orlando 2012 notes
2013 December 28, 2013 Louisville 36 Miami (FL) 9 Orlando 2013 notes


The 2006 matchup featured the Maryland Terrapins and the Purdue Boilermakers
Date MVP School Position
December 28, 1990 Amp Lee Florida State RB
December 28, 1991 David Palmer Alabama WR
January 1, 1993 Darrien Gordon Stanford CB
January 1, 1994 Glenn Foley Boston College QB
January 2, 1995 Steve Taneyhill South Carolina QB
December 30, 1995 Leon Johnson North Carolina RB
December 27, 1996 Tremain Mack Miami SS
December 29, 1997 Joe Hamilton Georgia Tech QB
December 29, 1998 Scott Covington Miami QB
December 30, 1999 Kurt Kittner Illinois QB
December 28, 2000 Philip Rivers NC State QB
December 20, 2001 Antonio Bryant Pittsburgh WR
December 23, 2002 Kliff Kingsbury Texas Tech QB
December 22, 2003 Philip Rivers NC State QB
December 21, 2004 Reggie Ball Georgia Tech QB
December 27, 2005 James Davis Clemson RB
December 29, 2006 Sam Hollenbach Maryland QB
December 28, 2007 Jamie Silva Boston College FS
December 27, 2008 Graham Gano Florida State K/P
December 29, 2009 John Clay Wisconsin RB
December 28, 2010 Russell Wilson NC State QB
December 29, 2011 Rashad Greene Florida State WR
December 28, 2012 Antone Exum Virginia Tech CB
December 28, 2013 Teddy Bridgewater Louisville QB

Most appearances[edit]

The final score of the 2008 Champs Sports Bowl that hosted the Florida State Seminoles and the Wisconsin Badgers.
Rank Team Appearances Record
1 NC State 5 3-2
2 Miami (Florida) 4 2-2
T3 Florida State 3 3-0
T3 Virginia 3 0-3
T3 West Virginia 3 0-3
T6 Boston College 2 2-0
T6 Georgia Tech 2 2-0
T6 Clemson 2 1-1
T6 Wisconsin 2 1-1
T6 Colorado 2 0-2
T6 Penn State 2 0-2
T13 Alabama 1 1-0
T13 Illinois 1 1-0
T13 Louisville 1 1-0
T13 Maryland 1 1-0
T13 North Carolina 1 1-0
T13 Pittsburgh 1 1-0
T13 South Carolina 1 1-0
T13 Stanford 1 1-0
T13 Texas Tech 1 1-0
T13 Virginia Tech 1 1-0
T13 Arkansas 1 0-1
T13 Kansas 1 0-1
T13 Michigan State 1 0-1
T13 Minnesota 1 0-1
T13 Notre Dame 1 0-1
T13 Purdue 1 0-1
T13 Rutgers 1 0-1
T13 Syracuse 1 0-1

External links[edit]