|Guaranteed Rate Bowl|
|Previous stadiums||Arizona Stadium |
Bank One Ballpark
Sun Devil Stadium
|Previous locations||Tucson, Arizona |
|Conference tie-ins||Big 12, Big Ten|
|Previous conference tie-ins||WAC (1990–1997)|
Big 12 (1998–2001)
Big East (1998–2005)
Pac-10 (2002–2005, 2013–2019)
Big 12 (2006–2013)
Big Ten (2006–2013)
|Oklahoma State vs. Wisconsin|
|TBD vs. TBD (December 26, 2023)|
Played as the Copper Bowl from inception through 1996, it was known as the Insight.com Bowl from 1997 through 2001, then the Insight Bowl from 2002 through 2011, the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl for 2012 and 2013, and the Cactus Bowl for the 2014 through 2017 seasons. In 2018 and 2019, the game was known as the Cheez-It Bowl.[a] In 2020, Guaranteed Rate signed on as the title sponsor of the game, renaming it as the Guaranteed Rate Bowl.
When the bowl was initially founded, it was played at Arizona Stadium in Tucson, on the campus of the University of Arizona. In 2000, the organizers moved the game from Tucson to Phoenix. There, it was played at what is now known as Chase Field, the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks of Major League Baseball. For the 2006 season, the bowl moved a second time. After the annual Fiesta Bowl left Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe in favor of playing in University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, the bowl (then still known as the Insight Bowl) was relocated there as a permanent replacement. The bowl returned to its previous home of Chase Field in Phoenix for the January 2016 playing, due to renovation work at Sun Devil Stadium that was expected to last at least three off-seasons. The bowl has remained at Chase Field through the December 2021 season, making it one of four active bowl games staged in baseball-specific stadiums, the other three being the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium, the Fenway Bowl at Fenway Park, and the Holiday Bowl at Petco Park.
The 2020 edition of the bowl was cancelled on December 20, 2020, due to an insufficient number of teams being available to fill all 2020–21 bowl games, following a season impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Cactus Bowl" had been the originally planned name for what became the Copper Bowl in 1989. The game was played under the Copper Bowl name through 1996, after which title sponsorship rights were assumed by Insight Enterprises, which self-titled the game from 1997 through 2011. In 2012, restaurant chain Buffalo Wild Wings became the sponsor and self-titled the game for two years. Buffalo Wild Wings declined to renew sponsorship following the 2013 game, at which time organizers opted to rename the game "Cactus Bowl" rather than reverting to the Copper Bowl name. There had been a Texas-based Cactus Bowl played in Division II, but that game was discontinued after 2011. For 2014, TicketCity sponsored the new Cactus Bowl, and Motel 6 became the sponsor in 2015. In 2018, Kellogg's became the sponsor and rebranded the bowl, naming it after its cheese cracker brand, Cheez-It. In May 2020, the Cactus Bowl name returned, as Cheez-It sponsorship moved to what had been known as the Camping World Bowl played in Orlando, Florida.
For the first ten years, the game was played at Arizona Stadium, on the campus of the University of Arizona in Tucson. In 2000, the bowl's organizers moved the game to Bank One Ballpark, a baseball-specific stadium, in downtown Phoenix. In 2006, the game moved to Sun Devil Stadium at Arizona State University in Tempe to replace the Fiesta Bowl, which had moved to University of Phoenix Stadium in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale. The 2006 game set a record (since tied in the 2016 Alamo Bowl) for the biggest comeback in NCAA Division I FBS bowl history, as Texas Tech came back from a 38–7 third-quarter deficit to defeat Minnesota in overtime, 44–41.
For the first three playings of the Copper Bowl, TBS carried the game. Beginning in 1992 and continuing until the 2005 playing, the game aired on ESPN. After a four-year hiatus, during which NFL Network carried the game, ESPN regained the rights beginning in 2010.
Before 2006, the game mainly featured teams from the Pac-10, Western Athletic Conference, Big 12, and old Big East conferences. From 2006 to 2013, it began featuring an annual matchup between teams from the Big Ten and the Big 12. Starting with the 2015 game, it featured a matchup between Pac-12 and Big 12 teams. Teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference and Mountain West Conference have also competed, along with teams from the now defunct Southwest Conference and Big Eight, and one independent school (Notre Dame in 2004). In July 2019, the bowl announced tie-ins with the Big Ten and Big 12 conferences, starting with the 2020–21 season and continuing through the 2025–26 season.
All rankings are taken from the AP Poll prior to the game being played.
|No.||Date||Bowl name||Winning Team||Losing Team||Attendance|
|1||December 31, 1989||Copper Bowl||Arizona||17||NC State||10||37,237|
|2||December 31, 1990||Copper Bowl||California||17||Wyoming||15||36,340|
|3||December 31, 1991||Copper Bowl||Indiana||24||Baylor||0||35,751|
|4||December 31, 1992||Copper Bowl||No 18 Washington State||31||Utah||28||40,826|
|5||December 29, 1993||Copper Bowl||No. 20 Kansas State||52||Wyoming||17||49,075|
|6||December 29, 1994||Copper Bowl||No. 22 BYU||31||Oklahoma||6||45,122|
|7||December 27, 1995||Copper Bowl||Texas Tech||55||Air Force||41||41,004|
|8||December 27, 1996||Copper Bowl||Wisconsin||38||Utah||10||42,122|
|9||December 27, 1997||Insight.com Bowl||Arizona||20||New Mexico||14||49,385|
|10||December 26, 1998||Insight.com Bowl||No. 23 Missouri||34||West Virginia||31||36,147|
|11||December 31, 1999||Insight.com Bowl||Colorado||62||No. 25 Boston College||28||35,762|
|12||December 28, 2000||Insight.com Bowl||Iowa State||37||Pittsburgh||29||41,813|
|13||December 29, 2001||Insight.com Bowl||No. 18 Syracuse||26||Kansas State||3||40,028|
|14||December 26, 2002||Insight Bowl||No. 24 Pittsburgh||38||Oregon State||13||40,533|
|15||December 26, 2003||Insight Bowl||California||52||Virginia Tech||49||42,364|
|16||December 28, 2004||Insight Bowl||Oregon State||38||Notre Dame||21||45,917|
|17||December 27, 2005||Insight Bowl||Arizona State||45||Rutgers||40||43,536|
|18||December 29, 2006||Insight Bowl||Texas Tech||44||Minnesota||41 (OT)||48,391|
|19||December 31, 2007||Insight Bowl||Oklahoma State||49||Indiana||33||48,892|
|20||December 31, 2008||Insight Bowl||Kansas||42||Minnesota||21||49,103|
|21||December 31, 2009||Insight Bowl||Iowa State||14||Minnesota||13||45,090|
|22||December 28, 2010||Insight Bowl||Iowa||27||No. 14 Missouri||24||53,453|
|23||December 30, 2011||Insight Bowl||No. 19 Oklahoma||31||Iowa||14||54,247|
|24||December 29, 2012||Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl||Michigan State||17||TCU||16||44,617|
|25||December 28, 2013||Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl||Kansas State||31||Michigan||14||53,284|
|26||January 2, 2015||Cactus Bowl||Oklahoma State||30||Washington||22||35,409|
|27||January 2, 2016||Cactus Bowl||West Virginia||43||Arizona State||42||39,321|
|28||December 27, 2016||Cactus Bowl||Baylor||31||Boise State||12||33,328|
|29||December 26, 2017||Cactus Bowl||Kansas State||35||UCLA||17||32,859|
|30||December 26, 2018||Cheez-It Bowl||TCU||10||California||7 (OT)||33,121|
|31||December 27, 2019||Cheez-It Bowl||No. 24 Air Force||31||Washington State||21||34,105|
|—||December 26, 2020||Guaranteed Rate Bowl||Canceled: insufficient number of teams available||—|
|32||December 28, 2021||Guaranteed Rate Bowl||Minnesota||18||West Virginia||6||21,220|
|33||December 27, 2022||Guaranteed Rate Bowl||Wisconsin||24||Oklahoma State||17||23,187|
- Games 1–11 (copper) played in Tucson at Arizona Stadium
- Games 12–17 (silver) played in Phoenix at Bank One Ballpark (now Chase Field)
- Games 18–26 (yellow) played in Tempe at Sun Devil Stadium
- Games 27–present (silver) played in Phoenix at Chase Field (formerly Bank One Ballpark)
Two MVPs are selected for each game; one an offensive player, the other a defensive player.
|Game||Offensive MVP||Defensive MVP|
|1989||Shane Montgomery||North Carolina State||QB||Scott Geyer||Arizona||DB|
|1990||Mike Pawlawski||California||QB||Robert Midgett||Wyoming||LB|
|1991||Vaughn Dunbar||Indiana||TB||Mark Hagen||Indiana||LB|
|1992||Drew Bledsoe||Washington State||QB||Kareem Leary||Utah||DB|
|1993||Andre Coleman||Kansas State||WR||Kenny McEntyre||Kansas State||CB|
|1994||Jamal Willis||BYU||RB||Broderick Simpson||Oklahoma||LB|
|1995||Zebbie Lethridge||Texas Tech||QB||Mickey Dalton||Air Force||CB|
|1996||Ron Dayne||Wisconsin||RB||Tarek Saleh||Wisconsin||LB|
|1997||Trung Canidate||Arizona||RB||Jimmy Sprotte||Arizona||LB|
|1998||Marc Bulger||West Virginia||QB||Jeff Marriott||Missouri||DT|
|1999||Cortlen Johnson||Colorado||RB||Jashon Sykes||Colorado||LB|
|2000||Sage Rosenfels||Iowa State||QB||Reggie Hayward||Iowa State||DE|
|2001||James Mungro||Syracuse||RB||Clifton Smith||Syracuse||LB|
|2002||Brandon Miree||Pittsburgh||TB||Claude Harriott||Pittsburgh||DL|
|2003||Aaron Rodgers||California||QB||Ryan Gutierrez||California||FS|
|2004||Derek Anderson||Oregon State||QB||Trent Bray||Oregon State||LB|
|2005||Rudy Carpenter||Arizona State||QB||Jamar Williams||Arizona State||LB|
|2006||Graham Harrell||Texas Tech||QB||Antonio Huffman||Texas Tech||CB|
|2007||Zac Robinson||Oklahoma State||QB||Donovan Woods||Oklahoma State||S|
|2008||Dezmon Briscoe||Kansas||WR||James Holt||Kansas||LB|
|2009||Alexander Robinson||Iowa State||RB||Christopher Lyle||Iowa State||DE|
|2010||Marcus Coker||Iowa||RB||Micah Hyde||Iowa||DB|
|2011||Blake Bell||Oklahoma||QB||Jamell Fleming||Oklahoma||DB|
|2012||Le'Veon Bell||Michigan State||RB||William Gholston||Michigan State||DE|
|2013||Tyler Lockett||Kansas State||WR||Dante Barnett||Kansas State||DB|
|2015||Desmond Roland||Oklahoma State||RB||Seth Jacobs||Oklahoma State||LB|
|2016 (Jan.)||Skyler Howard||West Virginia||QB||Shaq Petteway||West Virginia||LB|
|2016 (Dec.)||KD Cannon||Baylor||WR||Tyrone Hunt||Baylor||DE|
|2017||Alex Delton||Kansas State||QB||Denzel Goolsby||Kansas State||S|
|2018||Sewo Olonilua||TCU||RB||Jaylinn Hawkins||California||S|
|2019||Kadin Remsberg||Air Force||RB||Grant Donaldson||Air Force||OLB|
|2021||Ky Thomas||Minnesota||RB||Tyler Nubin||Minnesota||S|
|2022||Braelon Allen||Wisconsin||RB||Jordan Turner||Wisconsin||LB|
The bowl awarded a sportsmanship award for the 2001 through January 2016 games.
|2001||Terry Pierce||Kansas State||LB|
|2002||Derek Anderson||Oregon State||QB|
|2003||Doug Easlick||Virginia Tech||FB|
|2004||Derek Curry||Notre Dame||LB|
|2007||Jonathan "Josh" Sandberg||Indiana||OG|
|2016 (Jan.)||D. J. Foster||Arizona State||RB|
Updated through the December 2022 edition (33 games, 66 total appearances).
Texas is the only current Big 12 school that has not played in this bowl. Seven of the current Big 12 schools have appeared multiple times. Former Big 12 members Colorado and Missouri have appeared in the bowl, but former Big 12 members Nebraska and Texas A&M have not.
- Teams with a single appearance
Appearances by conference
Updated through the December 2022 edition (33 games, 66 total appearances).
|Conference||Record||Appearances by season|
|Big 12||19||14||5||.737||1998, 1999, 2000, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011,
2013, 2014*, 2015*, 2016, 2017, 2018
|2001, 2010, 2012, 2021, 2022|
|Pac-12||13||7||6||.538||1989, 1990, 1992, 1997, 2003, 2004, 2005||2002, 2014*, 2015*, 2017, 2018, 2019|
|Big Ten||12||6||6||.500||1991, 1996, 2010, 2012, 2021, 2022||2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013|
|Big East||7||2||5||.286||2001, 2002||1998, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2005|
|WAC||7||1||6||.143||1994||1990, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997|
- Games marked with an asterisk (*) were played in January of the following calendar year.
- Records reflect conference affiliations at the time the game was played. For example, current Pac-12 member Colorado appeared as a member of the Big 12 in 1999.
- The Pac-12's record includes appearances when the conference was the Pac-10. From 1989 through 2005, Pac-10 teams made eight appearances and were 7–1.
- Big East teams made seven appearances and were 2–5; the American Athletic Conference (The American) retains the conference charter following the 2013 split of the original Big East along football lines.
- Conferences that are defunct or no longer active in FBS are marked in italics.
- Independent appearances: Notre Dame (2004)
|Team||Performance vs. opponent||Year|
|Most points scored (one team)||62, Colorado vs. Boston College||1999|
|Most points scored (losing team)||49, Virginia Tech vs. California||2003|
|Most points scored (both teams)||101, California vs. Virginia Tech||2003|
|Fewest points allowed||0, Indiana vs. Baylor||1991|
|Largest margin of victory||35, Kansas State vs. Wyoming||1993|
|Total yards||679, Arizona State vs. Rutgers||2005|
|Rushing yards||431, Air Force vs. Texas Tech||1995|
|Passing yards||492, Washington State vs. Utah||1992|
|First downs||33, Arizona State vs. Rutgers||2005|
|Fewest yards allowed||130, North Carolina State vs. Arizona||1989|
|Fewest rushing yards allowed||8, Pittsburgh vs. Oregon State||2002|
|Fewest passing yards allowed||16, Utah vs. Wisconsin||1996|
|Individual||Performance vs. opponent||Year|
|All-purpose yards||498, Rudy Carpenter, Arizona State vs. Rutgers||2005|
|Rushing yards||260, Byron Hanspard, Texas Tech vs. Air Force||1995|
|Rushing touchdowns||4, Byron Hanspard, Texas Tech vs. Air Force||1995|
|Passing yards||532, Skyler Howard, West Virginia vs. Arizona State||2016*|
|Passing touchdowns||5, Skyler Howard, West Virginia vs. Arizona State||2016*|
|Receiving yards||212, Phillip Bobo, Washington State vs. Utah||1992|
|Receiving touchdowns||3, Dezmon Briscoe, Kansas vs. Minnesota||2008|
|Tackles||20 (total), Jahad Woods, Washington State vs. Air Force||2019|
|Interceptions||2, most recent:
Kyle Theret, Minnesota vs. Iowa State
|Long Plays||Performance vs. opponent||Year|
|Touchdown run||71, Danta Johnson, Air Force vs. Texas Tech||1995|
|Touchdown pass||87, Phillip Bobo from Drew Bledsoe, Washington State vs. Utah||1992|
|Kickoff return||60, shared by:
Ricardo Rhodes, Missouri vs. West Virginia
Troy Stoudermire, Minnesota vs. Kansas
|Punt return||88, Ben Kelly, Colorado vs. Boston College||1999|
|Interception return||78, George White, Boston College vs. Colorado||1999|
|Punt||67, shared by:
Travis Brown, Kansas State vs. Syracuse
Tress Way, Oklahoma vs. Iowa
|Field goal||53, Jaden Oberkrom, TCU vs. Michigan State||2012|
Games marked with an asterisk (*) were played in January of the noted calendar year.
- Not to be confused with the later Cheez-It Bowl (2020–2022).
- "2019 Bowl Schedule". collegefootballpoll.com. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
- "Guaranteed Rate Joins With Cactus Bowl As Title Partner For Newly-Named Guaranteed Rate Bowl". Retrieved October 22, 2020.
- McMurphy, Brett (May 4, 2015). "Cactus Bowl moving to Chase Field for next three seasons". ESPN.com.
- Graham, Pat (December 20, 2020). "'A long grind': Bowl Day marred by cancellations, opt outs". arklatexhomepage.com. Retrieved December 20, 2020.
- "New bowl game seeking sponsor, TV pact". The Tuscaloosa News. 1988-08-13. Retrieved 2014-12-30.
- "Insight Bowl loses its title sponsor after 15 years". Sports Illustrated. Associated Press. 26 January 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
- "Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl loses sponsorship". azcentral. 16 June 2014.
- "TicketCity gets Cactus Bowl naming rights for Cactus Bowl in Tempe". Phoenix Business Journal. 2014-11-25. Retrieved 2014-12-30.
- "Motel 6 inks naming rights deal for Cactus Bowl". Phoenix Business Journal. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
- "CHEEZ-IT JOINS CACTUS BOWL AS NEW NAMING RIGHTS PARTNER". Retrieved August 20, 2018.
- Metcalfe, Jeff (May 27, 2020). "Downtown Phoenix bowl game reverts to Cactus Bowl name". azcentral.com. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
- "Down 31, Texas Tech rallies for biggest bowl comeback". Associated Press. December 29, 2006. Archived from the original on 2 January 2007. Retrieved 30 December 2006 – via ESPN.
- Fitzgerald, Katherine (June 4, 2019). "Cheez-It Bowl to feature Big Ten vs. Big 12 matchup starting in 2020". azcentral.com. Retrieved December 16, 2019.
- "Guaranteed Rate Bowl Game Update Statement". Retrieved December 20, 2020.
- "Cheez-It Bowl" (PDF). Bowl/All Star Game Records. NCAA. 2020. p. 11. Retrieved January 3, 2021 – via NCAA.org.
- "Game History". fiestabowl.org. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
- "Cheez-It Bowl Records". fiestabowl.org. Retrieved December 27, 2019.
- Kelly, Doug (ed.). "2019–20 Football Bowl Association Media Guide" (PDF). footballbowlassociation.com. p. 94. Retrieved January 3, 2020.