Russell Athletic Bowl
|Russell Athletic Bowl|
|Stadium||Camping World Stadium|
|Previous stadiums||Hard Rock Stadium (1990–2000)|
|Previous locations||Miami Gardens, Florida (1990–2000)|
|Conference tie-ins||ACC, Big 12|
|Payout||US$2,275,000 (As of 2015[update])|
Sunshine Classic (1990, working title)
Blockbuster Bowl (1990–1993)
Carquest Bowl (1994–1997)
MicronPC Bowl (1998)
MicronPC.com Bowl (1999–2000)
Visit Florida Tangerine Bowl (2001)
Mazda Tangerine Bowl (2002–2003)
Champs Sports Bowl (2004–2011)
|Miami vs. West Virginia (Miami 31–14)|
The Russell Athletic Bowl is an annual college football bowl game that is played in Orlando, Florida, at Camping World 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 and was originally played at Joe Robbie Stadium outside of the city of Miami. It was formed under the name Sunshine Football Classic, but due to corporate title sponsorships, was never actually contested under this name, nor even referred to as such except during brief intervals between corporate sponsors. During its Miami existence, it successively went by the names 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. In early 2012, naming rights were agreed to by Russell Athletic for games through 2017.
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. 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. 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. 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.
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 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. 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.
Since 2014, the game features the second pick from the ACC after the New Year's Six bowls make their picks—usually the conference championship game loser or one of the division runners-up—against the third pick from the Big 12.
|Season||Date||Winning Team||Losing Team||Location||Notes|
|1990||December 28, 1990||Florida State||24||Penn State||17||Miami Gardens, Florida||1990 notes|
|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 notes|
|1994||January 2, 1995||South Carolina||24||West Virginia||21||Miami Gardens||1995 (Jan) notes|
|1995||December 30, 1995||North Carolina||20||Arkansas||10||Miami Gardens||1995 (Dec) notes|
|1996||December 27, 1996||Miami||31||Virginia||21||Miami Gardens||1996 notes|
|1997||December 29, 1997||Georgia Tech||35||West Virginia||30||Miami Gardens||1997 notes|
|1998||December 29, 1998||Miami||46||NC State||23||Miami Gardens||1998 notes|
|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 ||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||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||9||Orlando||2013 notes|
|2014||December 29, 2014||Clemson||40||Oklahoma||6||Orlando||2014 notes|
|2015||December 29, 2015||Baylor||49||North Carolina||38||Orlando||2015 notes|
|2016||December 28, 2016||Miami||31||West Virginia||14||Orlando||2016 notes|
|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|
|December 29, 2014||Cole Stoudt||Clemson||QB|
|December 29, 2015||Johnny Jefferson||Baylor||RB|
|December 28, 2016||Brad Kaaya||Miami||QB|
- Official Website of the Russell Athletic Bowl
- The Making of a Blockbuster: How Wayne Huizenga Built a Sports and Entertainment Empire from Trash, Grit, and Videotape
- "College Bowl Game Payouts". Statistic Brain. Retrieved 2015-12-25.
- "The Making of a Blockbuster: How Wayne Huizenga Built a Sports and Entertainment Empire from Trash, Grit, and Videotape". Wiley. 1997. Retrieved 2008-01-01.
- "Russell Athletic Bowl History". RussellAthleticBowl.com. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
- Syracuse was chosen because the Big 12 did not have enough bowl eligible teams.