Why are there two Cheez-It bowl games? Explaining Citrus Bowl’s new flavor for 2022-23 bowl season

By | December 29, 2022

College football fans checking out the upcoming bowl slate will soon make a shocking discovery: there are not one, but two, bowl games taking place in the next week with Cheez-It in the name. 

You heard that right. This year’s lineup of bowl games is quite possibly the cheesiest (cheeziest?) ever. But why are there two different bowl games with the same title sponsor? How are we supposed to keep them straight? 

Never fear, dear reader. Here is everything you need to know about both “Cheez-It” bowls:

Cheez-It Bowl: Oklahoma vs. Florida State

  • Date: Thursday, Dec. 29
  • Time: 5:30 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Fla.

The first Cheez-It game of bowl season is the original: the Cheez-It Bowl, which has been played under its current name for three years.

But the bowl itself has been around for decades and had many names, including: Blockbuster Bowl, Carquest Bowl, MicronPC Bowl, Florida Tourism Bowl, Mazda Bowl, Champs Sports Bowl, Russell Athletic Bowl and Camping World Bowl. 

Last year, No. 22 Clemson took down Iowa State to hoist the trophy. A victorious Dabo Swinney even got a Cheez-It bath from his players in the final moments.

This year’s matchup pits Oklahoma against No. 13 Florida State. The Sooners have had a down year by their standards, going 6-6 in head coach Brett Venables’ first year in charge. They’ll go up against a Seminoles team that posted its first winning season in five years (9-3) under the guidance of Mike Norvell. 

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Cheez-It Citrus Bowl: LSU vs. Purdue

  • Date: Monday, Jan. 2
  • Time: 1 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Fla.

This is the new Cheez-It game — and the slightly more confusing one. The Citrus Bowl is one of the oldest bowl games in all of college football; it has been contested annually since 1947. It typically features one team from the Big Ten and one team from the SEC.

This year, Cheez-It bought the game’s naming rights, making it the Cheez-It Citrus Bowl. In the past, the game has also been called the Florida Citrus Bowl, CompUSA Citrus Bowl, Ourhouse.com Citrus Bowl, Capital One Citrus Bowl, Capital One Bowl, Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl, Citrus Bowl presented by Overton’s and, most recently, Vrbo Citrus Bowl. 

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This year’s edition features No. 16 LSU against Purdue. Brian Kelly’s Tigers finished the regular season 9-4, including a memorable win over Alabama. The Boilermakers went 8-5 under Jeff Brohm, who then left to take over at Louisville. Ryan Walters is now in charge. 

Unfortunately, the winning coach of the Citrus Bowl gets a more traditional Gatorade bath rather than a Cheez-It bath. 

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To make matters more confusing, the games are being played at the same venue: Camping World Stadium in Orlando. 

Regardless, it should be a fun week in Central Florida. Four lucky athletes who received NIL deals will get to stay in this extravagant Cheez-It-themed hotel room at The Hilton in Orlando. Pretty sweet accommodations.