The seventh-oldest collegiate bowl game in the country, the Cheez-It Citrus Bowl began as the Tangerine Bowl in 1947. The initial game sponsors, members of Elks Lodge #1079 of Orlando, each put up $100 to fund initial expenses.
Since 1993 the bowl has hosted top teams from the Big Ten and Southeastern conferences.
In the new “College Football Playoff” era of college football’s postseason, the Cheez-It Citrus Bowl will continue to host the top Big Ten and SEC teams from outside the CFP series of bowls (including Rose, Sugar, Fiesta, Orange, Cotton and Peach).
The game moved to a New Year’s Day date in 1987 and has remained a New Year’s Day tradition except in years when the holiday falls on a Sunday.