Bowl season has always had a special place in college football. Not only do the best teams annually face off against one another for national supremacy in the College Football Playoff, dozens of other teams end their seasons in bowl games all across the country.
One of the longest-running bowls has a new name. What was most recently known as the Cheez-It Bowl, played at Phoenix’s Chase Field, is now named the Guaranteed Rate Bowl.
“College football is such a positive force within sports,” said Guaranteed Rate president and CEO Victor Ciardelli. “We love the competition, respect the hard work and admire the sportsmanship. Every student athlete’s goal is to end their season with a bowl game win, and that’s a huge part of why we’re thrilled to bring the Guaranteed Rate Bowl to ESPN.”
The college football regular season got off to a late start because of the coronavirus pandemic, so there is no official date set for the game as of yet. It is scheduled to take place from Chase Field, home of MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks, and will be televised by ESPN.
“Bowl Season is an incredible time of the year for student-athletes, university supporters and local communities to celebrate the college football season,” said Guaranteed Rate Bowl and Fiesta Bowl Organization Executive Director Mike Nealy. “We look forward to joining Guaranteed Rate to showcase its name and increase its profile with millions of fans at the best part of the year – college football Bowl Season.”
The Guaranteed Rate Bowl is seventh different name for a bowl that began in 1989 as the Copper Bowl. It was known as the Insight.com Bowl from 1997-2001, the Insight Bowl from 2002-11, the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl in 2012 and 2013, the Cactus Bowl from 2015-17 and the Cheez-It Bowl for each of the last two years.
“We’re excited to add one of the fastest-growing mortgage companies, and one that loves sports, into our family,” said Patrick Barkley, Chairman of the Fiesta Bowl Organization Board of Directors. “Guaranteed Rate is innovative and thinks big, which enhances our efforts as a leader in hospitality, community impact and incredible events.”
Last year’s game marked the final one for Mike Leach as Washington State head coach. Air Force earned a 31-21 win over the Cougars, who lost Leach to Mississippi State in the offseason.
Starting with this season and continuing though 2025-26, the Big Ten and Big 12 conferences have tie-ins to the bowl game.
According to the latest CBS Sports bowl projections, TCU is slated to meet Iowa in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl.
“The Guaranteed Rate Companies, which includes Guaranteed Rate Inc., Guaranteed Rate Affinity, LLC, and Proper Rate, LLC, has more than 8,000 employees in over 700 offices across the U.S. Headquartered in Chicago, Guaranteed Rate Inc. is one of the largest retail mortgage lenders in the United States funding $37 billion in 2019,” the press release read.