Outback Bowl Details
With bowl games popping up in warm-weather cities like Orlando, Miami, and Pasadena, it made sense for a city like Tampa, Florida, to establish a game. Back in 1947, it did, the short-lived Cigar Bowl (1947-1954).
The second attempt has been much more successful. It began as the Hall of Fame Bowl in 1986. In the early days, it did not have any particular conference affiliations, but organizers often tried to target an SEC or ACC team and one from another part of the country.
When the Outback Steakhouse signed on as the title sponsor and changed the name to the Outback Bowl in 1995 official affiliations were made with the SEC and Big Ten.
The game moved from Tampa Stadium where it started to the Raymond James Stadium after it was completed in 1999.
The first game was played on December 23, 1986, between Boston College and Georgia (a 27-24 win for the Eagles). Since then, every game has been played on New Year’s Day unless it happened to be a Sunday. In order not to compete with the NFL, in those situations, the game has moved to Monday.
It is often one of the first games of the day with a start time as early as 11 AM ET.
Since its inception, five teams have appeared in it the most (five times), Florida (3-2), Georgia (3-2), Iowa (2-3), Michigan (3-2), and Wisconsin (2-3). Penn State (3-1), Tennessee (3-1), South Carolina (3-1), Auburn (2-2), and Ohio State (0-4) have each played in it four times.
Last season saw Florida and Iowa face off. Gators quarterback Austin Appleby had an efficient day, 14-25 for 222 yards and two touchdowns, but also threw two interceptions. But the game was controlled by the Florida defense that held Iowa to just 226 total yards of offense and forced three interceptions including one pick-6 (final score 30-3).