Cheez-It® Bowl Features Big Ten vs. Big 12 Pairing Starting in 2020 for Next Six-Year Cycle - Fiesta Bowl | Fiesta Bowl

Cheez-It® Bowl Features Big Ten vs. Big 12 Pairing Starting in 2020 for Next Six-Year Cycle

Jun 04, 2019

Cheez-It® Bowl to be the only postseason bowl game between the conferences

SCOTTSDALE, AZ – The Cheez-It® Bowl is going BIG starting in 2020, when the postseason college football bowl game returns to a matchup between schools from the Big Ten and Big 12 Conferences. The six-year agreement will be in place for the 2020-21 through 2025-26 seasons, with each game being televised live on ESPN.

Two of college football’s most successful conferences, the Big Ten and Big 12 faced off in the Bowl eight times from 2006-13. The Cheez-It® Bowl’s three most-attended games featured Big Ten/Big 12 pairings, including the 2011 contest when Iowa and Oklahoma played before a Bowl-record 54,247 fans.

“One big reason why Bowl games are so special is because we get to enjoy matchups that we don’t see in the college football regular season,” said Mike Nealy, Executive Director of the Cheez-It® Bowl. “Bringing the Big Ten and Big 12 together in their only postseason matchup gives fans across the country access to the Cheez-It® Bowl experience with an exciting game of high-quality football, pageantry and fun events.”

The two conferences have not played each other in a non-CFP bowl contest since Kansas State defeated Michigan, 31-14, at Sun Devil Stadium in the 2013 edition of the Cheez-It® Bowl.

“We are excited to announce a new partnership with the Cheez-It® Bowl through the 2025-26 season,” Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany said. “The conference has a notable history with bowl games in the Phoenix area, thanks in large part to the amount of alumni support in the region. We are pleased to partner with the Fiesta Bowl organization staff and formally return to the Valley of the Sun for the first time since the 2013 postseason.”

“The Big 12 Conference has been a proud long-standing partner with the Cheez-It® Bowl and we’re excited to continue for another six seasons. We’ve enjoyed memorable student-athlete experiences and our relationship has been a runaway winner with our member institutions, teams, fans and alumni,” said Bob Bowlsby, Big 12 Conference Commissioner. “Between the exceptional hospitality from Cheez-It Bowl staff and volunteers and the easy access to Arizona for our schools and their fans, the Cheez-It Bowl has been a terrific host.”

“We welcome the Big Ten back to the Cheez-It Bowl, as we have many Midwesterners who call Arizona home and some of our most successful games came when Big Ten schools were involved,” said Patrick Barkley, Chairman of the Board of the Cheez-It® Bowl. “Our friends at the Big 12 Conference have been exceptional partners for the last 13 years and we’re excited to grow our relationship with them for the next six years.”

Fast Facts about the 2020-26 Cheez-It Bowl:

  • Big 12 Conference schools have won the last six Cheez-It Bowl games
  • Cheez-It Bowl is the only bowl game between the Big Ten and Big 12 Conferences
  • These conferences faced each other for eight years in game history from 2006-13
  • The Big 12 won six of the eight matchups between the conferences from 2006-13
  • Big Ten and Big 12 haven’t played in a non-CFP bowl game since 2013
  • The Big 12 Conference has 17 appearances in the game’s 30-year history (14-3 record), more than any other conference
  • 9 of the 10 schools in the Big 12 have played in the game (Texas) and seven schools have made multiple appearances
  • The Big Ten is third with 10 appearances, going 4-6 in Cheez-It Bowl history
  • 7 of the 14 teams in the Big Ten have played in the game, led by Minnesota’s three appearances
  • Cheez-It® Bowl was the #1-trending topic on Twitter in 2018
  • 2019 is the second year of title partnership with Cheez-It®, a part of the Kellogg family
  • MLB ballpark turns into football field (WATCH FIELD TRANSITION)
  • The 70,000+ square feet of turf is donated to a community in need for a playing field
  • Notable players to take the field in the game’s 30-year history include: Larry Fitzgerald, Aaron Rodgers, Le’Veon Bell, Drew Bledsoe, Ron Dayne
  • Deposits for Cheez-It Bowl® tickets, which start at $25, may be placed by visiting here


The Cheez-It® Bowl kicks off an exciting local college football bowl season, which also includes the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl, this season a College Football Playoff Semifinal, and the Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Parade, presented by Cheez-It®. Through these events, the Fiesta Bowl organization has donated over $12.5 million to Arizona nonprofits in the last eight years – including more than $7 million in the last three years alone.