The Cheez It Bowl began in 2015 and the matchup currently features schools from the Big 12 and Pac-12 conferences. The game takes place at Chase Field from Phoenix, Arizona. It was formerly known as the Cactus Bowl. This bowl has also been known as the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, Insight Bowl and Insight.com Bowl, as well as the Copper Bowl. Originally the game was played in Tucson from 1989-99 before moving to Chase Field in Phoenix, a few years at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe from 2006-15, then back to Phoenix at Chase Field again.
The inaugural Cactus Bowl was played Saturday Jan. 2, 2016, and it was a wild one. West Virginia posted a 43-42 win over Arizona State, as QB Skyler Howard of the Mountaineers set school and bowl records in passing yardage. The Big 12 won once again in December 2016 as Baylor dominated Boise State, 31-12. And in the third installment, the Big 12 won again, as Kansas State outscored UCLA by 28-0 in the second half en route to a 35-17 win.
The 2018 installment of the renamed Cheez It Bowl was memorable and forgettable at the same time as TCU and California combined to throw nine interceptions. The Horned Frogs edged the Golden Bears in overtime, 10-7 as TCU grabbed the cover as a short favorite.
In 2019, it was a big contrast between the triple-option rushing attack of Air Force against the Air Raid offense of head coach Mike Leach and Washington State. The run game won out. The Falcons couldn't be stopped, and their defense came up with two huge stops in the red zone to turn the tide.
The 2020 installment was wiped out with an insufficient number of teams able to participate in the postseason due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
The game returned on Dec. 28, 2021 at Chase Field in Phoenix, and Minnesota of the Big Ten pushed around West Virginia of the Big 12 in a lower-scoring affair, cashing as the favorite in an 18-6 victory. The favorite is actually 4-0 ATS in the previous four bowl games at this venue. The 'under' is also a perfect 5-for-5 in the previous five Cactus/Guaranteed Rate Bowls.