May 21, 2024

The Pop-Tarts Bowl is the latest addition to college football’s unique food-inspired celebrations. The new bowl game will debut next month with the winner receiving a special prize — the chance to take a bite out of the first-ever edible mascot.

Whether the mascot is brown sugar cinnamon or strawberry flavored is unclear, but it will be a key part of the postgame festivities.

“[The mascot] will run around the stadium interacting with fans and, when the final whistle blows, transform into a game-winning snack for the victors,” according to a press release shared by snack company Kellanova on Monday.

The bowl game Dec. 28 matches the top ACC school against the second-best Big 12 school — both teams will be outside of the College Football Playoffs. It replaces the Cheez-It Bowl.

While the edible mascot is the first of its kind, celebratory food showers have become part of multiple bowl games, serving as a creative twist on the victory bath the college football bowl season serves up to winning coaches and players.

A handful of bowl game sponsors award the winning team’s players — and lucky fans — the opportunity to douse coaches with cereal, cheesy crackers, creamy spreads and other foodstuffs. They may require dedicated cleanup efforts afterward, but the postgame ceremonies provide memorable visuals.

How much of any food can fill a cooler? Our math for the measurements is based on filling a seven-gallon drink cooler, which equates to 896 ounces. We crunched numbers to see the amount of mayonnaise (and other substances) dumped on college football’s finest during the bowl season.

Here’s a look at some of the most notable — and edible — celebrations during the 2022 bowl season:

The mayo dumpers did their jobs. Maryland coach Mike Locksley, wearing an oversized hat, got the condiment bath after the Terps came out on top in an ugly game that had four turnovers.

Duke’s Mayo became the sponsor for the game formerly known as the Belk Bowl before the 2020 bowl season.

Dumping mayonnaise on the winning coach has now become an anticipated part of bowl season. Last year, however, it didn’t go well for South Carolina Gamecocks coach Shane Beamer following a 38-21 win over the North Carolina Tar Heels.



Shane Beamer gets mayo bath after South Carolina’s win

South Carolina coach Shane Beamer is doused in mayonnaise after his team wins the Duke’s Mayo Bowl.

“I got hammered in the back of the head from the cooler — and then came the mayo,” Beamer said after the game, per Steve Reed of the Associated Press. “I may have a concussion. It was awful.”

So Duke’s Mayo Bowl set out to find new “mayo dumpers” for 2022.

“Much like the College Football Playoff, we have a very dedicated and serious committee that reviewed entrees, debated and eventually selected our winners … Mayo dumpers, by nature, needed to be able to lift/dump a large cooler of mayo. We were also looking for those who could show their fandom — of both college football and Duke’s Mayo,” Miller Yoho, director of communications and marketing for the Charlotte Sports Foundation, told ESPN via email.

On Dec. 6, Allison Vick and Kevin DeValk were named as the new mayo dumpers for the 2022 Mayo Bowl.

“It feels like a dream! … If there’s a better way to ring in the New Year, I can’t imagine it,” Vick told ESPN via email.

“Never in a million years would I have expected to be chosen to dump a tub of mayo on someone on national television,” DeValk said to ESPN via email.

The Sun Bowl, played for the 89th time, is one of the older bowl games in college football. Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes has been the sponsor since 2019.

A late field goal, one of five for Pitt kicker Ben Sauls, gave the Panthers the win. The Panthers’ players got to dump the classic cereal after the game.

In 2021, Central Michigan Chippewas head coach Jim McElwain enjoyed a Frosted Flakes deluge courtesy of his players after a 24-21 win over the Washington State Cougars.

Cheez-It in 2020 became the sponsor of this game, which began as the Blockbuster Bowl in 1990. Last year, Clemson Tigers coach Dabo Swinney enjoyed a lightly toasted cheese cracker bath after a 20-13 win against the Iowa State Cyclones.



Dabo gets a Cheez-It bath after Clemson win vs. Iowa State

Dabo Swinney gets a glorious Cheez-It bath as Clemson seals a 20-13 win over Iowa State in the Cheez-It Bowl.

This year, Florida State and Oklahoma traded the lead four times in the second half, with the Seminoles sacking quarterback Dillion Gabriel on the final drive to hold off a comeback bid. Mike Norvell got a Cheez-It bath to remember as the clock ticked down to zero.



Mike Norvell gets a Cheez-It bath after sack on final play

Florida State sacks Dillon Gabriel on the final play for the win and head coach Mike Norvell gets a Cheez-It bath.

How many Cheez-It crackers? It takes nearly 72 regular boxes (12.4 ounces) of Cheez-Its to fill a sideline drink cooler.

Since its inception in 1997, this game, known by its current name since 2011, has taken place in Boise, Idaho, the “Potato Capital of the World.” So it’s only natural that its postgame celebration includes food made from the plant.

In the 2022 edition, Eagles quarterback Taylor Powell finished with 298 yards passing, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception while running back Samson Evans led the team on the ground with 82 yards rushing and two scores. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Eastern Michigan’s 41 points are the most it has scored in a bowl game in program history. It’s the team’s first bowl victory since the 1987 California Bowl.

Eagles coach Chris Creighton received the postgame potato bath after the victory.



Chris Creighton gets french fry bath after EMU’s Potato Bowl victory

Chris Creighton gets a bucketful of french fries as Eastern Michigan defeats San Jose State 41-27 to win the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

Last year, Wyoming Cowboys coach Craig Bohl got the french fry shower after his team beat the Kent State Golden Flashes 52-38.



Wyoming coach gets fry bath after Idaho Potato Bowl win

Craig Bohl gets doused with french fries after Wyoming defeats Kent State 52-38 to win the Idaho Potato Bowl.

How many fries? A large fries container from McDonald’s is 5.9 ounces, according to a Buzzfeed analysis comparing McDonald’s food sizes. It would take roughly 152 of them to fill up a cooler.

ESPN Stats & Information contributed to this story.

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