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Ranking Bowl Games By Name

Believe it or not the 2020 college football season has reached the end of the regular season. This weekend we have the long anticipated string of conference championship games, followed quickly by bowl season. This year is a little strange as we have bowl games starting two days after conference champions are crowned, but it's 2020 so it fits right in. To get you prepared for bowl season here is the definitive ranking of the 2020 bowl games based on nothing but their name.

32. New Mexico Bowl

The New Mexico starts a run of bowl games who do not have a title or presenting sponsor. Of course, there's nothing wrong with that, but it does make the names a little boring. The New Mexico Bowl checks in last on the Name Rankings because it is literally named after the state in which it is played. The bowl creators sat together in a room and said, "Well, the game will take place in New Mexico, so we'll call it the New Mexico Bowl." The best (and most 2020) part of this name is that due to COVID-19 restrictions in New Mexico the game will be taking place in Frisco, Texas. The game named only for the state in which it exists will not even take place in that state. 2020 man.

31. Montgomery Bowl.

Another sponsor-less bowl game checking in is the Montgomery Bowl. This game ranks higher than the New Mexico Bowl on the Name Rankings for two reasons. First, it is ever so slightly more creatively named because it is named after the city in which it is played and not just the state. Kudos to the bowl creators for doing exactly one step more than the bare minimum there. Secondly, the Montgomery Bowl is actually taking place in Montgomery, Alabama this year so the name is factually correct. Once again, a low bar that the Montgomery Bowl clears.

30. Cure Bowl

The Cure Bowl raises money for breast cancer research, and that is to be commended. However, the name choice is about the most boring way possible to say that your bowl's purpose is to benefit cancer research. Some better name options include the Kick Cancer's Ass Bowl or the Bowl for Breasts. Cure Bowl folks, feel free to use one of these as long as a check is in the mail first.

29. Camellia Bowl

The Camellia Bowl is another sponsor-less bowl checking in at the bottom of the rankings. I have a confession to make, in order to properly assess this bowl name I had to look up what a Camellia actually is. It turns out that a Camellia is a type of flower that is often found in eastern and southern Asia. It is also the state flower of Alabama (a land notedly near eastern and southern Asia). The game takes place in Montgomery, Alabama, so I guess they have a lot of Camellias there. It seems to be a long ways from the home of the Camellias, though. Kudos to the Camellia Bowl for at least naming their game after an Asian flower and not just the city it's played in...*ehm* Montgomery Bowl...

credit: USA Today

28. Allstate Sugar Bowl

Allstate has sponsored the Sugar Bowl since 2006, making the insurance company synonymous with the Sugar Bowl game itself. However, a non-descript car insurance company is about the most boring bowl sponsor one could ask for. The Sugar Bowl ranks ahead of the four previous bowls solely because it does have a title sponsor, but Allstate is still a snoozer of a sponsor. The one thing that the Allstate Sugar Bowl does have going for it is that it basically infringes on every other college football game in America. Everyone (except for those select few with the American Family Insurance ones) has the Allstate Good Hands field goal nets. The Sugar Bowl might have a boring name, but you think about it way more than you realize.

27. Capital One Orange Bowl

The Orange Bowl is another New Year's Six game checking in with another boring sponsor. This always happens with the BCS/New Year's Six games because of how prominent they are in the college football landscape. Because they are the biggest games of the year, they are only affordable for large, legitimate companies to sponsor them. Unfortunately for these games it makes their names boring and keeps them low on the Name Rankings. Capital One is a prime example of this. It is a fine sponsor, but the name "Capital One Orange Bowl" does nothing to move the needle of name excitement. All it does is force us to watch a billion cringe-worthy Jennifer Garner commercials during the game.

26. Chick-Fila-Peach Bowl

Continuing our string of New Year's Six games is the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl. The name of this game has improved in the New Year's Six era as the "Peach" was reinstated. Chick-Fil-A got a little too big for their britches for awhile when they made this game the "Chick-Fil-A Bowl." Order has been restored now, and adding back the Peach is worth at least a spot in the Name Rankings. Like with the other New Year's Six games the sponsor of the Peach Bowl does little to help with name intrigue. I love Chick-Fil-A, but it's a major brand that everyone knows. It's not a needle mover on the intrigue scale.

25. Outback Bowl

The Outback Bowl is a great name for a Tampa-based bowl game for many reasons. First, Outback Steakhouse was founded in Tampa, Florida. Second, Tampa consists of almost nothing but chain restaurants like Outback Steakhouse. Third, the founders of this Australian themed, pseudo-nice steakhouse had never actually been to Australia when they established this restaurant. That is Tampa as hell, and a bowl game in its honor in Tampa is the perfect way to celebrate that. I've long been pining for free Bloomin Onions the day after the Outback Bowl regardless of who wins, but they still haven't taken me up on my genius idea.

credit: SBNation

24. Playstation Fiesta Bowl

This bowl name is just plain mean. Why, you ask? Well there has not been a college sports video game since NCAA 14. Since that game was released, Playstation has launched TWO new versions of their gaming console. In order to play a college football game on a Playstation you have to play on a console that is so outdated there are two newer versions. I know that Playstation is not at fault for the demise of the college sports video games, but sponsoring one of the biggest college football games of the year while we have to go two systems back to play a college football game on one of their systems feels like a big slap in the face. It's not your fault at all Playstation, but I hate you for it.

23. VRBO Citrus Bowl

I will give props to VRBO, because I had no idea what VRBO was until they started sponsoring this bowl game (Even though I had stayed in multiple VRBO houses in years prior, facepalm I know). That would be the definition of effective marketing. This game appears in the bottom half of the Name Rankings, however, because it just looks weird. It's four letters and then a name. It does not flow well together at all, and gives the vibe of something a kindergartner made up.

22. Cheez-It Bowl

The Cheez-It Bowl is a rare name that actually transcends the individual game it represents. If you recall, the original Cheez-It Bowl was the Cactus Bowl in Phoenix (Now known as the Guaranteed Rate Bowl. More on this later). The first ever Cheez-It Bowl was an abomination of a football game, and I still shudder every single time I hear the words "Cheez-It Bowl." This iteration of the Cheez-It Bowl takes place in Orlando, and it is a new sponsor for the old Russell Athletic/Camping World Bowl. The Cheez-It Bowl is a name that just rolls right off the tongue. Like most of the New Year's Six sponsors, Cheez-It is a known commodity, but Cheez-It is a name that perfectly describes those little cheese cracker squares. Bonus points to you Cheez-It Bowl for not only having a cool name, but also making me want to go buy some of those addictive crackers.

credit: Hylights, ESPN

21. Military Bowl Presented by Perspecta

The Military Bowl gets a bump here by using the ever hilarious "presented by" to announce their sponsor. We can't possibly taint the name of this ever prestigious matchup between middling ACC and AAC foes. It is sacred in college football lore and must be treated as such. Another great part of this bowl name is the transition of sponsorship this year from Northrup Grumman to Perspecta. For nine years the Army plane making company, Northrup Grumman, sponsored this game. Now, Perspecta, a tech company that also dabbles in military stuff, is the presenting sponsor. The Military Bowl clearly has a type. It can't quit sponsors that enjoy blowing things up.

20. The Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual

The Granddaddy of them all checks in at number 20 on the Name Rankings countdown. Like the Military Bowl before it, we have another "presented by" situation, but this game actually has history. Another reason for this games high ranking despite boring sponsorship and pretentiousness is that "The Rose Bowl Game" is such a damn cool phrase. It gives me chills reading those words on a screen. It's the Granddaddy of them all for a reason, even if it chose a sponsor with a commercial song that drives me crazy.

19. Valero Alamo Bowl

Valero has been fueling the American spirit of this game since 2007. Like Allstate with the Sugar Bowl, Valero has become synonymous with the Alamo Bowl to the point where I can't drive past one without thinking about the game. The Alamo Bowl is also the only context in which I ever think about Valero. I'm either driving past a Valero and think "Alamo Bowl" or I'm thinking about the Alamo Bowl and think "Valero. " At this point, Valero might as well sponsor the actual Alamo too.

18. Guaranteed Rate Bowl

For the first time in our rankings we have reached a game sponsored by something that sounds like fraud. As weird as it sounds, though, Guaranteed Rate is a legitimate mortgage company. The legitimacy of the company is responsible for the games lower standing on the Name Rankings. This game was formerly the Cactus Bowl and Cheez-It Bowl, so the name is taking a step in the right direction.

17. Taxslayer Gator Bowl

Ever since Taxslayer began sponsoring this game I have had two requests. I want the trophy to be a medieval knight's sword, and I want the winning coach to hold it up in the air on the 50 yard line and declare "I AM THE TAXSLAYER!" The winner of the Taxslayer Gator Bowl sounds like a knight who slays the mighty tax and becomes a king. He lives in a large castle surrounded by a moat full of man-eating gators. He sacrifices his servants to these gators when they disobey his orders. Oklahoma State is totally winning this game now.

credit: FanBuzz, ESPN

16. Myrtle Beach Bowl

The Myrtle Beach Bowl is the only sponsor-less game that does not appear on the bottom of the Name Rankings. The reason for this is that someone had the incredible foresight to start this game in the year where Myrtle Beach is the college football capital of the world. Are the Coastal Carolina Beach Chickens good this year because it the inaugural Myrtle Beach Bowl is happening in 2020? Is the inaugural Myrtle Beach Bowl happening in 2020 because Coastal is good? It's a real "what came first, the chicken or the egg?" type of conundrum we have here, and that makes the Myrtle Beach Bowl name interesting.

15. Autozone Liberty Bowl

This is another example of the bowl game and sponsor becoming synonymous as Autozone has been the Liberty Bowl title sponsor since 2004. It is fitting that Autozone was both founded in Memphis and has sponsored this game for so long because if you're driving through Memphis on a road trip (why?) your car will absolutely break down within a 45 mile radius of Memphis, but not in Memphis proper. Seeing how there's absolutely nothing near Memphis, this is a problem, and has to be the origin story for Autozone. Some grumpy dad (don't Google this) was tired of his car breaking down near Memphis that he decided to found a major auto parts store in Memphis proper. That man gave us the gift of the Autozone Liberty Bowl.

14. R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

R+L Carriers is missing out on a great marketing opportunity with this bowl game. This game is typically a nighttime kick in New Orleans, giving patrons ample time to get loaded on Bourbon Street before the game. Now here's where R+L Carriers comes in. People will still Uber, Lyft, or walk to the game, but as they continue drinking in the game and get obscenely drunk R+L Carriers can have staff members there to carry out drunk people on dollies. This is not for the drunk people who are being too unruly or breaking laws, the police can handle that per usual. This is for the drunk people who are ready to leave either during or after the game and are either too drunk or lazy to walk out of the Superdome themselves. Sober people can use this service too, but it's New Orleans so everyone's going to be drunk.

13. LendingTree Bowl

LendingTree is another company whose name screams fraud, but that green puppet guy said it's legit so I believe him. That's the biggest problem with this game, we have to see that puppet in his boxers getting a loan every single TV timeout. Besides that the name LendingTree Bowl is great. I really don't know what it is besides the fraud company sounding name, LendingTree, that makes me like this name, but I do.

12. Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic