By Daniel Thompson and Adam Bressler
- Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual
- Capital One Orange Bowl
- Allstate Sugar Bowl
- Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic
- Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
- PlayStation Fiesta Bowl
- Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl
- TaxSlayer Gator Bowl
- Vrbo Citrus Bowl
- AutoZone Liberty Bowl
- Walk-On's Independence Bowl
- Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
- Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
- Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman
- Servpro First Responder Bowl
- Camellia Bowl
These bowl games have decent names but could be better. Most of these are geographic names. Just like above, we also want these names to remove any supplemental corporate title sponsorships:
- Current Name: San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl
You would think such an appealing tourist destination with beautiful year-round weather, such as California, would have an abundance of bowl games. But surprisingly, the Holiday Bowl is only one of just three bowls in the Golden State, four less than Texas and five less than Florida. For some reason, California has the same number of bowls as the obvious “vacation destinations” of Alabama, Arizona, and Louisiana. As a result, the Holiday Bowl has plenty of viable options for better names. I propose keeping it simple by going with the “Gold Bowl”, honoring the state’s nickname and original allure. You know as they say, “Nothing comes close to the Golden Coast.”
- Current Name: Outback Bowl
Admittedly, out of all of the corporate-sponsored bowls, I like the Outback Bowl the most. I am a big fan of the restaurant’s steak and signature Bloomin’ Onion (the bowl game celebrates this appetizer by featuring an anthropomorphic onion mascot and giving the menu item away for free on the day following the game). Also, The Outback Bowl has held its sponsorship since 1995, the longest title sponsorship of any college bowl game. However, if I were forced to change the name, I would probably recommend “the Tangerine Bowl”, honoring a classic fruit grown in the area, as well as Tropicana’s sponsorship of the Tampa Bay Rays stadium in nearby St. Petersburg.
- Current Name: Valero Alamo Bowl
The Alamo Bowl is another name that is good, but not great. The name honors the 1836 Battle of the Alamo in San Antonio, the only bowl to honor a historical event. Additionally, the name references that it is held in the Alamodome, another facet of good bowl names (See the Rose Bowl, held in the Rose Bowl stadium, and the Liberty Bowl, held in Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium). However, the game could be more in line with traditional bowl naming schemes by going with the “the Oil Bowl”, representing San Antonio’s largest employer and the commodity synonymous with Central Texas.
- Current Name: Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl
Although the Las Vegas Bowl is not a particularly poor name, there is certainly room for improvement. Names pertaining to the city’s fondness of gambling could possibly work, such as the “Casino Bowl” or more generalized the “Sin Bowl”. However, I propose that they rename it to the “Silver Bowl”. Nevada’s official state nickname is “The Silver State”, calling back to the region’s silver mining roots. Additionally, silver is a traditional commodity; it reference’s Vegas’s allure in the eyes of fortune-seeking visitors and the name rolls off the tongue.
- Current Name: SoFi Hawai'i Bowl
Believe it or not, The current iteration of the Hawaii Bowl is the sixth bowl game to be played in Honolulu. I guess something about the warm, tropical weather is appealing to collegiate football teams in December. These previous bowls, which had varying levels of success, all had more fitting names than the Hawaii Bowl: the Pua Bowl, the Oahu Bowl, the Hula Bowl, and the Aloha Bowl. However, the best name of the bunch is undoubtedly the Pineapple Bowl. Unlike the others or the current name, this is an actual commodity. According to the Hawaii Agricultural Statistics Service, the state exports $100 million in Pineapples each year. The Pineapple Bowl in Hawaii would be the perfect analog to Georgia’s Peach Bowl and Florida’s Orange Bowl.
- Current Name: R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
New Orleans already hit one bowl name out of the park with the Sugar Bowl. However, the other bowl held in the Mercedes Benz Superdome is much less creative. The first thought was to reference the city’s famous Mardi Gras celebrations. Either the Beignet Bowl or the Bourbon Bowl (Referencing both the alcoholic drink and the street), could have been interesting. Ultimately, I settled on the “Soy Bowl”, since soybeans are Louisiana's largest crop by revenue ($624 million per year), even larger than sugarcane (Louisiana's fourth-largest crop; $387 million). If anything, the Sugar Bowl should have been renamed the Soy Bowl a long time ago.
- Current Name: Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl
For a city with a rich history like Houston, it is a shame that the city’s bowl game has such a lackluster name. Texas is the second-largest state in agricultural and livestock production, only behind California. And the largest segment of that economic sector? Beef grazing, comprising of 56.7% of the state’s combined livestock and crop revenue. Therefore, I propose that the game be renamed “the Cattle Bowl”.
- Current Name: TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl
A perfect name for this bowl would be “the Iron Bowl”, referencing the state’s steel manufacturing history. Unfortunately, that name is already taken by the annual intrastate contest between Auburn and the University of Alabama. Rather, I chose a more general name, representing the cities numeral mineral natural resources: “The Mineral Bowl”. In fact, Birmingham was able to become an Iron powerhouse because it is the only city in the world with large deposits of the three minerals needed for Iron production in close proximity (iron ore, coal, and limestone).
- Current Name: New Mexico Bowl
New Mexico is not famous for any single natural resource, so despite possibly placing me on a DHS watchlist, I propose that the game should be renamed to the “Uranium Bowl”. The contest is held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which is not far from Los Alamos National Laboratory, the famed epicenter of the Manhattan Project during World War II. Uranium is a crucial component of the Little Boy nuclear bomb, which was constructed at Los Alamos. Although the facility no longer builds nuclear weapons, there are ongoing experiments at the laboratory to harness nuclear fusion as electrical energy. The Uranium Bowl would pay respect to these efforts.
- Current Name: Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl
Sandy beaches are basically synonymous with the Bahamas and I think the name “Sand Bowl” would drum up the images the Bahamas tourism board is looking for. The only hesitation some might have is whether sand can count as a commodity. While not a commodity that would be purchased by the average consumer, sand is quite resoundingly a major commodity. It’s a common ingredient for concrete and the massive rise of concrete production across the world in the 21st century has made it a highly coveted non-renewable resource. Furthermore, beach sand is coarse enough for concrete use, but desert sand isn’t, so the sand of the Bahamas is actually quite a valuable commodity across the world, as well as a great selling point to tourists, which is why bowl games ever came to be in the first place.
- Current Name: Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl
With all due respect to the city, Boca Raton does not have an economy that lends itself to good bowl names. There are no commodities that are a large part of the city’s economy, which is largely driven by tourism. For that reason, I had to get a bit creative and decided to go with “the Palm Bowl”. Palm trees line the streets in Boca Raton, the city is Palm Beach County, Florida and is only a few miles away from West Palm Beach. It’s not a perfect name, but it will suffice.
- Current Name: Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl
This bowl name is not great and there is an obvious improvement. When someone thinks about Arizona, chances are, cacti come to mind. Arizona’s official state flower is the Carnegiea gigantea, the prototypical cactus species, and Arizona’s official state bird is the cactus wren. The cactus is so synonymous with Arizona that MLB’s spring training league held in the state is called “the Cactus League.” This new title should be a no brainer for bowl organizers.
- Current Name: Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl
Frisco is a tough one. Frisco does not evoke many thoughts, besides maybe, “Dallas suburbs.” Tropical smoothies and cafes are certainly far down the pecking order of ideas that define Frisco, although it would have fit pretty well before 2017 when it was still the Miami Beach Bowl. Nevertheless, there is a solid branding and symbiotic partnership that can be made out of Frisco. Since 2010, Frisco’s Toyota Stadium has been home to the FCS National Championship Game. While no team that has played in the first two Frisco Bowls has been so much as a conference champion, it is still true that Frisco is where college football champions are crowned. This would also serve as a great way of advertising to football fans that the FCS Championship will be played in Frisco in about two weeks time. Football and more football feels like a much more natural partnership than football and the Tropical Smoothie Cafe.
These bowl games are terrible and why nobody takes them seriously. Please, change these now:
- Current Name: Cheez-It Bowl
When founded, the Cheez-It Bowl donned the name “Copper Bowl”, which is a more traditional and fitting name. Arizona is the largest copper producing state in the union, with 12 active copper mines. Last year, the state produced 750 thousand metric tons of copper, which was worth $5.54 billion. And unlike the current name, despite what some avid cheese cracker fans might claim, copper is an actual commodity. And I know this is a bit of a stretch, but the bowl game is held in Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks. For the team’s first five seasons, their official colors were purple, black, teal and copper. That provides another reason to rename it the “Copper Bowl”.
- Current Name: Camping World Bowl
Central Florida has an abundance of bowl games each year -- there are five between Orlando and Tampa alone. Although some of the names are winners, there are only so many natural resources that are exclusive to the Central Florida region. Therefore, I propose going a bit outside of the box by renaming it the “Magic Bowl”. This new name pays homage to the city’s perpetually mediocre NBA franchise as well as the Magic Kingdom, the world’s largest theme park by annual visitors, which is located just 21 miles southwest of downtown Orlando in Kissimmee.
- Current Name: Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl
Nashville’s Music City Bowl has a decent name that pays homage to the city’s history and culture. However, the name would be much better if it were simplified to just “the Music Bowl”. Other possible names would reference Nashville’s most famous landmark: The replica of the Athenian Parthenon that is located in the city’s Centennial Park. Maybe a name like “the Olympic Bowl”, as long as the International Olympic Committee does not bring litigation.
- Current Name: LendingTree Bowl
With the exception of the Gator Bowl, no currently existing bowl games use any sort of animal as their commodity of choice. Generally, they elect to name themselves after fruit. But shrimp are the fruit of the sea, so Mobile, Alabama should role with this one. If you’re not familiar with Alabamian geography, Mobile is Alabama’s coastal metropolis. Situated on the Mobile Bay, shrimping is a huge part of Mobile’s economy. An economic study could convince you of this, but it would be much more effective to point out that Bayou La Batre, the actually real hometown of Forrest Gump’s best friend Bubba Buford and where the Bubba Gump Shrimping company was founded, is just a 31-minute car ride from Mobile.
- Current Name: Redbox Bowl
Despite being held in Levi’s Stadium in the epicenter of Silicon Valley, the headquarters of tech giants such as Apple, Facebook, and Netflix, the current bowl game is sponsored by Redbox, one of the least tech-savvy companies around. It’s 2019. Who still rents physical DVDs when you can watch thousands of films at your fingertips with the overabundance of streaming services, including Hulu, Netflix, Disney+, AppleTV+, and CBS All Access? Rather this bowl should honor the element essential to the manufacturing of computer chips and synonymous with the Bay Area.
- Current Name: Belk Bowl
This one probably isn’t realistic, but the Belk Bowl is played in Charlotte, and no plant or other commodity is so historically tied to North Carolina as tobacco. Look no further than the state capital to confirm this: Sir Walter Raleigh made his fortune bringing tobacco from North Carolina plantations back to England. However, I don’t see any corporate partners wanting to tie themselves to this name, and it might not even get aired on TV. That’s why this is the only bowl game that could use a corporate sponsor in the name. If it became the “Chantix Quit Tobacco Bowl”, the delicate balance of homage to the state’s most historically important commodity while pleasing shareholders and not advertising deadly products to children would be reached.
- Current Name: Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl
Florida has a lot of bowl games - eight to be exact - and this is one of two in Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium. This can spread Florida pretty thin when it comes to finding commodities and abstract ideas emblematic, and flattering, of the state. This made it a bit of a surprise that a classic commodity already used to represent Florida in sports was still available. Major League Baseball’s spring training leagues follow the same time-honored tradition of naming your sporting attractions after plants that grow in your state with its two spring leagues: the Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues. The branding has already been taken care of for this one.
- Current Name: New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Admittedly, for a corporate-sponsored bowl, the Pinstripe Bowl is not a bad name. It subtlety references that the game is played at Yankee Stadium (and the game itself is owned by Steinbrenner), without being too in-your-face about it. Yet, we could not resist trying to improve it. New York’s official state nickname is “the Empire State” (hence the building), so what if the game was called “the Empire Bowl”? A few other bowl games reference abstract ideas, such as Memphis’s “Liberty Bowl”, and Shriveport’s “Independence Bowl”. The “Empire Bowl” would fit right in.
- Current Name: Quick Lane Bowl
Detroit's undisputed economic engine is the automotive industry, so, clearly, any bowl in the “Motor City” should reference its history. The current name, sponsored by the Ford Motor Company’s oil change subsidiary, is certainly topical, but a bit too corporate for my liking. “The Piston Bowl” pays homage to the city’s manufacturing roots as well as its NBA franchise. Alternative names include “the automotive bowl” and “the Hub Cap Bowl.” I suppose the more traditional fruit-themed “Cherry Bowl” could also work, but Traverse City, the self-proclaimed “cherry capital of the world”, is over 200 miles away from Ford Field.
- Current Name: FBC Mortgage Cure Bowl
As mentioned above when discussing the “Camping World Bowl”, central Florida has an over-abundance of postseason games. There are only a certain amount of citrus products that can support a bowl name. Therefore, I propose going off the board for the cure bowl: Central Florida is home to Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral, the location where NASA launched the space shuttles and the Apollo rockets. Some alternative name proposals include “the Astro Bowl”, “the Apollo bowl”, “the Moon Bowl”, and “the Saturn bowl” (named after the type of rockets used to get Americans to the moon). However, you can’t go wrong with the traditional “Space Bowl”.