College Bowl Games: 5 Worst Bowl Names of 2011-12
With college football winding down, the focus has shifted from the grind of the regular season to conference championship games and the upcoming bowl season.
The palpable holiday atmosphere will soon dominate television programming. Between classic animated Rudolph movies and "Home Alone" reruns, the predictable offering will drive many to the brink of despair.
So we'll gladly tune into multiple bowl games featuring teams with 7-5 records playing like it's the national championship.
But with each passing year, bowl games and the sponsorship deals that truly fuel them continue showing up on the schedule with terrible names.
These are the worst five bowl game names on the 2011-12 schedule.
Ugliest: Belk Bowl
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The Belk Bowl is named after a chain of department stores in the south. The chain is operated out of North Carolina, and the bowl is played in Charlotte so the tie-in makes sense from a geographical standpoint.
But Belk? I realize it is a family name, but there must be a better way to draw attention to the brand.
The game is set to take place Dec. 27 in prime time and will feature two mediocre teams from the ACC and Big East.
Peeking at the standings, I'll take an educated stab and say it will be Cincinnati (8-3) against either Virginia or Georgia Tech (both 8-4).
Financial: Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl
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Nothing says American football like a financial institution being the responsible party for a bowl game. With big money to be made from various entities, banks and loan companies putting on a college bowl is a real world life lesson.
They have the money, they run the show and they don't take no for an answer.
But what they don't have is quality teams. This game routinely scrapes the bottom of the bowl-eligible barrel. In fact, "bowl-eligible" is just another term for easy money when it comes to sponsoring a game.
Companies take advantage of the fact people will tune into watch a game between .500 teams and see it as a way to rake in easy dollars. It's the equivalent of a foreclosed home. They are foreclosing on bad football and turning a profit.
The game is supposed to feature teams from the ACC and SEC. A typical game this year could feature North Carolina (7-5) against either Florida (6-6) or Auburn (7-5).
Food Related: Beef 'O'Brady's Bowl St. Petersburg
I can't think of another bowl game that doesn't actually end with the word "bowl." But if I was going to buy tickets to a mediocre postseason game, I'd go to one sponsored by a restaurant.
Beef 'O'Brady's is a chain in the Gulf coast area, and I would expect their front office to provide some munchies to the crowd in attendance.
Maybe they'll take it a step further and give away food to the players before and/or after the game.
This is only the fourth year this bowl is being played and pits a Big East team against a Conference USA team. The Big East representative has won all three previous games with Louisville, Rutgers and South Florida.
I think Rutgers (8-4) will be back this year to take on either Tulsa (8-4) or Southern Methodist (7-5).
Mouthful: San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl
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How many syllables can you possibly cram into a single bowl name? This gets the award for longest name of the postseason.
It would also fit in the financial slide, but I thought it deserved its own recognition for completely disregarding any semblance of ease.
Why do I feel like Colin Firth in "The King's Speech" when he takes in a mouthful of marbles to aid his stuttering? My goodness, it's a bowl game, not a free-form prose tournament.
Louisiana Tech (8-4) has already been confirmed for the Dec. 21 game and will play a team from the Mountain West Conference. It's supposed to be the second place team, but that team is ninth-ranked Boise State.
If the Broncos get invited to a better bowl, the next in line for this one would be Wyoming (7-4).
Worst BCS: Rose Bowl Game Presented by Vizio
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When it comes to the BCS, the Rose Bowl Game Presented by Vizio is definitely the leader when it comes to how not to sponsor a game.
The title game has a long name also, but it's the title game. Come on.
The other three BCS games have three words, which makes things less distracting—Allstate Sugar Bowl, Discover Orange Bowl and Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
But the Rose Bowl just comes in and desecrates the name and turns into an ugly monstrosity. Why couldn't they just go with "Vizio Rose Bowl?" Boom, done.
As long as Oregon (10-2) gets by UCLA (6-6) Friday in Eugene, they will be in Pasadena to play the winner of Wisconsin and Michigan State.
Long sponsorship names like these don't bother me as much for smaller bowls like the ones in this slideshow.
But when it comes to games like the Rose Bowl, which have provided decades of history and memories, a bit more respect would be appreciated. They can still have sponsorship deals, but the name doesn't have to be so ugly.