People who know me know that I absolutely love the bowl season and everything about it. The sheer volume of games over a 2-week span in December/January is just the best, and I am so excited to get the bowl mania rolling on Friday.
The bowl season provides us with tons of fun matchups we wouldn’t otherwise see, and some really top tier games that should be great showdowns.
But the real soul of the bowl season are the ones between the random schools, in a random location, with a ridiculous sponsor/game name combo. Those are the ones that warm my heart.
So today let’s take a look at the best bowl games that we have to look to forward to – based off nothing about the actual matchup and quality of play and everything on all the other stuff. Let’s get it.
Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl (Buffalo vs Charlotte)
The very first bowl is this Friday afternoon between Buffalo and Charlotte in the Bahamas Bowl.
This one makes the list because it is the first bowl of the season and is going to be an absolutely glorious visual of two incredibly random teams meeting in a stadium that will have less than 1,000 people in the stands.
People in the Bahamas do not care in the least about college football, and the amount of Buffalo and Charlotte fans who are going to make this road trip will be a low number I am going to have to assume.
Plus I love the idea of Buffalo players leaving home where it is 12 degrees and snowing and going to the tropical land of the Bahamas and sweating buckets.
Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl (Utah State vs Kent State)
This bowl name is simply fantastic, with the sponsor not matching the bowl name at all and that is what makes it great.
Two cold weather teams from Utah and Ohio meeting in a bowl game in North Texas named after a fruity drink? Sign me up every day of the week.
Also I have no clue what the trophy for this game looks like, but if the players can’t drink a smoothie out of it in celebration that is a gigantic swing and a miss.
Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl (UCF vs Marshall)
This bowl name is absolutely elite, often used as the go-to for ridiculous bowl names.
Bad Boy Mowers is an awesome brand name and I love that they are doing well enough to sponsor a random bowl game in Florida. I truly didn’t know what gasparilla is so I gave it the ole Google search.
It is actually named after mythical pirate named Jose Gaspar who operated in the Tampa Bay area…that’s amazing.
Hard pressed to find a bowl name much better than this one. It literally could be any two teams in the country playing in it and I will make a point to watch it.
New Era Pinstripe Bowl (Michigan State vs Wake Forest)
I am most certainly biased as a New York Yankees fan but this bowl name/location combo is one of the best out there.
Pinstripe Bowl…in Yankee Stadium. That’s money.
Where this bowl is going to struggle is that Nike is taking over the role as the official uniform of Major League Baseball away from New Era, so this bowl may need a new sponsor next year.
But for now, this remains a top tier bowl game both in name and location. Although it would be better if at least one warm-weather team was featured in what is bound to be a brutally cold afternoon like it always is during that game.
Cheez-It Bowl (Air Force vs Washington State)
After the historic 2018 Cheez-It Bowl where TCU defeated California in a scintillating 10-7 shootout, everyone was excited for the 2019 edition.
We got handed a phenomenal game in every way. It’s air raid vs Air Force. Mike Leach insanity vs The United States military. Plus, who doesn’t like Cheez-It’s?
The fact that this game isn’t even just sponsored by Cheez-It but legit named after the cracker brand makes it so much better. If you aren’t pumped for this game which will be played at Chase Field, the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, then you need to reevaluate your life.
It has all the great qualities of a random late-night December bowl game, I can’t wait.
Redbox Bowl (California vs Illinois)
California goes from the Cheez-It Bowl last year to the Redbox Bowl this year.
This game is incredibly ugly. It is such an un-appetizing matchup with a name that doesn’t exactly jump off the page…how on earth does Redbox even have their own bowl anyway?
But that is what makes it so great. It is so ugly it’s beautiful.
This game was made for a Monday afternoon, let’s all enjoy it together.
TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl (Boston College vs Cincinnati)
This is another one in the same vain as California-Illinois. The matchup is hideous.
I don’t think anyone has ever had the sincere thought in their head of “I wonder who would win if Boston College and Cincinnati played…”
But, again, that is why it is so perfect. This game is so bowl season it hurts.
I also love the idea of a bowl game named after a ticket sales service having nobody at it, because this game in Birmingham, Alabama between two teams nowhere near there on a Thursday afternoon has empty stadium written all over it.
Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl (Arizona State vs Florida State)
I saved the best for last. This bowl name…is art.
The Frosted Flakes Sun Bowl or even Kellogg’s Sun Bowl would have been awesome, but they took it to a whole new level by naming it after the cereal mascot Tony the Tiger. Whoever decided that deserves a massive raise.
The Sun Bowl itself has been around a long time but the sponsor has changed a lot, so hopefully we have one now that has stuck for the long haul.
This deep south Texas game in El Paso features two teams that are not exactly in the El Paso area, which should make for a great crowd.
I can’t wait to watch Herm Edwards coach up the Sun Devils in El Paso in front of an empty stadium against a Florida State team that has a fan base with one foot off a cliff.
This game is what bowl mania is all about.