Some say there are too many bowl games in college football. Judging by the naming rights to some of the lower-tier games, it does seem as though bowls are scraping the bottom of the barrel with their corporate sponsorship tie-ins. The latest example: the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl, formerly known as the St. Petersburg Bowl.

Brett McMurphy, formerly of ESPN, reported the bowl sponsorship news on his Twitter and Facebook pages Friday morning.

Oh, what a sexy name. It just rolls off the tongue. In recent years we have gotten back some of the more traditional bowl names, but more and more often we see bowl games receive random sponsors and titles that dilute the identity of a bowl game. That doesn’t mean it’s not fun to say, though.

As noted by McMurphy, the bowl game will remain in St. Petersburg and played in Tropicana Field. This, of course, opens up a new door to jokes; we now have a bowl game played on artificial turf sponsored by a lawn mower company. But it’s still not the funniest name the game has had!

The bowl game in St. Petersburg may have the richest history of bowl game sponsors in its history. Of course, a number of games not in your traditional New Years lineup have some equally bizarre and ridiculous naming history as well. In Orlando, the Citrus Bowl has a fun history behind it as well.

Citrus Bowl

  • CompUSA Bowl (1994-1999)
  • Florida Citrus Bowl (2000)
  • Capital One Bowl (2001-2014)
  • Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl (2015-current)

Not bad, actually, even with that brief stint when Dot Com sponsors were all the rage (does anyone even remember It’s since been absorbed by Amazon, which surprisingly does not sponsor a bowl game). How ridiculous was the sponsorship? Only Brent Musburger could make it sound good, even in quick passing.

What about the Camping World Bowl, also played in Orlando?

Camping World Bowl

  • Blockbuster Bowl (1990-1993)
  • Carquest Bowl (1994-1997)
  • MicronPC Bowl (1998)
  • Bowl (1999-2000)
  • Visit Florida Tangerine Bowl (2001)
  • Mazda Tangerine Bowl (2002-2003)
  • Champs Sports Bowl (2004-2011)
  • Russell Athletic Bowl (2012-2016)
  • Camping World Bowl (2017-)

Bowl games will continue to be played and some will take whatever sponsor they can get. But all of this suggests one thing. The Solid Verbal paints that picture for us all, suggesting the bowl structure is doomed to implode at some point.

Regardless of the sponsors though, the games continue to be placed on TV and bring in ratings for ESPN and other networks that air them.

About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Previously contributed to Host of the Locked On Nittany Lions Podcast. FWAA member and Philadelphia-area resident.