As the end of the College Football season is looming, many student athletes got to play their final game ever with a bowl game invite. All you have to do is win 6 games to be bowl eligible now, so a whopping 44 bowl games were supposed to take place this year. They’ve all got their quirks- from lavish locations, to absurd sponsorships, to insane festivities. Imagine you’re the senior with one more game to play. Which game do you want to be invited to? These are the 5 best and the 5 worst bowl games to have to play in (yes, the names are real).


  1. Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl (El Paso, Texas)

I’m sorry, but if I’m a senior in college, I likely don’t want to play my final game in El Paso on New Year’s Eve. Also, they really dropped the ball not calling it the Frosted Flakes Bowl, which can literally be eaten out of a bowl.

  1. Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl (St. Petersburg, Florida)

The name of this bowl is so long that on your celebratory t-shirt, “2021 Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl Champions” ends up being wrapped around to the backside of the shirt because you’ve run out of room. It just doesn’t have a ring to it. Also the Buccaneer Bowl is much catchier and was right there- the game is even played at the same stadium that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play at..

3. Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl pres. By Stifel

It would feel quite weird receiving a trophy for a game named after a bearded comedian. Is his face on the shirt? Are we playing for him like court jesters so he can make jokes as he sits in his studio soaking up the PR from having his name on the field? How did you get an entire bowl game to yourself, Jimmy? Does Conan get a bowl too?

  1. Frisco Football Classic (Frisco, Texas)

Too many teams were bowl eligible this year, so they literally had to CREATE this game in the first place. The official statement said that it was going to be in “a location in Texas TBD” several weeks ago, and here we are. The Frisco Football “Classic” despite having never been played before and will cease to exist after this year. 

  1. TaxAct Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Alabama)

You’re a senior in college. This game takes place on CHRISTMAS DAY. You’ll be spending it playing a game sponsored by TaxAct in Montgomery, Alabama. “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” will sound like a dream.


  1. Four-way tie: New Era Pinstripe Bowl/Wasabi Fenway Bowl/SDCCU Holiday Bowl/Guaranteed Rate Bowl

All of these are played at a baseball stadium (Pinstripe: Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, Holiday: Petco Park in San Diego, Guaranteed Rate: Chase Field in Arizona) which has got to be a pretty unique experience, right? I’m sure the MLB ownership would put on a show there since they could afford to do that as opposed to paying their players…

  1. Outback Bowl (Tampa Bay, Florida)

Your game is single-handedly responsible for determining a free food item for America. Traditionally, depending on which team wins, the next day, everyone gets either a free bloomin’ onion or a free order of coconut shrimp. They even have poor souls dressed as bloomin’ onion and coconut shrimp mascot suits on the sidelines. It’s an incredibly impactful bowl game with high stakes. America’s belly counts on you in this situation.

3. Easypost Hawaii Bowl (Honolulu, Hawaii)

Imagine being a college senior at a small midwestern school or something and your final practices leading up to a game played on Christmas Eve are in Hawaii. It doesn’t matter if there are essentially no stakes to this game and that no one but family and friends will be watching. That’s a dream

  1. Rose Bowl Game pres. By Capital One (Pasadena, California)

It’s the bowl with the most tradition, in the coolest football stadium, with the most college football history and lore. It’s got a parade. It’s got the best nickname: “the granddaddy of them all!” and you’re treated like a king in Pasadena leading up to a high stakes game that even has a New Year’s Day parade leading up to it. It’s where legends are made. Also, if you win, you get to have the iconic photo of yourself with a celebratory rose in your mouth afterwards.

  1. Three-way Tie: Cheez-It Bowl/Duke’s Mayo Bowl/Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

In all of these bowls, you get to dump said sponsored item on your coach if you win, and there are no stakes that could outweigh the price of that kind of glory. Yes, in the Cheez-it Bowl, you would get to dump a Gatorade bucket’s worth of Cheez-it’s on your coach as you eat Cheez-it’s out of the trophy. Yes, in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl, the coaches in this year’s game, Shane Beamer and Brown, have agreed to take a “mayo bath” should they win the game. Even in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, you get to douse your old man in a bucket of french fries.

Photo: Michelle R. Martinelli / Twitter

Some things are bigger than sports.

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