USA TODAY Sports’ Nicole Auerbach breaks down the 2016 College Football playoff games between Alabama-Washington and Clemson-Ohio State.
USA TODAY Sports
SAN DIEGO — Sometime during the past 30 years, all the postseason bowl games in college football figured out an easy way to make millions of dollars. All they had to do was change their names.
► The Orange Bowl is now the Capital One Orange Bowl, not to be confused with the old Capital One Bowl, which recently became the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl.
► The Holiday Bowl is now the National Funding Holiday Bowl, the game’s eighth different identity since it became the SeaWorld Holiday Bowl in 1986.
► In 1990, the Independence Bowl became the Poulan Weed Eater Independence Bowl, clearing the way for this year’s Camping World Independence Bowl on Dec. 26.
It’s all for the sake of revenue and advertising. And it transformed the industry, for better or worse.
But the name game finally may have hit a wall. Six of this year’s 41 bowl games have failed to obtain similar title or presenting sponsorships, raising more questions about the market appeal of an 80-team postseason that already includes several games with sparse crowds and 20 bowl teams this year with 6-6 records or worse.
“There are 41 games this year, so there’s more competition for it,” said Mark Neville, executive director of the Holiday Bowl and the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego. “We’ve got to work a little bit harder and be a little bit more creative to secure them.”
Twenty years ago, there were 18 bowl games. Five years ago, there were 35, and all of them had a title or presenting sponsorship to help pay their bills. Starting Dec. 17, there will be 41 postseason games through Jan. 9,…