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College Football Name of the Year 2017: The Play-In Games

Equanimeous St. Brown is an incredible name. Help me decide if it’s the best name in all of college football.

Notre Dame v Syracuse Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

I love ridiculous names.

I also love Notre Dame football.

So, it follows very logically that I love Equanimeous Tristen Imhotep J. St. Brown, starting WR for my beloved Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team.

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Texas Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

I think his is one of the most glorious names in all of college football — nay — in all of sports. But knowing full well that Equanimeous has a younger brother named Osiris Adrian Amon-Ra J. St. Brown who plays wide receiver for the Stanford Cardinal (and a high school senior brother named Amon-Ra Julian Heru J. St. Brown), I figured it’d be best for me to do a full investigation: what are some of the best names in college football, and what’s the best way to determine the absolute best one?

The answer to the first question is an easy one: I simply needed to read through every name on every roster in the FBS. If you’re wondering, that’s something like 128 schools with roughly 90-100 players per roster. Conservatively, that means I read more than 11,500 names in multiple hours of meticulous research using rosters on Clearly I use my time productively.

In doing said research, I wrote down 1,281 names that I found amusing, for one reason or another (NOTE: I went by the names listed on the rosters ... some of these players might have more formal names that I am ignoring for the sake of this exercise).

There were names that were famous: (Montel Jordan, Jonah Hill, John Voit, Andrew Lucke, Samuel Jackson, Lyndon Johnson, Mike Myers, Jack Johnson, Courtney Love, Michael Jackson, Kobe Jones, Ben Stille(r), Chris Weber, Seth Myers, Isaiah Thomas, Kalvin Cline, Chris Paul). There were names that were infamous (Timothy McVey, Jim Jones). There were aggressively alliterative names (Gibby Gibson, John Johnson, Zamore Zigler, Zander Zimmer), and there was the return of the Occupation Chads (Chad Artist, Chad President), whom I discovered while doing this same exercise a year ago. To halt my rambling, this list of names had everything you could ever want out of a list of hilarious names.

Virginia Tech v Georgia Tech Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

From the 1,281 I wrote down, I took on the nigh-impossible task of cutting it to 299 fantastic names, and then to 163 marvelous names, and then to 102 magnificent names, before finally settling on the 68 near-perfect names that were my absolute favorites. I almost cried multiple times while making these cuts — all of these names were simply amazing and none of them deserved that horrendous fate. I second-guessed my choices more times than I can count, and am still second-guessing them as I publish this.

Nevertheless, I persisted. With the 68 names locked in, I then undertook the even more arduous journey of seeding them, despite it being utterly impossible to rank them against each other. I imagine this is what parents might feel like if they truly love all their children equally and are told to rank them - it was, frankly, a miserable experience.

I got them all seeded, though, sorting the best of the best into this bracket.

This picture is probably too small to read without a magnifying glass. Tough shit. I gave you the link to the Google Sheet, so you don’t need this anyway.
Pat’s Google Sheets Bracket

With that all said, there were probably 200-300 names that could have been used for this tournament. So, before we kick off the tourney with the 4 play-in games below, here are some of my absolute favorites that just couldn’t quite qualify for the bracket, but deserve recognition nonetheless. Let’s enjoy this huge, hulking paragraph of delightful monikers before we get down to business:

Osiris St. Brown, Dougladson Subtyl, Biaggio Ali Walsh, Hamp Cheevers, Wolfgang Zacherl, Osharmar Abercrombie, Griffin Hammer, Ja’Kevious Vickers, Trip McNeill, Twazanga Mugala, Olin Cushion III, Daniel Gothard, Mecole Hardman, Clifford Amazan, DeQueszman Kelley, Chet Lagod, J-Shun Harris II, Tegray Scales, Jervontius Stallings, Jaqwis Dancy, L’Jarius Sneed, K’Lavon Chaisson, Bry’Kiethon Mouton, Qwuantrezz Knight, DeeJay Dallas, Evidence Njoku, Dorborwulu Cooper, Daletavious McGhee, Finis Stribling IV, Jaevon McQuitty, Daevon Vigilant, Trevor Brohard, Jay-Jay McCargo, Maximilian Thrower (would have qualified if he were a QB), Jango Glackin, K’Jakyre Daley, CeeDee Lamb, Jamez Brickhouse, Mac Hippenhammer, Richie Worship, Jaeger Bull, Frank Frankovsky, Blessaun Austin, Seydrrick Lakalaka, Jamie Sackville, Randrecous Davis, OrTre Smith, Kevaughn Dingle, and many more...

Jacksonville State v LSU Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images


Okay, now it’s time to do what we came here to do.

Voting for these games is now open and will close at 7 PM ET on Wednesday, August 23rd (2 days from now!!!). The winners will face 1-seeds in the next round (see the bracket for more details).

Barkevious Mingo Region

Big Cat Bryant vs. Sheldrick Redwine


Which Name Is Best?

This poll is closed

  • 68%
    Big Cat Bryant (Buck, Auburn)
    (209 votes)
  • 31%
    Sheldrick Redwine (CB, Miami)
    (95 votes)
304 votes total Vote Now

Big Cat Bryant (also sometimes spelled Big Kat Bryant) would have been seeded much higher had “Big Cat” been his actual, legal first name. Alas, it is not. His real name is Markaviest, which is amazing in its own right. However, his player profile on Auburn’s site lists him as “Big Cat,” so this is where he landed with a name that is both not his real name but still an amazing name to have listed on the official roster.

Meanwhile, Sheldrick Redwine comes in with one of the fanciest names you could come up with for a Game of Thrones character who is also a turtle.

Should be a heckuva matchup here.

Yourhighness Moore Region:

SchDarren Archie vs. Finesse Middleton


Which Name Is Best?

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    SchDarren Archie (DB, Louisiana Lafayette)
    (93 votes)
  • 69%
    Finesse Middleton (DE, South Alabama)
    (210 votes)
303 votes total Vote Now

SchDarren Archie earned a last-second bid by having a first name that begins with 4 consonants that I’ve never seen show up together, and in that order, in any English word ever in all my years. Also his name sounds like you’re shushing someone named Darren Archie, which I appreciate.

Meanwhile, Finesse snuck in on cheap tricks, unable to actually beat any opposing names straight up but showing impressive delicacy and panache (two synonyms I just looked up for ‘finesse’).

D’Brickashaw Ferguson Region:

Manly Williams vs. Gentle Williams


Which Name Is Best?

This poll is closed

  • 62%
    Manly Williams (DL, Hawaii)
    (183 votes)
  • 37%
    Gentle Williams (G, California)
    (112 votes)
295 votes total Vote Now

This is the ultimate battle, if I do say so myself.

In one corner, we have the height of machismo, Manly Williams, coming into this tournament looking to prove his manhood. In the other corner, we have the soft-spoken and sensitive name from California, Gentle Williams. Two opposites colliding in the ultimate philosophical battle - which is better, to be manly or to be gentle?


Immaculate Perfection Harris Region:

Rowdy Frederick vs. Rowdy Simon


Which Name Is Best?

This poll is closed

  • 65%
    Rowdy Frederick (G, Tulsa)
    (193 votes)
  • 34%
    Rowdy Simon (RB, Tulsa)
    (100 votes)
293 votes total Vote Now

I am obsessed with the fact that these two guys are both named Rowdy and play for the same team. I forced this play-in matchup. I’ll admit it. I am not ashamed of it.


Alright folks, get your votes in soon, as the Play-In rounds are only open for a couple days. On Thursday we will unleash the voting for the entire first round - 32 different ridiculous name matchups.

So, prepare yourselves, friends. Print out your brackets and fill in your predictions, collect your money from friends for your bracket pools, and hydrate accordingly. It’s about to get really fun.