Ranking the Best Names in College Football

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Sep 26, 2015; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish cheerleaders do a cheer during a game against the Massachusetts at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame’s Equanimeous St. Brown Among The Best Names In College Football

As an obsessive Notre Dame football fan who needs more hobbies, I know the names of just about every player on the roster. And of all of those Irish players’ names, there is one I hold above all others as a shining beacon of parental naming prowess – Equanimeous St. Brown, freshman wide receiver.

Since learning his name when I found out Notre Dame was recruiting him last year, I’ve often thought to myself, “Is this the best name a college football player could have?” It surely stands tall as the best on the Notre Dame roster, but there must be at least a few equally hilarious, ridiculous, and unique names hidden among other teams’ rosters across the country.

I have no idea how many players play in Division 1 FBS college football. I know there are 128 teams, and that each team has roughly 99 numbers to distribute to the players on their roster. There are many double-numbers these days, but also not all numbers are typically used on each team, so let’s balance that out and assume there are about 99 players on every NCAA FBS team’s roster. Multiply that by 128 teams, and that gives us 12,671 young men and 1 young woman (Kent State kicker April Goss) participating at the highest level of collegiate football.

Each of those players has a name. Some of those names are more fun to say out loud than others. Those are the names I like and those are the names I want to compare to Equanimeous.

I took the time to skim through, on ESPN.com, the roster of every FBS team (yes, I agree, I don’t understand why I’m single, either).

I wrote down every name I found amusing, interesting, ludicrous, or strange. I probably missed some decent ones, but I’m convinced I found the most important ones. And yes, I’m absolutely assuming that the names on the ESPN.com rosters are these young men’s given legal names. When has the Internet ever lied to me before?

I found a little over 700 names that I enjoyed. This would not do, however. I wanted to rank the best names, and I could never find a practical way to do so with such a large quantity.

So, I began an elimination process. I cut it down to 497 by cutting out any on-the-cusp-of-being funny/awesome names. Then I cut it to 88, eliminating names that matched celebrities (e.g. Andrew Lucke, Sean Paul, Edgar Poe, Courtney Love, etc.), names I liked because they had geographic locations in them (e.g. Toronto Thomas, Montreal Taylor, Tolando Cleveland), names that were repeats of each other (e.g. John Johnson, Gibby Gibson, Steven Stevens, etc.), and a lot more names I just didn’t like enough to keep.

Subsequently, I turned those 88 into 57, making some really tough decisions so as to find the final group of names I absolutely could not exclude from this article.

Once I had that group of 57, I still had to pare it down further, because that’s still a lot of names to rank and I, unfortunately, have a day job. So, below are the 32 names that were absolutely sensational but couldn’t quite crack the Top 25 Names in College Football. It pains me not to include them, because I love them all like they are my very own strangely-named children:

Cassanova McKinzy, Rowdy Simon, Mac Loudermilk, Quaide Weimerskirch, Gladimir Paul, Geronimo Allison, Marchie Murdock, Wolfgang Zacherl, Taco Charlton, Poet Thomas, Poncho Barnwell, Driphus Jackson, Deshadrick Truly, Martavius Mims, Rich Queen, Cranston Jones, Jazz Peavy, Q’Drennan, Andrew Aqua, Chico McClatcher, Aca’Cedric Ware, Drew Before, Shakenneth Williams, Jazz Ferguson, Chadwick Lamar, Jasper Sasser, Will Sport, Pig Howard, Money Hunter, Vegas Harley, Stoney Hawkins, Johnathan Boring

Now, on to the Top 25. It was nearly impossible to rank these against each other, but I did my best (and it probably wasn’t good enough). Please leave comments with any concerns or disagreements you have, or to just tell me I’m an idiot for embarking on this impossible journey.

Next: Best Names In College Football #25