There are plenty of good band names out there. Most of them are courtesy of one Andy Dwyer:
God Hates Figs. Gold.
But for every good band name, there are at least five terrible band names. (These numbers are real, look them up!) Like anything we use to analogize our teams in the Power Polls, what makes a bad band name is pretty subjective—but as a general rule, most offenders lack wit, meaningful originality, and/or taste. Most of these terrible band names never leave some dude’s garage, and the world at large is spared from every having heard of them. But some… well, sometimes you’re driving down the road minding your own business, and you hear about a music festival headlined by "Diarrhea Planet" and you are both bewildered and disgusted. That is one shitty band name, and yes, one of your teams will be analogized to it.
So this week, we celebrate horribly misguided band names and the bands too short-sighted to change them.
1. Ohio State Buckeyes--Florida Georgia Line
Total Points: 250. First Place Votes: 16. Last Place Votes: 0. Highest: 1. Lowest: 2.
I mean, it is a name with a certain amount of logic (one group member from FL, one from GA), which is more than can be said for most on the list. But it’s still ridiculous. Maybe this is why country music is less popular in the northeast—"Massachusetts Connecticut Line" is just unwieldy. Just as this band name is only marginally notable in its silliness, OSU has been only marginally notable so far this season—as the top team in the Big Ten, they’ve handled their cupcakes appropriately and with little fanfare. But that changes this week, as they find themselves in a marquee game against the Oklahoma Sooners.
Baby you a song
You make me wanna roll my windows down and cruise
Down a back road blowin' stop signs through the middle
Every little farm town with you
In this brand new Chevy with a lift kit
It'd look a hell lot better with you up in it
So baby you a song
You make me wanna roll my windows down and cruise
This is barely English, but not everyone’s here to play school, so whatever. Anyway, you’re headed to Oklahoma this week, so you may as well get used to Chevys with lift kits and pretty much everything else mentioned in this song.
2. Michigan Wolverines--Men Without Hats
Total Points: 232. First Place Votes: 1. Last Place Votes: 0. Highest: 1. Lowest: 4.
This one might confuse you. "Men without hats? But BRT, Harbaaaaaaugh always wears his hat!" That is true, and a valid point. This one is admittedly a more lyrical than literal connection. But stick with me. Men Without Hats is a stupid band name, and the only song anyone knows by them is "Safety Dance." Now, go ahead and watch this cracktastic video and tell me you cannot see Jim Harbaugh enthusiastically acting out every single role in this 2:53 of pure batshittery:
Right, that’s what I thought too!
Say, we can act if we want to
If we don't, nobody will
And you can act real rude and totally removed
And I can act like an imbecile
After walloping UCF last weekend, Michigan faces a potentially intriguing matchup with what looks to be an improved Colorado team. The Fighting Harbaaaaaaaaghs shouldn’t have much trouble securing the victory, but can dress real neat from their hats* to their feet and surprise Colorado with a victory cry.
*Why would the Men Without Hats include this lyric? The 80s, man.
3. Wisconsin Badgers--Procol Harum
Total Points: 211. First Place Votes: 1. Last Place Votes: 0. Highest: 1. Lowest: 6.
Procol Harum was named after the band manager’s friend’s Burmese cat. How do you even get talked into that? In what scenario is that the best anyone could come up with? Still, bonkers name or not, Procol Harum managed to come up with one of the truly classic songs of the 1960s:
We skipped the light fandango
Turned cartwheels 'cross the floor
I was feeling kinda seasick
But the crowd called out for more
The room was humming harder
As the ceiling flew away
When we called out for another drink
The waiter brought a tray
In this young season, Wisconsin holds bragging rights to the most impressive win with their surprise Week 1 victory over SEC foe LSU. No doubt the Badgers felt a little discombobulated by the magnitude of their accomplishment, and no doubt the fanbase celebrated by calling out for another drink, or seven. Since then, Wisconsin has been recovering by taking it easy, sailing past the Akron Zips and preparing to do the same this week to whatever a Georgia State is.
4. Iowa Hawkeyes--Puddle of Mudd
Total Points: 200. First Place Votes: 0. Last Place Votes: 0. Highest: 3. Lowest: 5.
Much like Iowa fans trying to convince the world that "New Kirk" was something fresh and new instead of the same old vanilla Kirk with a Long Legend at QB and a favorable schedule; Puddle of Mudd named themselves after an uninspiring inconvenience and then added an unnecessary "d" in a sadd andd unsuccessful bidd for edginess. "Puddle of Mudd" isn’t fresh, it isn’t fun, and it isn’t something anyone needs in their life. Just like Iowa.
Cause I am lost without you
I cannot live at all
My whole world surrounds you
I stumble then I crawl
Of course, this song was written about Iowa State. As we all learned last week, Iowa would like you to know that they don’t care about ISU. Like, at all. Except, they do. So very much. In fact, one might say that they’re lost without ISU, they cannot live at all. A little touching. A lot pathetic. Unfortunately for the non-Iowa fans of the world, "a lot pathetic" also describes Iowa State’s football team, and Iowa kicked their butts up and down the field in dramatic fashion. That trend should continue this weekend against North Dakota State.
5. Michigan State Spartans--Jimmy Eat World
Total Points: 175. First Place Votes: 0. Last Place Votes: 0. Highest: 3. Lowest: 10.
According to Wikipedia, this is how Jimmy Eat World came to bear its dumb name:
"The band's name came from a crayon drawing made after an incident between (guitarist) Linton's younger brothers, Jim and Ed Linton, who fought frequently. Jim usually won, but Ed sought revenge by drawing a picture of Jim shoving the Earth into his mouth; the picture bore the caption ‘Jimmy eat world’." This is a pretty silly story, but it’s funnier if you imagine the fight between Michigan and MSU, with Mark Dantonio drawing a picture of Harbaaaaaaaugh shoving the Earth into his mouth. Brothers, you know?
Don't write yourself off yet
It's only in your head you feel left out or looked down on
Just try your best
Try everything you can
And don't you worry what they tell themselves when you're away
Plenty were tempted to write MSU off after they struggled more than was seemly against the Furman Paladins in Week 1. After a rare Week 2 bye, no one knows much about MSU right now, but they’d best try everything they can against Notre Dame this weekend, or they may find the #disrespekt is not just in their heads.
6. Nebraska Cornhuskers--Dave Matthews Band
Total Points: 167. First Place Votes: 0. Last Place Votes: 0. Highest: 3. Lowest: 8.
Was "The John Smith Band" taken? The "Mike Jones Experience" already in use? I guess either of those would be slightly more insipid than The Dave Mathews Band, but it’s really the lowest of bars, isn’t it? It’s the name you pick in a panicked moment as a temporary placeholder. It’s not meant to be forever…but somehow, all these years later, you’re still vanilla, and you’re still Dave Matthews Band. Also, the shortened name is DMB, which looks a lot like "DUMB," which probably isn’t a self-branding direction I would have chosen, much like Mike Riley probably isn’t the coach you would have chosen. Ah well.
If these walls came crumbling down,
Fell so hard to make us lose our faith
From what's left you'd figure it out
Still make lemonade taste like a sunny day
Nebraska fell pretty darn hard last season and much faith was lost. This season, after a larger-than-expected win over Wyoming, things are looking a little sunnier in Lincoln. But with Oregon coming to town this weekend, Nice Guy Riley’s lemonade-making skills are going to be put to a big test.
7. Minnesota Golden Gophers--Neutral Milk Hotel
Total Points: 126. First Place Votes: 0. Last Place Votes: 0. Highest: 6. Lowest: 12.
Plenty of people love Neutral Milk Hotel, but the rest of us just kind of don’t get it.
The name of the band doesn’t make any sense. Neither do any of the song lyrics:
When you were young, you were the King of carrot flowers
And how you built a tower tumbling through the trees
In holy rattlesnake that fell all around your feet
Uh, sure. Likewise, Minnesota, we’re not really sure what to make of you much of the time. You’re 2-0. Leidner sometimes throws complete passes. But so far this season, what’s on the field just kind of seems like a nonsensical mess to any outside observer. Perhaps there’s some hidden genius somewhere in the madness, but we won’t find out this week with a bye.
8. Indiana Hoosiers--A Flock of Seagulls
Total Points: 124. First Place Votes: 0. Last Place Votes: 0. Highest: 6. Lowest: 10.
This band isn’t primarily famous for its weird name, it’s famous—and justly—for its weird hair.
I’m not sure what you should make of that, Indiana. This one’s more of a lyrical connection:
And I ran
I ran so far away
I just ran
I ran all night and day
I couldn't get away
You’re 2-0, which is great, but they’ve been difficult wins, especially in Week 1. You struggled and struggled, but it was only with great difficulty that you were able to escape your opponent. You did though, and that’s all that matters. You’ve got a bye week this week to rest up from all of that running. Take advantage of the downtime--it could be a tiring season for you.
9. Marylynd Terrapins--Lynyrd Skynyrd
Total Points: 113. First Place Votes: 0. Last Place Votes: 0. Highest: 7. Lowest: 10.
Maybe the whole "overabundance of y’s" thing was cutting edge in the 1970s, but now it just reminds you of that kid in your daughter’s preschool class named "Paysleiey" because her parents tried for unique and simply landed on "awful" instead. Likewise, it’s sometimes tough to get past the initial impression of Marylynd, what with their crazy clothes and distinctly non-Midwestern personality. However, so far this season, they’ve given their fans a couple of better-than-expected hits. Will the good times keep rolling this weekend in Orlando against UCF?
And the bird you cannot change
And this bird you cannot change
Lord knows, I can't change
Yes, they’re going to keep wearing those uniforms. That bird ain’t gonna change.
10. Penn State Nittany Lions--Hoobastank
Total Points: 101. First Place Votes: 0. Last Place Votes: 0. Highest: 7. Lowest: 13.
I'm sorry that I hurt you
It's something I must live with everyday
And all the pain I put you through
I wish that I could take it all away
And be the one who catches all your tears
You can be sorry all you want, James Franklin, but if you don’t find a reason for you to change who you used to be (and currently are), Penn State is going to find a reason to start over new…and the reason is you. No other topic has been quite as hotly debated since PSU's Jekyll-and-Hyde loss to Pitt on Saturday as the question of whether Franklin will last one or two more years in Happy Valley. Up next is Temple--a team that beat Franklion and Co. last season in a rather stunning moment. If Franklin's team loses to Pitt and Temple in consecutive weeks, no one will be able to catch all of the tears.
11. Illinois Fighting Illini--Goo Goo Dolls
Total Points: 80. First Place Votes: 0. Last Place Votes: 0. Highest: 9. Lowest: 11.
If Illinois was a band, you have the feeling that they of "it’s not ideal" infamy might pick a name exactly like the Goo Goo Dolls did: "We had a gig that night and needed a name. It's the best we came up with, and for some reason it stuck. If I had five more minutes, I definitely would have picked a better name."
Luckily for the Goo Goo Dolls, they found success in spite of a completely stupid name. And Illinois, after jettisoning "not ideal" coach Bill Cubit, made a surprisingly good hire in Lovie Smith.
You're the only one I ever believed in
The answer that could never be found
The moment you decided to let Lov(i)e in
Now I'm banging on the door of an angel
The end of fear is where we begin
The moment we decided to let Lov(i)e in
So far, the Lovie Smith Era has not resulted in any surprise wins, and last week saw an uneven effort in a loss against UNC. Still, the fanbase is excited about the possibilities with Lovie as shown by their first sell-out since 2011, and some elements of the Illini’s on-field antics showed promise. This week features a potentially entertaining match with the boat rowers of Western Michigan, who beat Northwestern two weeks ago. Can Lovie and Co. gain back some B1G pride vs. the MAC, or will Illinois instead "Slide" further down next week’s Power Poll?
12. [Redacted] Boilermakers--The Idiotic Sh*tbirds
Total Points: 44. First Place Votes: 0. Last Place Votes: 4. Highest: 12. Lowest: 14.
Just as [redacted] doesn’t exist, neither does this band. While it was a rather entertaining internet insult, it wouldn’t be a great band name.
Your meme keeps writing itself
Your meme keeps writing itself
Your meme keeps writing itself
Your meme keeps writing itself
Also not great? All of those turnovers against Cincy. Here’s hoping it was just a bad day, and you can get that all cleaned up before taking on Nevada in two weeks.
13. Rutgers Scarlet Knights--The Cyrkle
Total Points: 37. First Place Votes: 0. Last Place Votes: 3. Highest: 11. Lowest: 14.
Ok, so it was the 1960s and everyone involved in this band's naming decision was probably out of their minds on LSD. According to Wikipedia, the spelling of the name was the brainchild of John Lennon, so yeah, let's chalk it up to drugs.
The story's in the past with nothin' to recall
I've got my life to live and I don't need you at all
The roller-coaster ride we took is nearly at an end
I bought my ticket with my tears, that's all I'm gonna spend
And I think it's gonna be all right
Yeah, the worst is over now
The mornin' sun is shinin' like a red rubber ball
Rutgers fans hope that the sad story of the past few seasons is in the past and beyond recall, because that particular roller coaster had a physics-defying number of downs, resulting in Rutgers football tickets being worth almost literally nothing more than a bucket of tears. Hopes are high that the worst is over and that Chris Ash is the answer, but frankly, failing to put away Howard for half of the game after starting the season getting crushed by Washington is not the most auspicious start. Can the Scarlet Knights create some psychedelic hope this weekend when New Mexico comes to New Jersey?
14. Northwestern Wildcats--Diarrhea Planet
Total Points: 30. First Place Votes: 0. Last Place Votes: 11. Highest: 11. Lowest: 43.
Thank you, Northwestern. This was supposed to be Rutgers’ band—you know, Buttgers, play like poo, etc. etc. It almost wrote itself. But then you swooped in and lost to an FCS team. And frankly, that’s about as shitty as it gets. Diarrhea Planet should be ashamed for the rest of their lives that they named their band after a highly unpleasant bathroom experience. There’s really no excuse for it—no wit, no hidden, redeeming quality or way to spin it so it doesn’t sound so bad. It’s just horrible. And so is losing to Illinois State.
Right now is the worst time
To feel so heavy
You keep shutting down and sinking
You gotta get up and carry on.
So dig your heels in
And grit your teeth
And quit your bitching
You gotta keep it straight
And keep it easy
This weekend, Northwestern takes on fellow smart-school-that-is-pretty-bad-at-football, Duke. Consider yourself warned—this one’s probably going to be hard to watch.