College Nicknames, Twitter Style

NCAA_Background_LogosCollege football is in the midst of another season, which begs the eternal question- Are there really Tigers in Louisiana? Or Missouri? Or Alabama? What exactly is an Aggie, anyway? And what’s the deal with the Horned Frogs?  What’s the story behind all these college nicknames anyway? Let’s take a look at the history behind these school nicknames of some of the top teams this year, Twitter-style (140 characters or less).  Don’t forget, you can find hats, apparel and accessories for all these NCAA teams and more at

Alabama Crimson Tide – After the Iron Bowl against Auburn, the O-Line’s unis were stained red with mud a writer coined the nickname

Arkansas Razorback – Coach Bezdek likened them to “a wild band of Razorback hogs” after a win over LSU in 1909; students voted for the name

Baylor Bears – A student vote in 1914 elected “Bears” as the official mascot, with the first live bear appearing at games in the 1920’s

Florida State Seminoles – To honor the Native American Tribe and Chief Osceola, who resided in Florida

LSU Tigers – From the Confederate heritage, after two NOLA brigades – the Tiger Rifles and the Washington Artillery (had a tiger logo)

Michigan State Spartans – A 1925 vote had “Staters” winning but a local sports editor went with Spartans and used that in headlines instead

Nebraska Cornhuskers – Popularized by sportswriters in 1900; beat out previous names – Bugeaters, Tree Planters, Rattlesnake Boys

Ohio State Buckeyes – After the state tree prevalent in Ohio (the tree’s nut looks like a deer’s eye)

Oklahoma Sooners – From the first settlers of the OK territory who entered (sometimes illegally) before the official claiming period in 1889

Oklahoma State Cowboys – Originally Aggies, a popular cowboy caricature was used for the mascot in 1924 and they took on the new name

Oregon Ducks – Originally “Webfoots” after the first fisherman settlers, writers changed it after “Puddles” (a real duck) attended games

 TCU Horned Frogs – The horned frog is actually a lizard, and refers the Texas horned lizard commonly found in the area

Texas A&M Aggies – Shortened from “Agricultural”, as in Texas Agricultural & Mechanical College

Texas Longhorns – After the steer with long horns that are prominent at Texas ranches

Virginia Tech Hokies – Completely made up! Used as an attention grabber for the “Old Hokie” cheer, now means a loyal VT fan

Wisconsin Badgers – After the 1800’s lead miners who lived in tunnels to survive the winter, much like the burrowing animal


What’s your favorite team’s story? Know of any other interesting sports nicknames? Let us know on Twitter or share with us on our Facebook page!