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The definitive, authoritative and completely correct ranking of every Division II school's nickname

Brad Pitt sent me a DM the other day. Said he loved my FBS and FCS nickname rankings, but that I didn't have the guts to rank each Division II nickname. Even bet his next paycheck that I wouldn't do it.

None of that is true, but we're going to rank the Division II nicknames anyway.

To give you a quick refresher from last week's rankings, the criteria is simple. I judge each nickname on two factors:

Originality: The nickname is each team's best shot at branding itself. What sets your team apart from everyone else? Why are you unique? Anyone can slap a stereotypically fearsome nicknames on themselves like the Tigers or the Lions can call themselves strong. News flash: You're not. Know what takes true strength to choose as your school's symbol? A turtle.

Versaility: A distinctive nickname is good. Know what's even better? A nickname to the nickname, like how the Green Bay Packers are also known as the Pack, the San Francisco 49ers are known as the Niners, the Golden State Warriors as Dubs, and so on.

That said, we've got a lot of hard work ahead of us, so let's roll up our sleeves and get right to it.

1. Livingstone College Blue Bears
2. Johnson C. Smith Golden Bulls
3. Elizabeth City State Vikings
4. Bowie State Bulldogs
5. Shaw Bears
6. Virginia Union Panthers
7. Fayetteville State Broncos
8. Chowan Hawks
9. Saint Augustine's Falcons
10. Virginia State Trojans
11. Lincoln Lions

Great Midwest
1. Alderson Broaddus Battlers -- Alderson Broaddus was not one person, but the merging of two schools: Alderson Academy, founded by Baptist laywoman Emma Alderson, and Broaddus Institute, named after Baptist Rev. William Francis Ferguson Broaddus. The name Battlers harkens to the 1861 Battle of Philippi, a Union victory in the West Virginia campaign of the Civil War. This concludes today's history lesson. 
2. Lake Erie Storm
3. Malone Pioneers
4. Findlay Oilers
5. Walsh Cavaliers
6. Hillsdale Chargers
7(a). Kentucky Wesleyan Panthers
7(b). Ohio Dominican Panthers

Great American
1. Arkansas-Monticello Boll Weevils -- Boll weevils are beetles that feed upon cotton buds, flowers and, upon viewing one of those ugly beasts, your dreams. 
2. Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys -- For those curious, Arkansas Tech's women's teams are called the Golden Suns. 
3. Southern Arkansas Muleriders
4. Henderson State Reddies
5. Southern Nazarene Crimson Storm
6. Southeastern Oklahoma State Savage Storm -- SOSU was originally the Savages. Yeah.... This is better. 
7. Oklahoma Baptist Bison
8. Harding Bisons -- Singular beats plural
9. Northwestern Oklahoma State Rangers
10. Southwestern Oklahoma State Bulldogs
11(a). East Central Tigers
11(b). Ouachita Baptist Tigers

1. Grand Valley State Lakers
2. Northwood Timberwolves
3. Tiffin Dragons
4. Wayne State Warriors
5. Michigan Tech Huskies
6. Ferris State Bulldogs
7. Davenport Panthers
8. Saginaw Valley State Cardinals
9. Northern Michigan Wildcats
10. Ashland Eagles

Great Lakes Valley
1. Indianapolis Greyhounds -- A greyhound may not score high on the Intimidating Animal Index, but tell me you don't shake a little when you hear, "Here come the Hounds." 
2. Missouri S&T Miners
3. Lincoln Blue Tigers
4(a). McKendree Bearcats
4(b). Southwest Baptist Bearcats
6. Quincy Hawks
7. Truman State Bulldogs
8. William Jewell Cardinals

Great Northwest
1. Simon Fraser Clan -- If someone in a bar points a finger in your face and says they're coming back with their whole family, don't worry about changing your plans. If they do the same but say they'll return with their whole clan? Run. Run far away.
2. Humboldt State Lumberjacks -- (Pours out alcoholic beverage)
3. Western Oregon Wolves
4. Azusa Pacific Cougars
5. Central Washington Wildcats

Gulf South
1. Mississippi College Choctaws
2. West Florida Argonauts
3. Delta State Statesman
4. Valdosta State Blazers
5. Florida Tech Panthers
6. West Georgia Wolves
7. Shorter Hawks
8. West Alabama Tigers
9. North Alabama Lions

1. North Greenville Crusaders
2. UNC-Pembroke Braves

Lone Star
1. Texas A&M-Kingsville Javelinas -- For the uninitiated, a javelina is a type of hog found in the arid portions of the Southwestern United States. 
2. Eastern New Mexico Greyhounds
3. West Texas A&M Buffaloes
4. Tarleton State Texans -- There's something force field-ish about naming yourself the Texans, but Tarleton State gets away with it because it is the most Texan of all of Texas's schools. 
5(a). Midwestern State Mustangs
5(b). Western New Mexico Mustangs
6. Angelo State Rams
7. UT-Permian Basin Falcons
8. Texas A&M-Commerce Lions

Mountain East
1. West Liberty Hilltoppers
2. UVa-Wise Highland Cavaliers
3. Urbana Blue Knights
4. Concord Mountain Lions
5. Glenville State Pioneers
6. West Virginia Wesleyan Bobcats
7. Shepherd Rams
8. West Virginia State Yellow Jackets
9. Charleston Golden Eagles
10(a). Fairmont State Falcons
10(b). Notre Dame College Falcons -- If you're going to name yourself Notre Dame College, you've doomed yourself to a lifetime of correlation with the school of a similar name in South Bend. Might as well embrace it and call yourselves the Quarreling Irish. 

1. Washburn Ichabods -- Don't you DARE conflate the Washburn Ichabods with Ichabod Crane. Don't even try it. The Ichabod from which Washburn gets its name is its namesake, Ichabod Washburn. 
2. Central Missouri Mules
3. Pittsburg State Gorillas
4. Nebraska-Kearney Lopers
5. Missouri Western State Griffons
6. Northeastern State RiverHawks
7. Central Oklahoma Bronchos -- That's not Broncos, it's BroncHos.
8. Northwest Missouri State Bearcats
9. Emporia State Hornets
10. Fort Hays State Tigers
11(a). Lindenwood Lions
11(b). Missouri Southern State Lions

1. Pace Setters -- Get it? Pace, naturally, chooses a setter as its mascot. 
2. Stonehill College Skyhawks
3. Assumption Greyhounds
4. Southern Connecticut State Fighting Owls
5. LIU-Post Pioneers
6. New Haven Chargers
7. American International College Yellow Jackets
8. Merrimack College Warriors
9. Saint Anslem Hawks
10. Bentley Falcons

Northern Sun
1. Upper Iowa Peacocks -- As always, anyone can be the Falcons or the Eagles. It takes real strength to be the Peacocks. Although I don't imagine this nickname gets shortened quite as often as others.
2. Mary Marauders
3(a). Bemidji State Beavers
3(b). Minot State Beavers
5. Minnesota State-Mankato Mavericks
6. Minnesota State-Moorhead Dragons
7. Sioux Falls Cougars
8. Augustana Vikings
9. Southwest Minnesota State Mustangs
10. Concordia-St. Paul Golden Bears
11. Northern State Wolves
12. Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs
13. Winona State Warriors
14. St. Cloud State Huskies
15. Wayne State Wildcats
16. Minnesota-Crookston Eagles

Pennsylvania State
1. Slippery Rock The Rock -- Yes, The Rock isn't a nickname. Slippery Rock eschews an official nickname, instead dubbing itself The Rock. That's a school saying, "Our name is our own nickname."
2. Edinboro Fighting Scots
3. California-Pennsyvlania Vulcans
4. Millersville Marauders
5. Seton Hall Griffins
6. Mercyhurst Lakers
7. Indiana-Pennsylvania Crimson Hawks
8. West Chester Golden Rams
9. Kutztown Golden Bears
10. Lock Haven Bald Eagles
11. Shippensburg Red Raiders
12. Gannon Golden Knights
13. Clarion Golden Eagles
14. Cheyney Wolves
15. Bloomsburg Huskies
16. East Stroudsburg Warriors

Rocky Mountain
1. South Dakota Mines Hardrockers -- I know this doesn't refer to the musical iteration of this term, but, still:

2. Colorado Mines Orediggers -- An oredigger is someone who digs inside a mountain, as someone who attends the Colorado School of Mines typically does. 
3. Colorado-State ThunderWolves -- Thunderbirds? No. ThunderWOLVES. 
4. Fort Lewis Skyhawks
5. Dixie State Trailblazers
6. Adams State Grizzlies
7. Western State Colorado Mountaineers
8. Colorado Mesa Mavericks
9. New Mexico Highlands Cowboys
10. Black Hills State Yellow Jackets
11. Chadron State Eagles

South Atlantic
1. Tusculum Pioneers
2. Limestone College Saints
3. Wingate Bulldogs
4. Newberry College Wolves
5. Lenoir-Rhyne Bears
6. Mars Hill Lions
7. Carson-Newman Eagles
8. Catawba College Indians

1. Kentucky State Thorobreds -- This is a natural nickname for a team from the official state of horse racing, but I love how Kentucky State didn't even bother with proper spelling here.
2. Central State Marauders -- We had zero Marauders in Division I, but three in D2. 
3. Albany State Golden Rams
4. Morehouse College Maroon Tigers
5. Tuskegee Golden Tigers -- Shoutout to naming yourself after a tiger that doesn't actually exist.
6. Lane College Dragons
7. Miles College Golden Bears
8. Clark Atlanta Panthers
9. Benedict College Tigers
10. Fort Valley State Wildcats

And now the top 10:


Simon Fraser
Upper Iowa
Arkansas Tech
Alderson Broaddus
Texas A&M Kingsville
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South Dakota Mines
Arkansas Monticello