After sorting through high school mascots across the country a few weeks ago, I took on the monumental task of the taking a look at the mascots at small colleges that play football around the country and picking out the strangest. Luckily I had some help from a handful of viewers who kindly gave some guidance.
This piece will feature the strangest mascots in Division III, Junior College, and NAIA football (plus a few exceptional ones from D-II), and I've snuck one mascot into the list without a football team that is just too strange to ignore.
Just as I laid out in the high school version of this article, to receiver full consideration among the strangest mascots in small college football, the program must have a depiction of some kind of their mascot to go along with the name, and it should also be very unique. For example, Arkansas Tech are the Wonder Boys, Rockford University are the Regents, and Illinois College are the Blueboys, and while all of them are unique, none of them have an actual tangible mascot, or an illustrated version.
*Some mascots appear at more than one program.
Arizona Christian Firestorm (NAIA)
Scottsdale Community College Fighting Artichokes (JC)
Southern Arkansas Muleriders (D-II): The mule looks a lot more like a bucking bronco than an actual mule.
Arkansas-Monticello Boll Weevils (D-II): If you don't know what a Boll Weevil is, this image isn't going to clear anything up.
Menlo College (D-III) Oaks: I'll admit, I have never understood why trees are such popular mascot choices
Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens (D-III)
- Whittier Poets (D-III)
Colorado State-Pueblo ThunderWolves: Mascot name is pretty awesome right? So you expect an equally amazing mascot...but it's incredibly ordinary, and therefore somewhat disappointing.
Trinity College Bantams (D-III)
Trine Thunder* (D-III): I'm not sure how you can have a mascot for a sound (which obviously cannot be seen), but Trine manages to use both a lightning bolt and a white cat named "Storm". Confusing on both fronts.
- Wabash Little Giants (D-III)
- Coe College Kohawks (D-III)
- Loras College Duhawks (D-III)
Upper Iowa Peacocks (D-II): How intimidating, right?
Bethany College Swedes (NAIA): If you like this mascot, you're going to love their unique helmet.
Southwestern College Moundbuilders (NAIA): This one is on here solely because it's confusing. Name of the mascot is "Moundbuilders" but the mascot they chose is a Panther / black cat???
Hope College Flying Dutchmen (D-III)
McDaniel College Green Terror (D-III): Looks like an overgrown Gremlin to me.
Guilford College Quakers** (D-III)
Heidelberg Student Princes (D-III): Even the women's programs are the student princes.
Carnegie Mellon Tartans (D-III): Don't have a clue what a Tartan is? Yeah, neither did I.
Franklin and Marshall Diplomats (D-III): Ben (Franklin) and John (Marshall) are the official diplomatic mascots at F&M. How creative, right?
Rhode Island School of Design Nads: This is the only non-football playing school on the list, but with a nickname like The Nads how can it not be included on a strange mascot list? Notice the strategic puck placement on the logo. I understand that the most popular cheer at games is simply "GO NADS!"
South Dakota School of Mines Hardrockers (D-II): If this one isn't strange enough for you, the football team was originally called the "Longhairs".
Austin College Kangaroos (D-III)
Texas A&M-Kingsville Javelinas (D-II): Javelinas are apparently also known as skunk pigs, which would also make for one hell of a fun mascot.
Newport News Apprentice Ship Builders (D-III): As a school that trains its students for careers in shipbuilding, the mascot choice couldn't possibly be any more appropriate.