There are a lot of wonderful, unique things about college football - its variety is one of the major appeals of the sport to many, especially when compared to the relative sterility and monotony of the NFL. That said, there are large areas where unoriginality haunts the sport, owing in large part to its turn-of-the-century origins.
You see, it evolved as a regional sport, even a local one. People in California weren't thinking they were even in the same competition as people in Alabama or Ohio, and vice versa. Plus, the late 1800s and early 1900s weren’t the most original time. It’s not like people had the internet or world travel. You wanted something fierce? Well, there were two fierce animals known to 19th-century man: tigers, and bulldogs. Great, pick one. Okay, now to pick a color scheme. Everything is covered in soot or shit, so the most vibrant colors we can imagine are crimson or maroon.
Terrific, that’s like 50 teams right there.
But hey, this is a new era. We’ve seen colors these people could’ve barely imagined (blue! teal! other blues!) and know of at least five more animals. So let’s modernize! Let’s pick some of college’s more redundant teams, and give them spiffy new brands!
OLD: BOISE STATE
Sorry, Boise, the name Broncos was taken by Western Michigan almost three decades earlier. We need something new for you. Something pesky. Mean. Something that comes back every year, no matter your frustrated best efforts.
Something that reflects your northerly geographic condition.
NEW: BOISE STATE CANADIAN GEESE
Look at this smug-ass motherfucker. He’s gonna crap all over your sidewalks and upset a Power 5 team and he’ll back again next year to do it again.
OLD: MISSISSIPPI STATE
Ooh, this one’s a tough one. Clanga’s been the Bulldogs since 1895. That’s a heck of a long run. But, the thing is, Georgia was already there in 1892. Thing is, there’s no reason you can’t find another stubborn, gruff-yet-lovable dog breed to represent you. Heck, why not pick one that, like you, has a grossly outsized impression of its own actually-small stature? One that’s media friendly, and the kids and internet love and look yeah you know where I’m going with this
NEW: MISSISSIPPI STATE WELSH CORGIS
I’ve built a moderately successful niche internet brand around it, MSU, let me sell you the secrets to my success.
Seriously, give me a hundred bucks and you can have the screen name.
OLD: BOSTON COLLEGE
Another tough one. Boston College, allegedly, has been playing football as the Eagles since 1893. Yet, once again, the 19th century’s lack of originality strikes, as Eastern Michigan laid claim in 1891.
POINT OF ORDER: I did a little more digging and apparently EMU’s been playing football since 1891 but have only been the Eagles since 1990. From 1899 to 1928, they were the Michigan State Normal College Normalites, which is a name I love intensely. It’s a banner screaming “LEGITIMATE COLLEGE FOOTBALL PROGRAM, DEFINITELY NOT A METH LAB/PUPPY MILL, EVERYTHING IS NORMAL”. Anyways, I’d already settled on the next joke, so screw you, Boston College.
NEW: BOSTON COLLEGE CICADAS
Because, you see, they show signs of life once every 17 years and it’s really honestly quite gross when it happens.
UConn’s played football since the turn of the century, but for the early years, they were the Aggies, so we’re giving the nod to Washington. It only seems fair. Also, have you been to a game at Rentschler Field? I’ve been to three. They play “Welcome To The Jungle” on every defensive third down. YOUR MASCOT IS A COLD-CLIMATE DOG. HUSKIES WOULD HATE THE JUNGLE. I’ve been mad about this for nearly a decade. Anyways, you’re not the Huskies anymore. You’re trying to figure out who you are. You need a brand that’s tenacious. Unpredictable. At times cruel. Something that says “yeah, I’m from Hartford, but I can screw things up for you completely out of the blue.”
NEW: THE UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT MEDICAL BILLERS
You think you’ve scheduled a comfortable little non-conference cupcake game, Michigan, and then, BOOM, you get hit with a nine-months-late bill for an out-of-network anesthesiologist. “But the hospital was in-network!” Yeah, well, the anesthesiologist didn’t work for the hospital.
Connecticut football, baby.
I’m not mad.
OLD: LOUISIANA STATE
Oooh, this is a tough one. Am I really going to tell LSU they’ve got to rebrand? Look, I’m pseudonymous, and people have already skipped to the comments. I can do whatever I want, and Mizzou was there first. (Technically, Auburn was second, which surely counts as a national championship in their books).
Anyways, we’re still newly into the Orgeron Era, and we need to express the defensive personality of the team. Relentless. Suffocating. Going to drain the life out of you and smile while doing it. I’ve seen this creature. It’s a creature of unimaginable viciousness. A tiger looks meek in comparison.
NEW: THE LOUISIANA STATE 39-WEEKS-PREGNANT WOMAN NEGOTIATING THE TERMS OF A LEASE ON A HONDA CR-V
Just like LSU, you’ll think you’re dealing with someone friendly, and then you’ll find the knife in your ribs.
Anyways, I’ve got a whole list of other teams that need rebranded, but a guy on the internet said no one’ll read if you go past 1000 words, so I’m cutting myself off here. Pitch your rebrands in the comments:
KENTUCKY, ARIZONA, KANSAS STATE
WILDCATS Northwestern got there first. It’s like they did 80 years of URL-squatting. Just sitting on it, doing nothing, hoping someone would buy it.
FALCONS (Bowling Green)
TROJANS (USC) Feels petty to take this away from them, but rules are rules.
CLEMSON, AUBURN, MEMPHIS
AGGIES (Sorry, not sorry. Utah State was there first and you don’t know where I live.)