Photo courtesy of LSU athletics
The slate of FBS teams playing football this fall will be smaller than usual, but great games and fantastic rivalries are scheduled to go on.
In this piece, we look at the most common nicknames in FBS — regardless of whether the schools are playing this fall or not. We’ll be looking at only the official nickname.
For example, the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles will not count as Eagles. If the names are the same, but spaced differently, they will count. For example, the NC State Wolfpack and Nevada Wolf Pack will both count as the same.
Without further ado, here are the most common nicknames in FBS football:
T-4. Aggies (3)
Schools: New Mexico State, Utah State, Texas A&M
All the schools with the nickname “Aggies” reside west of the Mississippi. Texas A&M is the only Power 5 program with the name.
T-4. Cougars (3)
Schools: BYU, Houston, Washington State
Like “Aggies”, all the schools with the nickname “Cougars” reside west of the Mississippi River. Of the three teams, only Houston failed to make a bowl last season.
T-4. Eagles (3)
Schools: Boston College, Eastern Michigan, Georgia Southern
Southern Mississippi didn’t qualify to run this list to four. Of the three teams bearing the “Eagles” nickname, Georgia Southern is the newest to the FBS. After winning six FCS national championships, Georgia Southern joined the Sun Belt in 2014. The Eagles won the conference in their first year as a member.
T-4. Huskies (3)
Schools: Connecticut, Northern Illinois, Washington
Three teams hold the nickname “Huskies”, but none are expected to play this fall. Since the inception of the BCS in 1998, all three groups of Huskies have played in a major bowl game. Washington is the only one of the three to win one.
T-4. Owls (3)
Schools: Florida Atlantic, Rice, Temple
None of the three teams to hold the nickname “Owls” play in a Power 5 conference. Two of the three however, reside in Conference USA. Florida Atlantic won that conference for the second time in three years last season.
T-4. Panthers (3)
Schools: Florida International, Georgia State, Pittsburgh
One decade ago, only one FBS team held the nickname “Panthers” and that was Pittsburgh. Since then however, Florida International dropped the “Golden” portion of its Golden Panthers nickname and Georgia State began fielding a football team. Georgia State’s first season of football was 2010. It joined the ranks of the FBS in 2013.
T-2. Bulldogs (4)
Schools: Georgia, Fresno State, Louisiana Tech, Mississippi State
Since Louisiana Tech became an FBS member in 1989, there has been no recent increase in teams that go by the nickname “Bulldogs”. Two of the four teams with that nickname make their home in the SEC.
T-2. Wildcats (4)
Schools: Arizona, Kansas State, Kentucky, Northwestern
All four schools to carry the “Wildcats” nickname reside in Power 5 conferences. Of these schools however, the most recent to win its conference was Kansas State when it claimed the 2012 Big 12 title.
1. Tigers (5)
Schools: Auburn, Clemson, Memphis, Missouri, LSU
The most common nickname in FBS football is “Tigers”. Three of the schools to hold that name have won the national championship since 2010 and four have played in a New Year’s Six bowl. For three of them, that happened last year.