NCAA Star Wars Mascots
In 2003, Ole Miss ceased using Colonel Reb as its mascot. This was in response to complaints about the mascot being offensive and racially insensitive. In 2010, a campaign was launched to create a new mascot. Some students wanted to have Admiral Akbar be the new mascot.
It was a brilliant idea. In one move, Rebels could lose the negative Civil War connotation and associate the University of Mississippi with one of the most popular movies franchises of all time. Akbar never really had a chance with the University, and Lucasfilm probably wouldn’t have allowed the use of a Star Wars character as an official college mascot. (But come on, Lucasfilm. It would be in the name of racial harmony.)
However, this got me thinking. How cool would it be if your alma mater’s mascot was Star Wars related? An internet search reveals many products for NCAA teams with indiscriminate Star Wars characters on them. It’s a pairing that definitely has a market, but what if each school had one Star Wars character which was specifically tailored for it?
With the kickoff of college football season approaching, I decided to assign Star Wars mascots to each member of the Power Five conferences. How hard could it be, right? After all, I already had Ole Miss taken care of.
Well, it turned out to be more difficult than I realized. First of all, what’s with schools having mascots which are just made up words that mean anyone from that particular state/school? I’m looking at you Hoosiers, Hokies, and Tarhills. Second, have you ever noticed how unimaginative mascots are? The discussion goes something like this:
“Name the first animal you can think of and it will represent our school.”
“Do any live around here?”
“Well, let’s make it lions anyway.”
All the Mensa members at Stanford and all they can come up with is a color. Third, why do so many schools use mascots that many other schools have already used? Wildcats and Tigers and Bears, oh blah.
With that in mind, I tried to link the Star Wars mascots to each particular school. I tried to make the mascots used multiple times into general Star Wars characters. All “Tigers” became TIE ships of one sort or another. Because “Bulldogs” are known to be stubborn, loyal, and friendly, they translate into astromech droids. I originally wanted to change “Bears” into Wookies. Then I realized the UCLA Bruins were also “Bears,” so “Bruins” became wookies and “Bears” became ewoks. I changed “Wildcats” from an animal to a person who operates a mining or gas operation outside legitimate business practices, also known as a wildcatters.
The avid Star Wars fan may recognize all the characters used without any explanation. I want the casual fan to be able understand all the references. Therefore, some may feel the decisions are overly explained. Please bear with me. Others may need further details. That’s why God invented Google.
So enjoy the list. If your favorite school isn’t on the list, sorry. Doing this for every school would take forever. Maybe you’re not a college football fan. That’s okay, too. If you think of a great connection for a team in a different sport, just add it to the comments on this article. Maybe we can convert every mascot on earth to Star Wars.
-The SEC –
- Florida Dagobah Dwellers – “This is the swamp,” which is seen in large letters in their stadium could be changed to: “This is Degobah.” The logo of an alligator’s head could remain relatively unchanged with the one exception of being seen spitting out R2-D2.
- Georgia R5-K6s – A red and black astromech droid belonging to Garvin Dreis, leader of the Rebellion’s Red Squadron.
- Missouri TIE Defenders – The University of Missouri uses the nickname “Tigers” in honor of a Civil War era group of armed Columbia citizens of the same name. The armed citizens defended the town from guerilla groups which looted towns at that time.
- Kentucky Bespin Wildcatters
- South Carolina AT-ST Chicken Walkers
- Tennessee Bothans
- Vanderbilt Commodores
- Alabama Crimson Imperial Royal Guard – Because of recent success, Alabama has been called the evil empire of college football. The Imperial Royal Guard’s duty was to protect the Emperor, who is symbolized to many in college football by Nick Saban.
- Arkansas Gamorreans
- Auburn TIE Interceptors – After the interception game in 1994 against LSU, this nickname is very fitting. Auburn trailed LSU 23-9 going into the fourth quarter. LSU threw five interceptions, three for touchdowns. Even though Auburn only made one first down in the second half, it won the game 30-26.
- LSU TIE Fighters – They are known as the Fighting Tigers, so it’s not much of a stretch.
- Ole Miss Rebels
- Mississippi State R4-p17s – The maroon and white astromech that served Obi-Wan Kenobi in Attack of the Clones. Unfortunately, she made only a brief appearance in Revenge of the Sith.
- Texas A&M Nerf Herders – The term “Aggies” is an old slang tern for a farmer. The mascot is Reveille, and her breed is Rough Collie. Rough Collies were used and bred for herding in Scotland.
Follow along all week as we reveal Carl’s mascots for each conference. Up next the PAC 12.