College football season is approaching, and that noise you heard was the canine contingent of the NCAA howling in excitement.
While a stunning number of NCAA programs use avian- or feline-related mascots, quite a high number use canine-related nicknames, too, and Dog O’Day is here to help.
The most popular breed for a school mascot would be the Bulldogs, as there are 15 in Division I, though not all of them play Division I football.
Those schools are Alabama A&M, Bryant, Butler, The Citadel, Drake, Fresno State, Gardner-Webb, Georgia, Gonzaga, Louisiana Tech, Mississippi State, UNC-Asheville, Samford, South Carolina State and Yale.
Dogs’ wilder cousins are also well-represented in the Arkansas State Red Wolves, Stony Brook Seawolves, Nevada Wolf Pack, New Mexico Lobos and North Carolina State Wolfpack.
The next-most popular breed in D-I would be the Terrier, as Boston University, St. Francis (NY) and Wofford all use the nickname.
Other interesting dog-related monikers among the 345 D-I schools are the South Dakota Coyotes, Albany Great Danes, Loyola Maryland Greyhounds, Marist Red Foxes, UMBC Retrievers and Southern Illinois Salukis.
While the Georgetown Hoyas, Tennessee Volunteers and Texas A&M Aggies don’t have dog-nicknames, they do have live dog mascots roaming the sidelines in Jack the bulldog, Smokey the coonhound and Reveille the collie.
Dropping down into Division II, varieties of Wolves are the most prevalent among the 320 D-II schools, with Newbury, Northern State, West Georgia and Western Oregon all using the plain “Wolves.” But there are also the Alaska-Anchorage and Sonoma State Seawolves, the ThunderWolves of Colorado State-Pueblo, the Nebraska-Kearney Lopers and the Northwood Timberwolves.
The ranks of D-II Bulldogs include basketball and hockey powerhouses in Barton, Bowie State, Ferris State, Minnesota-Duluth, Southwestern Oklahoma State, Truman State, Union University and Wingate.
There are three sets of Greyhounds – Assumption, Eastern New Mexico and Indianapolis – and three sets of Huskies in Bloomsburg, Michigan Tech and St. Cloud State.
D-II also includes the CSU-San Bernandino Coyotes and the Pace University Setters.
For containing 451 schools, Division III is somewhat short in dogs, but the smallest schools offer the most in variety.
There are the common breeds – Adrian, Brooklyn College, Dean, DeSales, Redlands and Texas Lutheran are all the Bulldogs, for example, and then there are the Southern Maine Huskies and Terriers of Hiram and Thomas.
Wolves are again scattered throughout, with the Keuka and Wesleyan College (Ga.) Wolves, Sul Ross State Lobos and Nebraska Wesleyan Prairie Wolves.
But let’s not forget the Agnes Scott Scotties, or the Bloodhounds of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. And finally, there are the Boxers of Pacific University (who have a fascinating backstory) and the Pointers of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.