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Top Nine Worst School Names

By Jack Maxwell

It's the time of year when even those who dislike basketball inexplicably become fans. Of course, we all know that these new fans favor the office pool more than the athleticism. But thatís okay; the educated fan has always been an equal opportunity gambler. He has no problem swiping $20 from that annoying girl in Accounting, especially since she probably makes her picks based on the schools' team names. That said, here are nine team names she probably stayed away from based solely on their immense lousiness.

  • PURDUE BOILERMAKERS
    Proud members of International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers. Another popular meaning of the term is a shot of whiskey chased with a beer; I assume the university's name is not a representation of the latter.
  • TAR HEELS
    Whatís next, the Grease Toes? Or the Oily Noses?
  • ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI
    My research team (Wikipedia) tells me that the name ďIlliniĒ honors Native American figure Chief Illiniwek, which is pretty cool. But why didnít they use his whole last name? Since when do you honor somebody by only using half of their last name? I bet people wouldnít be so understanding if Illinois chose to honor famous alumn Dick Butkus. Iíll let you finish that thought.
  • SYRACUSE ORANGE
    I suppose Syracuse allowed a bunch of kindergarteners to choose their mascot. At least Cornellís color is all grown up.
  • MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS
    Adding a descriptive adjective to a school's name is a common practice in the NCAA world. I get it. The goal is to create a strong identity for the school and its athletic teams. 'Golden' is a popular choice: Golden Lions, Golden Bears. Not bad, but Golden Gophers?
  • GEORGETOWN HOYAS
    Hoya is a genus of 200-300 species of tropical climbing plants in the family Apocynaceae, native to southern Asia, Australia and Polynesia. Common names for this genus are waxplant, waxvine, waxflower or simply hoya ... but not BULLDOG!
  • AGGIES
    Such a sweet name that multiple schools chose it to represent their student bodies.
  • SAM HOUSTON BEARKATS
    Kats are the leaves of the shrub Catha edulis that act as a euphoric stimulant if chewed. It has the same effect as chewing a tobacco leaf. So I suppose a Bearkat is ... a bear with an addiction problem?
  • UCSB GAUCHOS
    One percent of the United States knows what a gaucho is. Realizing I was part of the 99 percent, I did a little research. Turns out I still donít know what a Gaucho is.
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