Religious NCAA Mascots: The Definitive Ranking

A look at a few NCAA mascots who understand the perks of a higher power.

As March Maddness fever sweeps the nation, and people everywhere intently watch each tournament game to see how their bracket predictions fare, we decided to take a look at a different factor in determining college sports success.

Instead of statistics or advanced analytics, we’ve gathered our team of experts to examine the spiritual side of NCAA athletics. Below is our breakdown of the best religious team names in all of NCAA sports.

Years from now, only the most devoted fans will remember who made the final four in the 2015 NCAA tournament, but our list will be the defacto, definitive ranking of religious mascots for all-time.

Let the real madness begin:

10. The Crusaders

Schools: Holy Cross College, Evangel University, Capital University, Belmont Abbey College, Alvernia University, Valparaiso University, William Carey University, Tennessee Temple University

The Crusaders get dead last. Considering the crusades aren’t exactly a shining moment in church history, the medieval weapon-wielding knight is the mascot of way too many schools. Plus there are some many more original team names out there. Like the …

9. Fightin’ Quakers

School: Wimington College

Though there are numerous "Quakers" in college athletics, there is only one "Fightin’ Quakers." However, it is common knowledge that the Quakers are a peaceful people, and we do not look highly on oxymorons in mascot names.

8. Devils (Both Red and Blue)

Schools: Central Connecticut State University, DePaul University, Dickinson College, Duke University, Wisconsin—Stout, SUNY Fredonia

When you think about it, it does seem a little odd that the Prince of Darkness serves as the mascot for several major American universities.

7. Preachers and Angels

School: Lincoln Christian Seminary

Lincoln Christian University evidently now goes by the much lamer “Red Lions.” Thankfully, sweet Lincoln Christian Seminary “Preachers and Angels” polos can still be purchased online, starting at the low price of $29.99.

6. The Magicians

School: LeMoyne-Owen College

These are not the LeMoyne-Owen College Illusionists. These are the LeMoyne-Owen College Magicians. We’re talking the dark arts here. In other words, not a team you want to be facing off with.

5. The Saints

School: Ashford University

There are several schools with teams called the “Saints,” but we’ve decided to go with Ashford University for their curious, yet bold, decision to make the team named after Saint Bernard dogs, not actual religious figures.

The Final Four

4. Demon Deacons

School: Wake Forest

Evidently, the school, which was founded by Baptists, gained the nickname for “devilish” athletic ability a hundred years ago. Thankfully, the name stuck. And now the top-hatted church leader—who is frequently seen riding a wicked motorcycle—strikes fear into the hearts of crusaders, saints and Quakers everywhere.

3. Friars

School: Providence College

We’re going to be honest. We weren’t sold until we saw the mascot and the Assassins Creed-style logo for ourselves. They are both terrifying.

2. Maccabees

School: Yeshiva University

Not only is this ancient warrior well-armed, the dude is totally ripped. He literally has abs built into his armor.

1. Hustlin’ Quakers

School: Earlham College

Was there ever any doubt that the mighty Hustlin’ Quakers would take the top spot? Though these days, Earlham is more commonly known simply as the “Quakers,” they’ll always be precluded by the hustlin’ spirit to us. They also have the undisputed greatest chant in college athletics (if the site “quaker.wikia.com” is in fact accurate, which we have no reason to believe it isn’t) Fight, Fight, Inner Light! / Kill, Quakers, Kill! / Knock 'em Down, Beat 'em Senseless! / Do It til We Reach Consensus! Not only will the Hustlin’ Quakers knock down, senselessly beat and kill inferior teams. They will do it until a consensus is reached.

Top Comments

Laura Stone Hinkley

1

Laura Stone Hinkley commented…

As a card-carrying member of the Hustlin' Quakers, I can absolutely confirm that our "fight fight inner light" Cheer is alive and well!!!!

Riordan McClain

1

Riordan McClain commented…

Based on that harrowing chant of Earlham College, I envision a scene out of Gladiator at every home sporting event in which the team is dismantling their opponent (*see Arroyo Valley High girl's basketball) and the PA announcer comes over the speakers and says "Do we have Consensus?!?". To which the crowd immediately does the thumbs up/thumbs down sign and accordingly either storms the court or goes back to eating their plate of medieval style meats.

9 Comments

Bill Higley

1

Bill Higley commented…

What, no Defenders? Baptist Bible College, PA

Stephen Lewis

1

Stephen Lewis commented…

Could've mentioned the Sea Beggars of Providence Christian College! Reformed Dutch Pirates who fought the Spanish Armada.

Jonathan

11

Jonathan commented…

The Blue Devils of Duke University via Wikipedia: "The name actually refers to the Chasseurs Alpins, also known as "les diables bleus" ("The Blue Devils"), a French military unit which had impressed many Duke students and alumni returning home from the Western Front. The nickname of the Chasseurs Alpins was derived from the blue jacket and blue-grey breeches worn as part of their WWI-era uniform."

The mascot has since morphed from French WWI fighters to what seems to be an actual devil - which is odd for a Methodist university.

Laura Stone Hinkley

1

Laura Stone Hinkley commented…

As a card-carrying member of the Hustlin' Quakers, I can absolutely confirm that our "fight fight inner light" Cheer is alive and well!!!!

Adam McMillan

1

Adam McMillan commented…

"Kill Quakers Kill...." That is an oxymoron...in its truest form.

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