10. Florida Gators
Nickname Origin: Beat out Manatees, as a crowd doing the Gator Chomp is considered more intimidating than one doing the Manatee Float and Get Hit by a Speedboat.
2012 Low: Watching former coach Urban Meyer end his lengthy one-year retirement to go 12-0 coaching Ohio State.
2012 High: Held then-No. 4 LSU to 200 yards in a 14-6 home win that the featured either A. great defense or B. terrible offense, depending on whether you are A. an SEC fan or B. sane.
Recent Arrest: Starting sophomore linebacker Antonio Morrison is a one-man police blotter. Assault charges for punching a nightclub bouncer who refused to give him discounted admission. A month later it was “Interfering with Police by Harassing a Police Animal.” He barked at a police dog, which made the dog bark back, which diverted the attention of the officer investigating a disturbance outside an after-hours club. This 19-year-old would actually benefit from switching to pot.
Famous Alums: Bob Vila, responsible for countless disastrous home improvement projects by making people think their local contractors would be anything like the ones on his show. Stephen Root, red Swingline stapler fetishist. Frank Shorter, gave Americans shin splits, sore knees, pedestrian deaths and traffic barricades by irresponsibly winning Olympic marathon gold and starting a running boom.
9. Louisville Cardinals
Nickname Origin: After electing a new pope, the College of Cardinals traditionally fly into Louisville to party for a long weekend at the Kentucky Derby. This started the trend of flamboyant hats among women attendees who thought the Cardinals looked fabulous and gave birth to the school nickname.
2012 Low: Sent their seniors off in low style, somehow dropping the home finale in triple OT to a crappy UConn squad.
2012 High: Teddy Bridgewater became an instant Heisman favorite by leading them to a shockingly easy win over Florida in the Sugar Bowl. His NFL future is limited, however, as Teddy is simply not an appropriate name for a grown man, never mind one expected to lead a large group of very large men.
Recent Arrest: None for close to two years, which is still another reason people don’t take The Big East seriously as a football conference. No burglaries or assaults, not even a DUI or marijuana bust? That’s no way to compete for a national title.
Famous Alums: S is for Sue, G is for Grafton, W is for Writer. Johnny Unitas, crew-cut QB cut by the Steelers. Wes Unseld, last of the 6-foot-7 NBA centers.
8. Clemson Tigers
Nickname Origin: In 1896, new coach and Princeton Tigers admirer Walter Riggs gave Clemson their tiger mascot. It is the last known instance of a southern football coach even knowing of Princeton’s existence, never mind admiring their football program. And this is actually true.
2012 Low: Superstar WR Sammy Watkins got himself arrested, suspended, sick, fat and injured on his way to 650 fewer receiving yards and nine fewer TDs than in his electrifying freshman season.
2012 High: Gave their fans a happy New Year’s Eve with a fourth-quarter rally against LSU, capped by the game-winning field goal as time expired.
Recent Arrest: The typical handful of marijuana possession busts, the most important of which was the aforementioned Watkins arrest and suspension. Maybe they don’t go 0-2 against ranked teams during the regular season with less ganja?
Famous Alums: Strom Thurmond, elderly fornicator. William Perry, obese pet of Mike Ditka. Shawn Weatherly, onetime Miss Universe and actress of whom Dave Barry once said, “Shawn’s acting ability is such that she could not convey the concept of falling if you pushed her off a cliff.”
7. Texas A&M Aggies
Nickname Origin: Their gung ho 12th man and yell leaders and military band and boot line… and basically the program in general were considered so aggravating by the rest of the Southwest Conference that they were named Aggies by general consensus.
2012 Low: Not many, but only two ranked teams visited College Station and they lost to each of them.
2012 High: Visited #1 Alabama and left with both a win and the new Heisman favorite. Johnny “Walker Black” Manziel would indeed take home the ugliest trophy in sports and lead them to a season-ending dismantling of Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl.
Recent Arrest: So many to choose from. Most recent incident: the July arrest of two players for “assault-causing injury” after a 3 a.m. post-partying brawl. Some pot busts, a weapons charge and of course Johnny Football has his own shirtless mug shot out there for fighting and then providing a fake ID to the cops. No one ever said a running QB has to be a rocket surgeon.
Famous Alums: Rip Torn, hard-drinking actor, NOT to be confused with flaming confetti thrower Rip Taylor. Lyle Lovett, briefly known as Mr. Julia Roberts. Rick Perry, former yell leader (how utterly perfect).
6. South Carolina Gamecocks
Nickname Origin: Literally a rooster used for cock fighting, an activity that still takes place in South Carolina. Wasn’t Moonshiners available? I supposed yelling “Go Cocks” is more fun than yelling “Go Moonies.”
2012 Low: Held Florida to 183 yards yet still managed to lose 44-11. The SEC is just weird.
2012 High: Jadeveon Clowney’s helmet-popping, fumble-causing hit against Michigan in the Outback Bowl. Just the ESPN version has over four million YouTube hits.
Recent Arrest: Shockingly devoid of arrests given their history, nothing in over a year! Columbia, S.C. remains a dangerous place to inhabit, however, with a violent crime rate 140% over the national average. Probably even higher if roosters were counted in the stats.
Famous Alums: Hootie and the Blowfish, inexplicable mega popularity mercifully short-lived. Melvin Purvis, famous FBI agent who survived shootouts but accidently shot himself in the head. Mookie Wilson, edges Blaylock as most famous Mookie.
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