It's the offseason or the "silly season" as we like to call it around here. In the spirit of silliness (with a hint of seriousness thrown in for good measure) I propose that some teams in the conference change their nicknames. We have two sets of teams with the same nickname and those are the two most common nicknames nationwide. We also have another team with a very common nickname that no one would miss if it were dropped in favor of something a bit more interesting. I think the best nicknames are unique and also reflect some aspect of local history or culture. Most SEC teams managed to accomplish that when choosing their nicknames, but some of our conference members fell asleep on the job, so we're here to help them out.
Alabama Crimson Tide: Needless to say, Crimson Tide is a unique nickname. We're the only "Crimson Tide" in all of sports that I'm aware of in major American sports and it has the added bonus that it doesn't end in "s." Those are two big plusses in my book. Menstruation jokes aside, it's a great nickname. It evokes the power and majesty of the ocean and there is an interesting story about how the nickname came about. (The same goes for why our mascot is an elephant.)
Arkansas Razorbacks: Another good nickname. According to Wikipedia, Arkansas is the only major U.S. sports team with a porcine mascot (there is also a pro basketball team in Australia called the Razorbacks) so that's got to count for something right? Razorback is also the name of guitar line endorsed by the late Dimebag Darrell of Pantera. I know he was from Texas, but still, rock the eff out Arkansas.
Auburn Tigers: The Tigers nickname sucks! Two teams in the conference have it and it's the most popular nickname in Division I football (Auburn, LSU, Memphis, Missouri & Clemson) so I say ditch it and choose something more unique. You could go with the War Eagles because that's a fairly interesting story that incorporates local lore, but there are a lot of Eagle themed teams out there so it'd only be a modest improvement. I suggest being the Auburn Plainsmen. There's a gender neutrality issue there but if the NCAA is still allowing Native American nicknames nobody can raise much of a fuss about Plainsmen. It's a slight variation on the name of the newspaper, the name of the park the baseball stadium is in and then there's the whole "loveliest little village on the plains" thing. The biggest advantage would be the opportunity to get rid of that puke inducing orange y'all have some strange affinity for.
Florida Gators: I hate the Gators, but they've got a great nickname. It's great for several reasons. It's unique, it reflects local culture and alligators are territorial and mean as shit. The day I moved to Florida a woman got her arm bitten off by a gator in a lake near Orlando so they certainly make an impression. I also had them wander up to my doorstep living on a lake in the burbs in Florida. You don't eff with those things. Well done Florida.
Georgia Bulldogs: I'm sorry Georgia, but your nickname sucks! Bulldogs is tied for the second most popular name in Division I football with four teams (Georgia, Mississippi State, Fresno State and Louisiana Tech.) Maybe I just hate it because we've had a hell of time beating any team nicknamed Bulldogs lately...but it's got to go. I know you're all obsessed with Uga, but you can find something else. Plus, make PETA happy and get a mascot that isn't susceptible to heat stroke, you know...since it's hot and humid in Georgia and all. Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that Uga hates Auburn as much as I do, but it's a snore of a nickname. I suggest the Georgia Red Devils. You get to keep your color scheme and you can borrow the nickname of Manchester England's Manchester United soccer team since Athens used to be known as the "Manchester of the South." Plus, if Duke ever gets good at football, y'all could form a rivalry called "The Hell Bowl." If you don't like that idea, change your name to Dawgs since y'all seem to use that just as much as Bulldogs.
Kentucky Wildcats: Guess what Kentucky? Your nickname sucks! Wildcats is also tied for second most common nickname in Division I. Thankfully though, the conference only has one of you unlike the Tigers and Bulldogs. This one's easy, y'all should be the Kentucky Colonels. It's localized, it's unique and it's something the people could easily get behind. Sure, there'd be a lot of friend chicken jokes made, but hey, we have to put up with menstruation jokes and you don't see us complaining.
LSU Tigers: LSU fans, if you've read this far, you know your nickname sucks already. First of all, you should change so as not to have to share anything with Auburn because well all know what a bunch of bell ends they are. Second of all, Louisiana arguably has the most vibrant and distinct culture of any state in the union so do yourself a favor and ditch the most common nickname for something that reflects your uniqueness. Perhaps go with Royals to reflect the origin of Louisiana's name.
Mississippi State Bulldogs: Change your nickname Starkvillians. Bulldogs is super common so I propose changing your name to the Mississippi State Generals since Starkville is named for the Revolutionary War's General John Stark.
Ole Miss Rebels: Though there are obvious negative connotations to the nickname "Rebels," it's still a pretty good one. Nobody's really giving UNLV crap about being nicknamed the Rebels, so might as well let Ole Miss keep it and make UNLV change.
South Carolina Gamecocks: Though their fans enjoy using the nickname suggestively and/or with a dose of juvenile potty humor, Gamecocks is actually a solid nickname. Cockfighting is brutal and vicious and those birds are mean. Perhaps not the most politically correct name on the block, but that ferocity is certainly something you'd want in your team.
Tennessee Volunteers: It's no secret that we hate Tennessee around here, but they have a good, localized nickname derived from Tennessee's large number of volunteer soldiers during the War of 1812.
Vanderbilt Commodores: Vanderbilt might not win a lot on the field, but they got the nickname right. "Commodore" was the nickname of Cornelius Vanderbiltu who the school is named after so it works for me.
Revised list of SEC Nicknames
Alabama Crimson Tide
Georgia Red Devils
Mississippi State Generals
Ole Miss Rebels
South Carolina Gamecocks
I realize that's a lot of militaristic nicknames, but that kind of fits the spirit of SEC football. Feel free to offer your own suggestions below...