It’s that time of year again. College has started back up and with that means college sports starting as well. We’re already a few weeks into football season and college basketball is rapidly approaching as well. Naturally there are plenty more sports starting up that aren’t often televised. One of the cool things about sports, and collegiate sports in particular, is the variety of mascots. Some are more fun while others are more intimidating. One of these categories is bugs and insects, a fairly popular one.
An analysis was recently released on every school that has a bug mascot and the results are interesting and are in the spirit of collegiate sports. Let’s take a look at some of the results:
First off, there are 30 colleges or universities with bug-based mascots. Thirteen of them are public schools and 17 are private schools. In all, they compete in an average of 16 varsity sports. As far as the divisions that they compete in, it varies significantly. A third of them compete in NCAA Division III and 5 compete in Division I. Six compete in Division II.
When looking at the schools’ athletic achievements specifically when it comes to football, it turns out that bug teams have had some success. They have a combined winning record (9,391 – 9,032 – 657) for a .509 winning percentage. They have won 214 conference championships in football and have won 15 national titles (for all levels).
In addition to wins and championships, part of college sports includes boasting how many players a school has sent to the professional leagues. This study looked at each school and found just how many alumni have played in the NBA, NFL, and MLB. Currently, when looking overall, 16 players play in the NFL, 5 play in the NBA, and 9 play in MLB. One of the biggest takeaways when looking at professional players is that Georgia Tech has sent the most players by far to the pros. Interestingly, The University of Richmond comes in second or third for each sport. They have sent 45 players to the NFL and 17 to MLB. Only three Richmond Spiders have played in the NBA.
Overall, one of the most appealing things about college sports is the tradition and the pageantry. That’s why mascots, while on the outside may seem trivial, actually play such an important role and act as a connecting force for generations. Bugs and insects are just one type of mascot but they are a common one and a successful one, as this study shows.