DII: Home of the Second Best and Eccentrically Named

    This weekend, the UCSD Softball team will compete in the Division II College World Series. The eight-team tournament will feature the likes of Kutztown University, Augustana, Valdosta State, Southern Connecticut State, Central Oklahoma, Flagler and St. Joe (unabbreviated) College.

    Don’t worry, I’ve never heard of any of them either.

    In my time covering Division II athletics, I have become acclimated to the array of “colorful” small institution monikers. Last year, I was unfazed when our softball team traveled up to Rochester, N.Y. — to the campus of C.W. Post College — to compete in the College World Series. Last year’s sports editor realized that C.W. Post College was named for Charles William Post, founder of Post Cereal, manufacturers of beloved breakfast foods: Fruity Pebbles, Honey Bunches of Oats as well as the not-so-beloved cereal, Raisin Bran.

    It was then that I started to not only take notice of the best of Division II Athletics, but also the best names in Division II Athletics.

    Kutztown, appearing in the national tournament in both softball and baseball, is named for its location in rural Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, “Kutztown” for me at least, conjures up images of Wiz Khalifa’s 2010 single, “In tha Cut,” (sic) where Khalifa details his night, “in the cut, rolling doobies up.”

    In the same vein (drugs) — pun intended — there’s North Carolina’s “Coker College,” regrettably named for Civil War veteran Major James Lide Coker.

    Also participating in the 2012 national tournament is Pennsylvania’s Seton Hill. The only thing funny about the respected Catholic institution is that they sound like a more affordable knock-off of Seton Hall — the “Rice Crisps” to Seton Hall’s Rice Krispies.

    Other notable Division II schools in Pennsylvania, evidently a goldmine for eccentrically named higher education institutions, include: Slippery Rock, Shippensburg and Mercy Hurst.

    The list also includes a myriad of establishments simply given first names: Lynn, Mary, Lewis, Lane and Barry.

    Stuck in Division II, there may only be one thing I can take consolation in after the Division I Referendum failed to pass — the small moments that I can look to my friend and make Post cereal puns.   

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