It's rare to have a choice for a state's top mascot come down to a religious decision, but it's hard to consider the best nicknames in the Palmetto State anything but.
In one corner is the Travelers Rest (S.C.) Devildogs, a mascot with the devil in the name. In the opposite corner is the Charleston (S.C.) Bishop England Battling Bishops. Obviously this is no laissez faire religious battle; both mascots are ready for combat.
In the case of South Carolina fans were clear, without any offense. Only the Devildogs are worthy of supreme acclaim. According to USA Today, the Travelers Rest nickname was the brainchild of former football coach Chico Bolin, who wanted to give his team a unique edge. Devildogs were another name for Marines in World War II, a translation for the nickname the Germans gave the elite unit, Teufelshunde.
Bolin's influence on the squad didn't end there, with the school's football stadium also named in the coach's honor. Still, it's the mascot that is most well known, and appreciated, in the state today.
Other Great South Carolina Mascots of Note:
As a group, South Carolina mascots are surprisingly unremarkable for a state with such rich history. Still, there are the Battling Bishops. There is no real reason for the Bishops to be battling, except that the Charleston Catholic school wanted to be a bit more fierce than one usually associates with members of the clergy. To that end, the school's mascot is featured with a pair of boxing gloves. Nice touch, Bishop England.
There is one terrific historical mascot on the state's list, and it's only fitting that it is named after one of the great revolutionary heroes for whom South Carolina was a battlefield. Francis Marion was known as the Swamp Fox during the Revolutionary War because he was so adept at blending in with the forested surroundings, along with his men. Marion the town was named after the military hero, and the Marion (S.C.) High teams took his nickname as a mascot to complete the Marion Swamp Foxes package.
At first glance, one might think that the Mullins (S.C.) High Auctioneers took their name out of a sheer camp homage. In fact, the school's teams were originally the Tornadoes until a businessman made a large donation intended to help the athletic department purchase new equipment. The donation was large enough that the school district felt compelled to name all its teams after the businessman, who was an auctioneer. The nickname stuck and the team now proudly fights for state titles with that moniker.