"Blue and White" came first, around 1900. The freshman teams were called the "Cubs" in the 1910s, and then "Lions" started to appear about the end of that decade.
22 October 1900, New York Times, pg. 5:
COLUMBIA'S TEAM RETURNS.
Local Football Players Not Discouraged
Because of Their Defeat by "Penn."
Coach Lewis of the Harvard team, who witnessed the game at Philadelphia Saturday, said that if the Columbia men had put up the game against the Crimson eleven that they did against the Quakers, the Blue and White would have been victorious.
3 June 1907, New York Times, pg. 5:
COLUMBIAS ON HUDSON.
Blue and White Crew at Poughkeepsie
Preparing for Regatta.
19 October 1915, New York Times, pg. 12:
Arrangements were completed yesterday for a scrimmage game between the freshman eleven and the Horace Mann School team on Friday afternoon. The first game for the Columbia cubs is still two weeks away.
17 January 1917, Mew York Times, pg. 10:
Columbia Cub Quintet Wins
The Columbia Freshman basket ball team found the Hamilton Institute quintet an easy opponent yesterday in the Columbia gymnasium and won 32 to 8.
11 February 1917, New York Times, pg. 18:
DATES FOR COLUMBIA CUBS.
Five Contests Arranged for Fresh-
man Eleven Next Fall.
26 August 1917, New York Times, pg. 26:
ALL SPORT EVENTS
Blue and White to Resume Inter-
collegiate Activities When
4 November 1917, New York Times, pg. E6:
COLUMBIA CUBS BEATEN.
Blue and White Youngsters Unable
to Stem St. Paul Attack.
16 November 1919, New York Times, pg. S3:
Out in front to assist the cheer leaders a freshman masqueraded in the head and skin of a Columbia lion to tickle the crowd into laughter with his antics.
12 November 1921, New York Times, pf. 23:
With three straight defeats attached to his tail, the Columbia lion is none too confident of winning the game.
8 January 1922, Mew York Times, pg. 119:
COLUMBIA CUBS TRIUMPH
The Lion Cubs has an air-tight defense of the five-man variety, and it was not until early in the second half that the Poly Prep quintet was able to break through it for a score.
12 November 1922, New York Times, pg. 27:
TO COLUMBIA LION