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9/02/2008 02:23:00 PM

Top Five College Mascots

Stanford Tree
Few mascots are as original as the Stanford Tree.
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
By Lang Whitaker, SI.com

With the return of college football, this also signals the return of something very important: Mascots. My school, the University of Georgia, recently introduced UGA VII, the latest in a long line of hairy dawgs, causing great celebration and attention. At their best, mascots should inspire and unite. Here are my five favorite college mascots.

1. UGA: UGA VII will have a lot to live up to, considering the bite of some of his predecessors.

2. Ralphie: When Colorado's multi-ton Bison comes barreling out onto the field, it's a pretty intimidating sight. Especially when stuff like this happens.

3. The Hawks: St. Joe's mascot is the epitome of perpetual motion, flapping its arms nonstop as long as it's in view.

4. The Stanford Tree: Since the school's nickname is actually a color, the school uses a person in a tree costume to stand around and ironically represent the university. Still, the Tree backs down from nobody.

5. Chief Osceola: Before every game, Florida State's mascot gallops onto the field atop a horse and chucks a flaming spear into the ground.

What's the best college mascot of all time? Let us know below...

Lang Whitaker is the executive editor of SLAM magazine and writes daily at SLAMonline.com
posted by SI.com | View comments |


You've already got the best at #1 right now. Don't let the dirtnecks tell you Smokey should be up there, either.
I think you're forgetting one very famous Lion from State College, PA:
Posted: September 2, 2008 5:02 PM   by Anonymous JFJ
You forgot a very well known bird from South Florida. As much as I can't stand him, Sebastian the Ibis does a lot for his team. I can't stand this guy either, but Al. E. Gator deserves an honorable mention. Others deserving an honorable mention: a certain steer in Austin, and a well known collie from College Station.

I never thought I would say this about a Lang Whitaker column, but I agree whole-heartedly with number five being on the list, however it should be ranked higher.
Posted: September 2, 2008 5:28 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Hands Down its Chief Osceola. No question about it.
The Lion is #1! You guys have got to be kidding me!

-Georgia's isn't even a human and will never know you are ranking it #1.

-Stanford's is a tree. A Tree! Tree's don't move.

-Colorado and St. Joe's are not even on the map. Nobody cares about them. Nobody.

-We beat Florida State in the Orange Bowl in January 2006, so there is no chance that their mascot is better than ours.

The Lion is far and away the best mascot in college sports. He dances better than Michael Jackson, gets carried up hundreds of rows of people every game, does thousands of push-ups a year. Nobody compares. Just ask Tom Verducci.
There is no other school that can match the electrifying run of Texas Tech's Masked Rider perched atop Midnight Matador, the sleek, black quarter horse, as they lead the Red Raiders onto the field. No team has ever made a more sensational entrance! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W33KtgYLck4&feature=related
how can Sparty not be in your top five? seriously?
Yeah you've gotta put the Nittany Lion up there. He may not be a real lion, but he's way better than some stupid tree.
Posted: September 2, 2008 7:48 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Penn State has a mascot?
What about Sparty? Michigan State's mascot has his picture on Wii video game.
Posted: September 2, 2008 9:06 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
The stanford tree is the dumbest mascot ever... I'd rather see Vermont's mascot in there
Posted: September 2, 2008 9:59 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Everyone knows that a 6' tall maroon turkey is the greatest mascot ever.
Posted: September 2, 2008 10:31 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
The Air Force Academy has the only true performing mascot in the country. The Falcon flies from a top the press box, flies through the Falcon Stadium crowdjust above the seats and then flies to the 50 yard line t grab the piece of meat being swung around on a string by its handler. This is the real deal
where the hell is Sparty?
Posted: September 2, 2008 11:51 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Posted: September 3, 2008 5:48 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Syracuse's Otto the Orange.
Posted: September 3, 2008 8:38 AM   by Anonymous KevinCamp
Uga and Ralphie are awesome mascots, but any list that would have a freaking dude in a tree suit as one of the five best mascots in college is, well, moronic. Nova, Auburn's current "War Eagle", and LSU's tiger come immediately to mind as better mascots.
Smokey.. and what exactly is a dirtneck?
Posted: September 3, 2008 9:30 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
I'm a Michigan fan, but this list is incomplete without Brutus the Buckeye. Sure, he's a nut, but let's be honest, they're all a little nuts to put the costumes on and make fools of themselves for the sake of the crowd.

IMO, Brutus the Buckeye should top the list.
Posted: September 3, 2008 10:58 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
What about the Mountaineer?
Posted: September 3, 2008 11:38 AM   by Anonymous ufpog
Albert and Alberta the Alligators make up the number 1 mascot. He is the squarest and she is the fairest. There is no discussion needed. They rock.
Posted: September 3, 2008 12:25 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
I'm a PSU alum and I'm not sure how you could argue that the Nittany Lion belongs on the list. Yes, its cool that he does one handed pushups and crowdsurfs through the best student section in the country, but the costume looks like it was made by a seventh grader (you can see the guy's face in the costume!). He's a good mascot for sure, but not one of the Top 5 in college football.
Posted: September 3, 2008 12:27 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Connecticut College CAMELS
Posted: September 3, 2008 12:36 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Seriously. Sparty? Why not put Purdon't Pete up there too? The Emu from EMU? Pfft...Sparty. Y'all been smokin' too much.

Lang, as long as this list NEVER includes The Turd-Nugget on Legs, I'll go with it. Even if I think the tree is lame.
Stanford's mascot is a representation of the tree in their logo.
Posted: September 3, 2008 1:33 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
montana mascoct monte
Yeah...I'm pretty sure you missed Brutus Buckeye in there, one of THE most identifed mascots....GO BUCKS!
Posted: September 3, 2008 3:01 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Chief Osceola is not a masket. He is a symbol by which all Seminoles are measured. An animal is a mascot, a guy in spartan costume is a mascot, the Chief is NOT. He is revered and honored.

Do not lump the Chief in with cartoons and clowns...it demeans his spirit.
Only one that should be #1.... Tommy Trojan of the mighty Trojans of the University of Southern California!!!
Posted: September 3, 2008 5:50 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Unless you've witnessed a game on Rocky Top you'll never know who the best alltime mascot is. One is some kid in a costume and one is a blue tick hound named SMOKEY!
Posted: September 3, 2008 5:54 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
The RAZORBACK of Arkansas hands down,one of a kind.No one can copy that,too many tigers,bulldogs,you name it.That's what makes the Pig so great.Go Hogs
Posted: September 3, 2008 9:01 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Ramsey is the best and there is no one else in his league. maybe this is the B league list.
Posted: September 3, 2008 9:02 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
It's gotta be the Mountaineer from West Virginia. Dude shoots a gun every 5 seconds during the game and scares the crap out of the visiting team. Can't beat that.
Posted: September 3, 2008 10:37 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
What about Mike - the live Tiger that LSU keeps next to the stadium.


Boomer & Sooner

I will agree that the Buffalo is pretty dang cool.....even after what Stewart did to my Wolverines in the Big House all those years ago....
Posted: September 4, 2008 7:57 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
The University of Texas mascot deserves a mention, Bevo is a great mascot.
St. Joe's doesn't have a freaking football team!!!!!!

You need to be demoted to the mailroom - or maybe a chicken costume to flap your arms in.
Posted: September 4, 2008 10:11 AM   by Anonymous BIGTEN
Chief Osceola is not a masket. He is a symbol by which all Seminoles are measured. An animal is a mascot, a guy in spartan costume is a mascot, the Chief is NOT. He is revered and honored.

Do not lump the Chief in with cartoons and clowns...it demeans his spirit----------------------------------------------

If I was a moran like you, I would leave this as anoymons too. People like you, are the reason the True CHIEF..ILLINI will no longer get to be a part of the greatest mascot list.....LONG LIVE THE CHEIF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted: September 4, 2008 10:35 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
I dont go to Saint Joe's but I have seen the "Hawk" in person and what he does for 3 hours non-stop is unbelievably impressive and difficult. Props for the Hawk.
Posted: September 4, 2008 11:54 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
This writer is wise. Of course UGA VII is number 1. He's a damn good dawg!
Posted: September 4, 2008 12:59 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
How can you not include Bevo? Hands down the best mascot in the country. Great tradition with the Texas Longhorns and always looks good on the front of an old school caddie!
What does it matter if St. Joe's doesn't have a football team? The post was 'Top Five College Mascots', not 'Top FIve Football Mascots'. The Hawk is the most dedicated mascot in sports and can lose up to 15 pounds of sweat in a game. He can also go after another mascot and continue to flap!


Maybe you need to be demoted back to first grade to learn how to read mascotnet.

Posted: September 4, 2008 3:19 PM   by Anonymous ash
Posted: September 5, 2008 12:42 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Uga is #1!! Isn't he cute?? Ask the Auburn player! The bloodline means there will be a new Uga waiting on the sidelines when needed. Visit the stadium and see where his ancestors are buried.
THE BEST is Obviously BUZZ
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