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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
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