What’s a top university without a stellar mascot? Would the University of Oregon be the same without The Duck? While that might be up for debate, something that can’t be argued is the importance mascots have. Not only are they the extra teammate on the field or court, but in some cases, they are the spiritual leader of the team. When the players see Osceola and Renegade storm the gridiron and stake a spear into the ground, it gets their blood rushing! Here are the most magnificent mascots in college football today.
University Of Tennessee: Smokey
What a time to be alive as a University of Tennessee fan! Before home games take place, the whole football team is led onto the gridiron by Smokey the bluetick coonhound.
Currently, the role belongs to Smokey X, who is the first not to be descendant of the original Smokey. The first Smokey started this job in 1953 for perspective. Smokey X lives with Hudson family on weekdays, and on the weekends he hangs at the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity house on gamedays.
Syracuse University: Otto The Orange
The Syracuse University mascot is a pretty sweet figure. Otto the Orange is a walking fruit which helps get the crowd hyped at every home game and the occasional road game.
He’s been through some name changes over the years. Otto the Orange used to be Clyde and Woody, but they didn’t stick as well as Otto. A name that starts with an “O” is a bit better too when you think about it because that’s what orange begins with.
Western Kentucky University: Big Red
Western Kentucky University’s Big Red was created in 1979. The character has a hard time fitting into mascot boxes, and that could be thanks to the creator, Ralph Carey. He spoke the Bowling Green Daily News and explained his motives behind the figure.
Carey revealed that he didn’t want it to be an animal and he also wanted to avoid any Kentucky “hillbilly” stereotypes. What came from the creative room was a plush and lovable red blob who loves to belly slide.
Stanford University: The Tree
The mascots you’ve seen thus far have been the official mascots for their schools. This character isn’t that, but it receives that same treatment. The Tree is a member of the Stanford band but is also the unofficial mascot.
If you were to ask a student that attends the university, he or she probably wouldn’t know that information. Looking the way The Tree does, it was hard not to include it on this list. They should just make the relationship official.
University Of Georgia: Uga
If there were awards for cutest mascots, then the University of Georgia’s English bulldog, Uga, takes the first place. Their line of bulldogs have made it number ten, and they’ve been a staple since 1956.
Each one of the bulldogs that have taken the mantle has received their own custom-jersey and a varsity letter. They also live in the air-conditioned on-field doghouse. They’re currently on Uga X, but after each one passes away, they get buried in a marble vault located outside the football stadium, next to the others.
University Of South Carolina: Cocky The Gamecock
Cocky the Gamecock is such a fierce name for a mascot. Not only are the players confident, but even the Gamecock has an edge to him! Cocky has his own workout videos, so his brand is massive.
Something that he’s also known and loved for are his gameday entrances. Cocky will stand in a box covered by a black veil that has smoke erupting from the top, and after a countdown, the curtain drops. Cocky begins dancing like there’s no tomorrow for everyone in attendance.
University Of Colorado: Ralphie the Buffalo
There’s nothing like having a live mascot. The University of Colorado has Ralphie, the 1,200-pound buffalo. Ralphie has five varsity student-athlete handlers to help bring the massive animal out on the field much to the crowd’s pleasure.
Having the chance to lead Ralphie around the field at the pregame and during halftime is a pretty high honor at Colorado. Of course, there is a program of handlers to make sure things are safe for everyone involved.
University Of Texas: Bevo
Bevo the longhorn bull first appeared on the scene in 1916. He marched onto the field for Texas during their homecoming celebration on Thanksgiving day. Since then, Texas he’s been a sideline staple.
It’s been over a century, and they’re currently on Bevo XV, but the tradition will never die. On some occasions, he has managed to break free from his on-field pen during games. For the most part, he stands calmly in the endzone.
Louisiana State University: Mike The Tiger
This might be one of the most expensive live mascots on the list. LSU installed a $3.7 million, 15,000-square-foot habitat in 2005 to house their royal Bengal tiger mascot. It’s been at least seven decades since they bought Mike I, and they’re now on Mike VII.
Up until 2016, the cheerleaders would prance around on top of the tiger’s cage as it made its way to its parking spot outside of the rival team’s locker room on game days!
University Of Oregon: The Duck
If the University of Oregon’s Duck isn’t a top-five most well-known mascot, then can you name five ahead of him? Between 1920 and 1940, a real duck named Puddles would come to the football and basketball games as the school’s mascot.
Due to complaints from the Humane Society, the days of Puddles were cut short. After striking up an agreement with Disney in 1947, the university was able to get a mascot that had the likeness of Daffy Duck, and the rest was history.
Ohio State University: Brutus Buckeye
Brutus Buckeye earned the nickname of “biggest nut in college football.” He made his first appearance in 1965 after a couple of students made a convincing case to explore the idea.
Back then, there were more live mascots, but it would’ve been tough to secure a buck deer, so that idea was rejected. A buckeye, the states official tree, was the next best option. There used to be a Kool-Aid man look-alike version that we’re glad they didn’t settle on.
University of Southern California: Traveler
Since 1961, the USC Trojans have featured their live horse Traveler, who is accompanied by a trojan warrior. USC officials spotted the original Traveler at the 1961 Rose Parade.
That’s when they persuaded the owner to be the mascot and ride around the Coliseum during games. All of the Travelers have been pure white, and they’re currently on Traveler IX. There have, however, been multiple breeds to take on the task in throughout the years.
University of Notre Dame: The Leprechaun
Finally, we have a mascot that’s a human and not a live animal or a man in a tree outfit! University of Notre Dame’s Leprechaun is the most-spirited Fighting Irish fan in sports, and that’s saying a lot.
The leprechaun usually is a shorter man with a beard, but 2019 marks the first time the mascot will be portrayed by a female. The woman lucky enough to have this duty will be Lynette Wukie, and she’s stoked.
Michigan State University: Sparty
There’s nothing like a padded mascot replicated an insanely strong character. Michigan State University’s Sparty is a huge spartan that no one would have liked to go up against in ancient Greece.
Sparty is a popular figure. He appears in graduation pictures, at weddings, birthday parties, and he graced the cover of EA Sports’ NCAA Football one year. He won the vote to be on the cover by more than 75,000 die-hard football fans.
West Virginia University: West Virginia Mountaineer
West Virginia University’s mascot is another one who doesn’t need an outlandish outfit. Much like the Notre Dame Leprechaun, the West Virginia Mountaineer is a live person, but he wears buckskins, a coonskin cap, moccasins, and has a powder horn.
“The first official Mountaineer was Lawson Hill in 1934 and ’35, and the current Mountaineer is Buffalo-native Timmy Eads,” Fansided reported. “He’s the 66th Mountaineer mascot.” The first female mountaineer came in the early ’90s and was played by Natalie Tennant.
University of Miami (FL): Sebastian The Ibis
If you’re not from Miami, it’s okay to wonder what in the world an Ibis is. Of course, the University of Miami wouldn’t get a hurricane to be their mascot, so they chose something that faces that deadly effect of mother nature with courage: an ibis.
Legend has it that an ibis is the last wildlife to take shelter and the first to show up after a storm. This bird became the mascot unofficially in 1926 before officially stepping into the role in 1957.
Florida State University: Osceola and Renegade
Another horse makes our list, but this time it’s from Florida State University, and it’s spotted. Florida State works closely with the Seminole Tribe of Florida to ensure that their depictions of Osceola and Renegade are accurate.
Whomsoever rides the horse has to have a 3.0 GPA and go to a two-year apprenticeship. Before every home game starts, Osceola and Renegade storm to midfield and Osceola plants a spear into the turf. Did we mention the object is on fire?
Texas A&M University: Reveille
Cute dog alert! Say hello to Reveille, the precious pooch acting as Texas A&M’s mascot. The very first Reveille was a rescue dog that the Aggie cadets saved after being hit by a car.
Did you know that she’s the highest-ranking member in the Corps of Cadets and a mascot corporal cares for her? If Reveille happens to bark while class is taking place, then everyone is dismissed. If she falls asleep in a cadet’s bed, then that person needs to find somewhere else to sleep because she has a higher ranking.
Florida University: Albert and Alberta Gator
Have you ever seen a couple acting as a mascot for a university? Florida University for sure put a spin on things with these two animals, walking around holding hands.
Kiss cams are epic when Albert and Alberta Gator get put on the screen. Also, there’s nothing like giant gators in love going around helping get the crowd pumped up. Minus the cute dogs we’ve listed, these two might be our favorites on this list.
University of Alabama: Big Al
Big Al first became associated with the University of Alabama in 1930 after a sportswriter joking wrote, “the elephants are coming!” Words can manifest into great things, as you can see, because who doesn’t want a cool elephant as a mascot?
Big Al wasn’t official until legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant took the athletic department funds to foot the bill for the fluffy costume. Alabama fans have Bryant to thank for this one, and we thank him as well.