College Football's Top 10 Best Live Mascots

Carl StineCorrespondent IJuly 16, 2012

College Football's Top 10 Best Live Mascots

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    From Zips to Aggies and Spartans to Gamecocks, mascots roam college football sidelines across the country.

    Most of them wear fuzzy mascot costumes, underneath which some unlucky person is sweating profusely and wishing his or her team would quit scoring so many points because the push-ups are getting darn near impossible.

    But there are a select few in the FBS universe that are the "real deal."

    This list ranks the top 10 live mascots that represent their respective programs.

Honorable Mention

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    Handsome Dan, Yale

    Renegade, Florida State

    Mach 1, Air Force

    Reveille, Texas A&M

    Sir Big Spur, South Carolina

    Ranger III and Stryker, Army

    Smokey, Tennessee

    Ramses, North Carolina

10. Traveler, USC

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    Traveler gets the nod in spite of his human handler due to the focus on this noble steed.

    Does anybody outside of USC fans even know who the guy is that rides Traveler?

    No, the horse holds the spotlight.

    Whenever the Trojans score, Traveler takes a trip around the field, much to the delight of the USC faithful.

    Traveler has been a fixture at USC home games and multiple other contests since 1961.

9. Dubs, Washington

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    Look, Dubs needs to get some love thrown his way.

    As dog mascots go, he is one of the best looking in the nation, and who among us doesn't respect a good Alaskan Malamute?

    I'm not huge on cuddly mascots, but Dubs has the whole "cute" thing down without losing any of his street cred as a tough guy.

8. Mike the Tiger, LSU

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    That's right, LSU has a live tiger.

    Unlike their SEC counterparts at Auburn who can't figure out which mascot they have (Tiger, Plainsmen, War Eagle), LSU has Mike.

    Mike VI has been the official representative of the team since 2007, and can be viewed in his habitat via live feed.

    He is also the only current member of the LSU football team that knows what actually happened in last season's BCS title game.

7. Tusk, Arkansas

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    Tusk gets the nod as one of the ugliest mascots to ever grace a college campus.

    Also, because he is an impostor.

    The Razorbacks are represented by a Russian Boar, as the Razorback can only be found roaming the Australian Outback these days.

    Tusk doesn't get the credit he deserves for a being a fierce representative of the Arkansas program.

6. War Eagle, Auburn

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    Auburn's current "War Eagle" a golden eagle named "Nova" is the seventh of the name.

    For those of you who have never been present when the eagle makes its pass around Jordan-Hare Stadium, it's an incredible event.

    The SEC is replete with live mascots, and the "War Eagle" is definitely one of the top members of that elite cadre of animal representatives.

    While a tiger will always be the official mascot, "War Eagle" is a great way to set yourself apart as a fanbase and confuse anyone that is not familiar with the program.

5. Bevo, Texas

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    The Texas Longhorn once roamed the plains of this great nation, supporting the economy of an entire region of this burgeoning nation.

    This mascot came into being in 1916, and has seen several iterations in the years since.

    Although there are multiple theories regarding the origin of the nickname, everyone agrees that Bevo has been around since the early part of the last century.

    The early editions of the mascot where somewhat temperamental, as Bevo II, II and IV wreaked havoc from charging parked cars to charging opposing cheerleaders and running wild on campus for multiple days.

    His kind may have been considered sustenance for many thousands of Americans, but the Texas mascot is college football royalty.

4. Bill the Goat, Navy

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    Bill is the epitome of all that is good about live mascots.

    A record of a goat on the sideline of a Navy game goes all the way back to the annual clash with Army back in 1893, when El Cid was present for a third consecutive win in the series by the Midshipmen.

    Bill has been kidnapped multiple times by Army cadets during his long tenure, but always manages to make his way back where he belongs, eventually.

    He's known for his sideline antics and honey badger-like attitude.

    Bill XXXIV is currently representing Navy.

3. Ralphie, Colorado

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    Take your dogs, cats and assorted small animal life elsewhere.

    Nothing but a large mammal charging across the field dragging handlers will do for Colorado fans.

    Ralphie, a female bison, runs the field in a horseshoe shape before every home game, much to the delight of thousands of raving fans.

    There are no traditions like this one, especially when one considers the handlers that take a beating on occasion.

    You never hear about Bill the Goat dragging handlers.

2. Peruna, SMU

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    Peruna is one of the most underrated little mascots in the college football universe.

    He was named for a medicine popular in the early part of the last century, "Peruna Tonic" which was known for its "kick."

    While one does not necessarily associate a Shetland Pony with "Mustangs," as that name evokes images of large horses running wild with flowing manes and tails, this mascot has plenty of spirit.

    Legend has it that Peruna I kicked the Fordham Ram mascot, killing it.

    While that was another horse from the one that is currently roaming the sidelines, SMU fans will tell you that he is still a tough little pony—just don't call him that to his face.

    Among his other notable accomplishments, according to the SMU Daily Campus, he also took down Texas' mascot with one kick, and defecated at midfield of rival TCU's new field surface.

1. Uga, Georgia

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    Uga is the mascot of all mascots.

    There have been eight bulldogs to carry the title, with Uga V garnering the most attention.

    He was in the movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and famously snapped at Auburn wide receiver Robert Baker after he scored a touchdown.

    His father, Uga IV, was invited to and attended the 1982 Heisman Trophy ceremony.

    Uga's sideline reign dates back to 1956, and continues to the current season, when Uga IX has yet to be named.