The Replacements: College Football's Newest Mascots

Kent MooreCorrespondent IMarch 5, 2009

The college football offseason is the most boring part of the year for me. I vehemently search around the web in hopes of finding some interesting football-related article to satisfy my appetite. Many days I go hungry.

One day I found myself looking at every team mascot in the FBS and I thought for a moment, “Wow! There are some pretty lame and overused mascots out there.” So, of course, I began to conjure up all kinds of wholesome mascots that have been sitting on the sidelines just waiting to get that call from upstairs telling them it’s their time.

Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of cool mascots out there and I applaud those schools for wanting to intimidate their opponents. But to others (you know who you are, too) I have to ask, “What were you thinking?”


Listed alphabetically by conference:

First the BCS Conferences


Best Mascot:  Miami Hurricanes—Every second a hurricane releases as much energy as an explosion from a nuclear bomb. Now that’s power. Good job Miami.

Honorable Mention: Wake Forrest Demon Deacons—Any mascot that uses “Demon” to describe it gets two thumbs up.

Worst Mascot: Maryland Terps—Sure you tried to make the turtle look all mean and scary, but you’re not fooling anyone. Maybe if you were the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Terrapins” I could let it slide. You’d be heroes in a half shell!

New Mascot: Maryland Malaria—Yeah, I went there.  Your mascot is now a deadly disease—probably the first recorded disease mascot in sports history. Every year, malaria kills between one and three million people worldwide. Talk about striking fear in your opponent.

Dishonorable Mention: Virginia Tech Hokies (Virginia Tech Vampires or Vultures)—One is the living dead and the other eats the dead…pick one.


Big East

Best Mascot: Pittsburgh Panthers—Pitt went conservative on this one and I can dig it.  It’s a fan favorite. Like peanut butter and jelly or spaghetti and meatballs. Any man-eating animal is a smart choice.

Honorable Mention: West Virginia Mountaineers—A bearded man covered from head to toe in animal skin drives the ladies crazy.

Worst Mascot:  Syracuse Orange—Who didn’t see this one coming? Out of all the cool things in this world, Syracuse went with fruit. Oranges aren’t even grown in Syracuse. The only edible fruit that I know of that is somewhat frightening is the coconut. It has been known to kill people when it falls from the tree.

New Mascot:  Syracuse Sasquatch—I was leaning towards the Abominable Snowmen but I went with the North American version of Bigfoot. I have one task for you Syracuse—find a real life Sasquatch! You could chain it up and bring it to all the sporting events and parade it around like other schools do with their mascots (buffaloes, tigers, etc.).  How awesome would that be?

Dishonorable Mention: South Florida Bulls (South Florida Stingrays or Sharks)—Bulls in Florida make no sense. Stingrays or sharks in Florida make perfect sense.

Big Ten

Best Mascot: Michigan Wolverines—As an Ohio State fan this is really hard for me to do but I’m picking that team up north. Wolverines have a nasty disposition and are known to take on bears and wolves for food. That takes some serious balls. 

Honorable Mention: Michigan State Spartans—Watch the movie 300 and you’ll see why.

Worst Mascot: Indiana Hoosiers—What the hell is a Hoosier anyway? Legend has it that back in the early pioneer days when someone would approach a cabin at a village they would always call out so they didn't surprise those in the cabin. They would yell out, "Hello inside.” Then they would be "greeted" by a loud response of, "Who's here?" This eventually became "Hoosier.” Awful.

New Mascot:  Indiana Incas—We have the Aztecs in college football. Why don’t we have the Incas as well? These guys would sacrifice people like it was going out of style. Sure they were wiped from the face of the earth by the Spanish Empire and the diseases they brought with them but, for a few hundred years, these guys were the heat.

Dishonorable Mention: Ohio State Buckeyes (Ohio State Henchmen)—I give the nod to Indiana only because their mascot is so bad and because Ohio State at least picked a poisonous nut instead of something edible like a cashew.


Big 12

Best Mascot: Iowa State Cyclones—Like the Miami Hurricanes, Iowa State decided to use a natural weather phenomenon as their mascot. Many people think that a cyclone is just another name for a tornado. However, cyclones are more related to hurricanes. 

Honorable Mention: Missouri Tigers—Although you might want to get an eye exam. Last time I checked, a tiger was orange and black.

Worst Mascot: Oklahoma Sooners—Nothing against OU. I just don’t think their mascot is all that interesting. You picked ordinary people who really didn’t do anything special as your mascot. Just a bunch of John Does that settled unassigned lands in Oklahoma prior to the Indian Appropriations Act. Whoop-de-do.

New Mascot: Oklahoma Oxen—Picture the Red River Rivalry featuring the Texas Longhorns vs. the Oklahoma Oxen. An ox is a monstrous animal and would give a longhorn a round for its money. Before every game, put the ox and Bevo into a ring and let them duke it out. PETA would be up in arms, but Vegas would love the idea of taking those bets.

Dishonorable Mention: Baylor Bears (Baylor Bandits)—Bears are overused. Think for yourselves.



Best Mascot: Arizona State Sun Devils—What is hotter than the sun? Nothing. What is more badass than a devil? Nothing. Now put the two together and what do you get?  The hottest badass around. Can anyone refute this? Doubtful. Nice work ASU.

Honorable Mention: USC Trojans—You just can’t beat a Sun Devil. I’m sorry. But you are a close second.

Worst Mascot: Stanford Cardinal—Do I really need explain myself here? How a school picks a color as its mascot is beyond me. And don’t even get me started on that walking tree thing you got roaming the sidelines. Let’s just get this over with.

New Mascot:  Stanford Stallions—Being called the Stallions is a thousand times better than being called the Cardinal. Stallions are strong and demand respect. Cardinal doesn’t do anything. Plus you have all your working parts down there if you know what I mean.  You wouldn’t want to be called the Stanford Geldings would you? 

Dishonorable Mention: California Bears (California Crocodiles)—One bear per conference. Plus, Bruins sounds better.



Best Mascot: Florida Gators—It is pretty tough to find an animal as ferocious as a 15-foot lizard. I just don’t see any other mascot in the SEC going toe-to-toe with a gator. I would have chosen Alabama but I don’t know what you are. You say you are the Crimson Tide which leads me to believe you are toxic algae in the Gulf of Mexico.  But your mascot is an elephant? It confuses me so I’m sticking with Florida.

Honorable Mention: Arkansas Razorbacks—You took something somewhat fierce and totally brought it to the next level. A razorback sounds much meaner than a hog.

Worst Mascot: Mississippi State Bulldogs—You all know I am not a fan of two teams in the same conference sharing the same mascot (See Pac-10). It is ridiculous. Can we not think of something original? Georgia Bulldogs sounds better than Mississippi State Bulldogs so I’m picking on you all. But don’t worry. Your new mascot will kick the tar out of bulldog.

New Mascot:  Mississippi State Mongols—What did I tell you? Instead of a dog you have one of the most blood thirsty civilizations in human history. Their empire covered 22 percent of the Earth’s total land area! The largest empire ever. You could dress some dude up like Genghis Khan and have him come barreling out onto the field on a horse. I get goose bumps just thinking about it.

Dishonorable Mention: LSU Tigers (LSU Ligers or Leopards)—Piggy-backing off of the bulldogs—two tigers in one conference is silly. Since Auburn got closest to the actual colors of a tiger, they stay.

Now the Non-BCS Conferences.


Best Mascot: Marshall Thundering Herd

Honorable Mention: East Carolina Pirates

Worst Mascot: Rice Owls

New Mascot: Rice Romans—We have the Spartans and Trojans. Now it is time to bring Caesar and the gang into the mix. Similar to USC, the mascot would be dressed in armor and ride around on a horse. Veni, vidi, vici.

Dishonorable Mention: Tulane Green Wave (Tulane Tornadoes)—Green Wave sounds silly. A Tornado is the real deal. Plus, you would get to see the Tulane Tornadoes versus the Tulsa Hurricane in conference play.



Best Mascot: Toledo Rockets

Honorable Mention: Ohio Bobcats

Worst Mascot: Ball State Cardinals

New Mascot: Ball State Box Jellyfish—You may think I’m joking but these guys mean business. You have virtually no chance of surviving the venomous sting, unless treated immediately. The pain is so excruciating and overwhelming that you would most likely go into shock and drown before reaching the shore. Wow.

Dishonorable Mention: Akron Zips (Akron Apes)—Do you want a funny kangaroo as your mascot or an animal that can tear the limbs off a human being? You decide.



Best Mascot: San Diego State Aztecs

Honorable Mention: UNLV Rebels

Worst Mascot: Wyoming Cowboys

New Mascot: Wyoming Water Buffalo—Don’t F*** with these behemoths. I’m not even going to beat around the bush. Water buffaloes are badass.

Dishonorable Mention: Air Force Falcons (Air Force Raptors)—Why limit yourself to one predatory bird when you can be associated with all predatory birds?


Sun Belt

Best Mascot: Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns

Honorable Mention: Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks

Worst Mascot: North Texas Mean Green

New Mascot: North Texas Tarantulas—This one sounds like the university just couldn’t come to an agreement on what the mascot should be so some idiot said, “How about we call ourselves the Mean Green and we will use a bird as our mascot?” Are there even any birds that are green? Tarantulas are a much better fit for you all.

Dishonorable Mention: Florida Atlantic Owls (Florida Atlantic Admirals)—I didn’t like the Rice Owls and I don’t like the Florida Atlantic Owls. The Temple Owls were lucky the MAC has some horrible mascots or I would’ve changed their name.



Best Mascot: Idaho Vandals

Honorable Mention: Hawaii Warriors

Worst Mascot: Utah State Aggies

New Mascot: Utah State Uranium—Uranium is mined in Utah so I thought this would be a perfect mascot. You are now the main ingredient in making a weapon of mass destruction. Your logo could be an atom with electrons orbiting around it. Or you could go with a big mushroom cloud. 

Dishonorable Mention: Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (Louisiana Tech Lions)—Again with the bulldogs. I am surprised that no FBS college has adopted the lion as its mascot. 

What do you think? Did I miss any awful mascots? Let me know.


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