Ranking the Pac-10 Mascots
National signing day is over, and now we set in for the long haul awaiting the next College Football season.
So what do we do to occupy our time as football fans?
Other than the old standby of arguing how the BCS can be improved, and what a playoff would be like, what is there to do?
Making power rankings of course, for every single thing possible!
With that in mind, here is my ranking for the Pac-10 Mascots.
No one said you had to only rank the players and teams!
Each team’s mascot was graded in four categories worth five points each. They all will score better than the mascot pictured in this slide would have!
Creativity: How common is the Mascot?
Live: Does the school have a live mascot? This is an all or nothing category, but live mascots add to the atmosphere in my opinion. Discontinued use of live mascot doesn’t count.
Logical: Does the mascot/nickname make sense for the team? If the mascot is a real animal, does it exist in that state? If not, how does it tie into the Universities' name?
Notoriety: How recognizable is the mascot? If you see it, is the Pac-10 Team the first you think of?
No. 1 USC Trojans
There are a few universities using the "Trojans" moniker, but USC is easily the most recognizable.
Traveler perfectly fits the universities' image. It is one of the most recognizable mascots in the NCAA, partially because of the team’s success, but it is what a mascot should be—live, recognizable, and fitting.
No. 2 Washington Huskies
Washington is the only other school in the Pac-10 to use a live mascot, and that helped propel them to No. 2 on this list.
The Huskies' moniker is used by a few schools, with the most recognizable being Washington and Connecticut.
A Husky as a mascot fits Washington and its Northern location well.
Harry is the longtime costumed mascot, and this past year saw another dog in the line of long live mascots, this one named DUBS.
No. 3 Oregon State
Benny the Oregon State Beaver’s mascot is a creative and recognizable figure.
It is a unique name that fits Oregon State well, as there are actual beavers in the state of Oregon.
When you hear the name Beavers, Oregon State is the first university that usually comes to mind.
No. 4 Oregon Ducks
Puddles, the Oregon Duck’s Mascot, does an excellent job as a mascot.
There is a large population of Ducks in the State of Oregon, and thanks to the universities marketability, it is one of the most recognizable mascots in America.
He would have ranked higher, but images of the new and improved mascot (I know it wasn’t official, but look at the first slide and tell me if that image ever leaves your head!), and the fact that I’m a Washington fan put them below OSU.
No. 5 Arizona State
Sparky is the only mascot on the list that is entirely fictional.
Obviously a Tree isn’t an animal or person, but it is alive! For Arizona State, Sparky is an excellent representative.
Instead of going with a local animal and basing their mascot on that, Arizona State went another direction and referenced the desert climate.
With the moniker Sun-Devils, a variation of the "devil" fits the school well.
No. 6 California
Along the same lines as Butch, the California Golden Bears choosing a Bear as a mascot doesn’t seem like the most creative choice, but it was logical.
Until the 1920’s there were actual "Golden Bears" in California.
There is another bear mascot in the Pac-10, but it isn’t Cal’s fault, and because of that they rank much higher.
It is a very fitting mascot, but there are several teams with the name.
No. 7 Washington State
Butch T. Cougar is a fairly well known Mascot, but it is not the most creative.
“Cougars’ is one of the most common names for universities along with Wildcats and Tigers.
In Washington State’s defense, Cougars do actually live in Eastern Washington and the University has a well respected Veterinary program.
No. 8 Stanford
The Stanford Tree is one of the most famous, or infamous depending on how you look at it, Mascots in college sports.
As far as notoriety is concerned, it is near the top.
The problem lies with the school’s name, Cardinal.
How does a tree fit in to this? What exactly would one use to accurately portray The Cardinal?
It is true there are a lot of trees in that area of Northern California, but the Tree just stands out because it's odd.
No. 9 Arizona
Picking one of the most common mascot names in America, Wilbur and Wilma the Wildcat don’t do too bad for themselves.
The idea of a mascot is indeed logical as at one point there were "wildcats" called "Rufus Arizona" in the area.
Due to the basketball programs' sustained success Arizona is one of the first teams you think of when you hear "Wildcat", but there are better mascots in the conference.
No. 10 UCLA
Hey what do you know another team with a Bear for a mascot!
It is all very fitting considering that UCLA is an extension campus of Cal, but did they have to use the same mascot and colors?
Giving credit where it is due, however, UCLA did indeed choose a different kind of Bear, a Bruin, which is a logical link to bear considering the relationship of the two universities.
Despite being incredibly recognizable due to their dominate basketball program, the UCLA Bruin is far from the most creative, or entertaining mascot in the conference.
This was a list put together from a Husky fan's point of view. Not to mention that I'm a huge fan of live mascots. That tends to change the rankings a bit.
How would your rankings look?
In the end we just need to remember: Don't mess with Pac-10 Mascots! (See slide picture!)