Who does not love a mascot? Usually the mascot during the game is some college co-ed stuffed into an over sized foam costume. Or they’re dressed in a costume, with or without their face painted.
Pretty much if your team is getting blown out by 50 and you want to jump off the 500-level of your stadium; the mascot is there to help you stay off the ledge.
Some schools use live animals as their mascots. Other schools use the students that are enrolled. Either way the mascot brings a certain entertainment to games that can be felt either at the game, or while watching at the comfort of your home.
Lists are meant to be debated, and this one I'm sure will come under heavy debate. I did try to include all six of the major BCS-conferences. If I left your school out, well, then I'm sorry. You will have to make your case known in the comment section.
Roc the Panther is number 10 on my list. You may ask why? It is because I grew up in Pittsburgh during the early 90’s. Roc does have some pretty impressive stats as Pitt's mascot.
According to the University of Pittsburgh it claims that it was the first college or university to choose the panther as a mascot on November 16, 1909. According to alumnus George Baird, the reasons given were:
1. The panther was the most powerful animal that once roamed western Pennsylvania.
2. Its standing as a noble animal.
3. At the time, no other school used the panther as a symbol.
4. Its colors are similar to Pittsburgh's colors of gold and blue.
Traveler is the horse, not the rider, which is USC's mascot. Traveler is a "pure white" horse that is seen at all USC home games, and many other outdoor events such as the Rose Parades. The rider of dresses up in full Trojan Warrior armor, and is usually mistaken as Tommy Trojan. However, the rider is un-named.
Traveler was introduced to the USC fans in the fall of 1961 during the home opener against Georgia Tech. To dress the USC rider as a Trojan, USC went to Hollywood to use Charlton Heston's outfit in Ben Hur.
Currently, USC is on Traveler VII.
Smokey was selected as the mascot for Tennessee after a student poll in 1953. A contest was held by the Pep Club that year. Their desire was to select a coon hound that was native to Tennessee. At halftime of the Mississippi State game that season, several hounds were introduced for voting. "Blue Smokey" was the last, and howled loudly when introduced. The students cheered and the rest as they say was history.
Since 53 there has been nine different Smokey’s. Smokey IX currently roams around the football field during home games. They use the foam costume version of Smokey for home and away college games for football, and other Tenn. sports. However, Smokey the Blue Tick Hound leads the team out on the field before every home game.
Chief Osceola made his first appearance at a home FSU game in 1962. The idea of having the Chief come riding down into the stadium went un-known until Bobby Bowden heard about it when he arrived in 77.
What is the best thing about Chief Osceola riding Renegade into the stadium before the game? The answer is the Chief hurling a flaming spear into mid-field before every home game. Once every two years when FSU plays Florida, Chief Osceola will jump off of the horse, and spike the spear into mid-field.
Mike the Tiger has been at LSU football games since 1936. Mike was purchased from the Little Rock Zoo with money raised by collecting 25 cents from each LSU student for a total of $750. Originally named Sheik, he was renamed in honor of Mike Chambers, LSU's athletic trainer at the time, who was the person most responsible for bringing him to the school.
Currently Mike VI is the LSU mascot that. His promotion was met by some controversy from the group PETA. After Mike V death in 07, PETA stepped in and tried to stop LSU from purchasing another tiger.
LSU chancellor Sean O'Keefe rejected PETA's request by stating that LSU would acquire a new tiger. O'Keefe further defended LSU's decision by noting that four of the previous five 'Mikes' lived to be at least 17 years, nearly twice the normal eight to ten year lifespan of tigers in the wild.
Pronounced UH-guh, the English Bulldog has been apart of the University of Georgia since 1956. UGA got his name from the letters U-G-A in University of GeorgiA. Since 1956 there have been seven versions of the Georgia Mascot.
UGA can be seen on Saturday's either in his dog house or walking around on the sidelines in his red Georgia sweater. In the 2007 season UGA went with a new black Georgia sweater to match the students and players in the "black out" game against Alabama.
Sadly, the last UGA (UGA VII) died during the 2009 season. His doghouse was left vacant, with a wreath placed on it, for the game on November 21 against Kentucky.
"Every college the world over of any consequence has a college emblem of some kind—all but The Pennsylvania State College . . . Why not select for ours the king of beasts—the Lion!! Dignified, courageous, magnificent, the Lion allegorically represents all that our College Spirit should be, so why not 'the Nittany Mountain Lion'? Why cannot State have a kingly, all-conquering Lion as the eternal sentinel?" From Penn State Senior, H.D. "Joe" Mason in 1907 when he wrote in the student publication "The Lemon".
Since 1921 there have been 47 students that have worn the Nittany Lion costume. Currently, Clint Gyory wears the suit on Saturdays, as he's entering his second year as the Nittany Lion.
The Notre Dame Leprechaun is as recognizable as the McDonald’s Arch ways. However, the Leprechaun was not always the mascot of the school. No, as for years the team was represented by a series of Irish terrier dogs. The first, named Brick Top Shuan-Rhu, was donated by Charles Otis of Cleveland and presented to Irish head coach Knute Rockne the weekend of the Notre Dame-Pennsylvania game Nov. 8, 1930.
In 1965 the Leprechaun took over as the official mascot, and has been represented by a student ever since. Trying out to be the official Leprechaun is a very rigorous task. Students are required to lead a 5 minute mock pep rally, answer questions during an interview with a local media personality, respond to a game situation, answer Notre Dame Trivia, dance Notre Dame's version of the Irish Jig, and complete 50 pushups. A panel of judges then interviews each candidate in private before making the final decision.
The current Leprechaun is senior Daniel Colt Collins.
Bevo is one of the most recognized college mascots and has even been called "the toughest-looking animal mascot in sports". The shape of the Longhorn's head and horns gives rise to the school's hand symbol and saying, “Hook 'em Horns.” The current Bevo is the 14th in its family of longhorn cattle.
But, much like the Leprechaun in Notre Dame, Bevo was not always the mascot for the University of Texas. Originally the University of Texas was represented by a pit bulldog, named "Pig". The idea to use a live longhorn as the university's mascot is attributed to UT alumnus Stephen Pinckney in 1916. Pinckney gathered $124 from other alumni to purchase a steer in the Texas Panhandle, which they originally named "Bo" and shipped to Austin.
The current Bevo is the 14th and can be seen at every University of Texas football game leading the team onto the field.
Yes, Otto tops the list as College Footballs’ best mascot. Why? Because look at it; who doesn’t love a giant Orange! Otto is gender neutral, so no one knows what to really make of Otto. Originally seen in 1980, Otto did not become the official mascot for Syracuse until the 1995 season.
During the season students had a choice to name the mascot Otto or Opie. Students thought that Opie would sound too much like dopey. Thus, the official naming of Otto the Orange was born.
Thanks for reading the list. I'm sorry if I left your school out, but leave me a reason why I should have included them in the comments below.