What Is a Buckeye? 20 Pressing College Football Mascot Questions
With college football kicking off tonight, fans are getting their gear ready to take their seats in stadiums and couches nationwide and root on their favorite team.
From Wolverines to Gators, we all have a team that possesses a special place in our hearts, but some of our favorite schools seem to be having identity crises when it comes to their mascots.
What exactly is a Buckeye?
What does an elephant have to do with the Crimson Tide?
How are opponents supposed to intimidated by a dancing tree?
Here they are, folks.
The top 20 questions we have about college mascots.
20. Delta State
The official mascot of Delta State University (located in Cleveland, Mississippi) is the "Statesmen." And while Delta State has a main mascot (supposedly a "statesman"), the real confusion here is in the form of a giant vegetable. A Fighting Okra to be exact.
The Fighting Okra accompanies the self-proclaimed "World's most annoying pep band" during events put on for the community. Older alumni of Delta State might be embarrassed by such an absurd mascot, but younger fans have learned to embrace and love the big green guy.
19. St. Louis University
The mascot for St. Louis University is the Billiken.
It looks like a cross between a bat and an elf...only blue.
SLU has dedicated a section of their website to educating the rest of us about their novel mascot:
"Several details seem to be certain. Everyone agrees that the Billiken is a good-luck figure who represents "things as they ought to be." The designer of the Billiken also seems to be fact. Florence Pretz, a Missouri art teacher and illustrator, patented her "design for an image" of the jovial creature in 1908."
So it's kind of like a leprechaun?
18. Penn State
The Nittany Lion was created by H. D. "Joe" Mason, a senior at Penn State in 1907. The mascot was made up in order to create an animal that would defeat the Princeton Bengal Tiger.
Mason later wrote in The Lemon, "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?"
Sorry, Joe, but your "lion" looks more like a wet kitten.
The mascot for the University of Delaware is the Blue Hen, which begs the question, "Is there such a thing as a blue hen?"
After further research on such an important topic, we have an answer!
The "blue hen chicken" is an unofficial breed of chicken that the state of Delaware has adopted as its state bird. Work has been done by the University of Delaware's College of Agricultural and Natural Resources to breed this bird in order to solidify its recognition in the world of ornithology (the study of birds).
Really interesting stuff.
16. Webster University
The mascot for Webster University (located in St. Louis, Missouri) is the "Gorlock."
We had no idea either, so we decided to ask another Webster: The dictionary, that is.
Well, it seems that our two "Websters" have had some trouble communicating because the word "gorlock" is nowhere to be found.
Webster University's website attempts to explain the Gorlock:
"The Gorlock is Webster University's school mascot. It is a mythical creature designed in part by Webster students and staff through a school contest."
You St. Louis people. Can't you get a normal mascot? You can't just go making up mascots whenever you feel like it!
15. Campbell University
Okay. We get that "Campbell" sort of sounds like "camel," but do they even have camels in North Carolina?
What is intimidating about a camel?
"You better watch out! I might walk really slow and drink a bunch of water!"
Oh, and the camel's name is Gaylord.
14. University Of North Carolina's School Of The Arts
The University of North Carolina's School of the Arts have a pickle for their mascot.
That's right. A pickle.
The camel of Campbell University might be lame, but at least a camel can walk.
13. University Of Arkansas Monticello
What exactly is a boll weevil?
Well, it is a small beetle that apparently eats cotton.
It's a bug.
The University of Arkansas Monticello selected a bug as its mascot.
I guess it's better than a pickle.
12. Evergreen State College
This is where my Food Network addiction comes in handy. I can actually tell you what a "Geoduck Clam" is.
First of all, it's pronounced "gooey-duck," and it is a very tasty (although very weird-looking) species of clam.
Think Bobby Flay's Chowder Throwdown.
11. University Of Akron
The Akron "Zips."
Without looking it up, what do you think a mascot called a "zip" would look like.
You guessed Kangaroo, didn't you?
You're so smart.
10. Georgetown University
The mascot of Georgetown University is the "Hoya."
According to Georgetown's website:
"Many years ago, when all Georgetown students were required to study Greek and Latin, the University's teams were nicknamed "The Stonewalls." It is suggested that a student, using Greek and Latin terms, started the cheer "Hoya Saxa!", which translates into "What Rocks!" The name proved popular, and the term "Hoyas" was eventually adopted for all Georgetown teams."
That's all well and good, but their mascot looks a lot like a bulldog.
9. Western Kentucky
Western Kentucky University calls themselves the "Hilltoppers", but their mascot looks more like a used plush carpet.
My guess: When it came time to decide on a mascot, Western Kentucky went to the nearest flooring store and purchased whatever was on clearance.
I guess he's kind of cute.
8. University Of Nebraska
The Nebraska Cornhuskers got their name from the Midwest's main agricultural source of income. But let's take a little look at their mascot.
They actually have two: Herbie Husker and Lil' Red.
Herbie Husker looks like a pretty cool cowboy, but Lil' Red looks like Big Boy's creepy younger cousin.
7. Kent State University
Kent State University claims the "Golden Flashes" as their nickname, and what would be the obvious choice when finding a mascot to depict such a name?
A bird of course!
"Flash" is supposed to be a golden eagle, but it's a little hard to get past the fact that he looks a lot like a chicken.
6. University Of Toledo
The Toledo Rockets. It has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?
The University of Toledo puts rocket ships on all of its logos, including its football helmets, but UT really falls short with their mascot.
It's a little hard to take a spaceship seriously when he's wearing a sideways baseball cap.
5. University Of Dayton
The University of Dayton Flyers. This mascot is supposed to be a tribute to the Wright brothers because they invented the airplane in Dayton, Ohio.
Ohio's license plates even used to say "The Birthplace of Aviation," which caused some dispute with North Carolina's "First in Flight."
Rudy Flyer is the mascot you'll find at most UD athletic events.
And he is hilarious.
4. University Of Alabama
Alabama is without a doubt a football powerhouse, and it sounds pretty cool when 'Bama fans say "Roll Tide"
But what does an elephant have to do with the Crimson Tide? Elephants aren't red, and they don't live in any bodies of water.
It almost seems like whoever decided on this mascot went to the zoo, blindfolded himself, spun around in a circle, and then played "pin the jersey on the animal."
3. Stanford University
Being the "Cardinal," you'd think that Stanford's mascot would be a bird or even a royal-looking figure.
No. It's a tree.
It could have been a cool-looking bird or regal-looking person.
But it's a tree.
2. University Of California Santa Cruz
Of Pulp Fiction fame, the UC Santa Cruz Banana Slug does exist.
UC Santa Cruz chose the slug as their mascot because they "believe that athletics are for all students, not just team members of major sports."
Sounds like somebody has a chip on their shoulder...
I'll give them one thing—This is the meanest looking slug I've ever seen.
1. The Ohio State University
And now for the Buckeyes.
The official tree for the beautiful state of Ohio is the Buckeye, so it seems fitting that this would be the mascot of the largest university in the state.
Brutus, the mascot of Ohio State, is supposed to be the nut that grows on these trees.
A buckeye can also be a delicious chocolate and peanut butter treat enjoyed by Ohioans.
It seems stupid to have a nut as a mascot, and in fact, Brutus was actually booed off the field in 1975.
But Buckeyes fans everywhere have learned to love their quirky mascot, and he seems to have brought luck to Ohio State's athletics.