The 25 College Mascots That Just Don’t Fit With Their Schools
You wouldn't expect to see these crazy characters under any other circumstance but on the court or near the field. They are goofy, obnoxious and sometimes distracting, and they don't even match their school's nickname!
Still, they are loved, hated, and even sacred. Here are 25 mascots that just don't make sense based on their school's nickname.
25. "Big Red" Western Kentucky
What does a super-sized Elmo have to do with the "Hilltoppers" nickname for Western Kentucky? What would a "HIlltopper" look like anyway?
This mascot is just weird, but I suppose when there are no better options, you might as well go all out with the most adverse response to a lack of ideas for a tough nickname.
24. St. Louis University "Billiken"
According to the school's official site, the "Billiken" was created by a Kansas City woman after a dream she had of an elf-like creature that had large pointed ears and a tuft of hair on its pointed head.
The mascot has nothing to do with the city of St. Louis, Mo., or the school itself, but rather a random dream by an artist. What a weird mascot that doesn't make any sense!
23. UC-Santa Cruz: "Sammy The Slug"
OK, maybe the mascot does make sense considering UC Santa Cruz's nickname is the Banana Slugs. However, it makes zero sense to be the Banana Slugs. Maybe California schools are running out of nicknames because there are so many schools in the state of California.
The school claims it decided to become the Banana Slugs to make a statement, saying there's no reason why sports should be taken so seriously. For Santa Cruz, no one takes their mascot seriously. Mission accomplished?
22. Wichita State University "WuShock"
Wichita State University's nickname is the "WheatShockers." which is a tribute to the agriculture lifestyle of Kansas. However, their mascot isn't creative, inventive, or even stylish.
It is just a man in blue sweatpants and a blue Wichita State sweatshirt, with big shoes and a mask that looks like shredded wheat.
This mascot makes no sense other than it loosely resembles wheat. A mascot revolution is greatly needed in Kansas!
21. Oklahoma "Sooner Schooner"
Now before all you Sooners get up in arms with this pick, here is the explanation: The Oklahoma Sooners nickname is steeped in tradition. The nickname comes from how the state was settled by migrants living off the land and its natural resources.
However, the mascot for the school just isn't practical, as evident by the video. Most schools pick a suit that can be worn by any one person and is easily move-able. While the Sooner Schooner is honorable and flashy, it is simply too difficult to bring out in multiple sports scenarios.
The Schooner just doesn't make sense, but won't be going anywhere soon because it remains a symbol of tradition for this great school.
20. Syracuse University "Otto"
I know what you are thinking, "Duh! Syracuse is the Orangemen, so their mascot is an Orange." You would be correct, but it doesn't make sense because that is the best the school could come up with. Really? An orange with legs?
There has to be a thousand mascots better than simply putting someone in a suit that is an orange with legs.
19. The University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire "BluGold"
The school's nickname is literally just a combination of blue and gold, the school's colors. The "BluGold" therefore just won't make sense as a mascot.
It looks loosely like some kind of bird, but has human-like feet and white tights.
For a school with a lame nickname, I suppose a lame mascot fits, but it still does not make sense.
18. Evergreen State College "Geoduck"
It is pronounced "Gooey Duck" but the spelling of the name isn't the only thing that doesn't make sense.
The name comes from a local sea animal which is completely non-threatening and isn't only native to Washington, but the entire Pacific Northwest.
It is the largest burrowing clam in the world. So, in short, their nickname and mascot would rather hide from trouble than fight. A senseless mascot, and a poor attempt at a nickname.
C'mon guys, the mascot suit doesn't even cover the human legs! Makes no sense...
17. Williams College "Ephs" Purple Cow
Even the school has no explanation for why their mascot is a purple cow. The nickname "Ephs" comes from its origins. The school was established in 1793 with funds bequeathed by Colonel Ephraim Williams.
It appears this is another case of having a really weird nickname for a school and not being able to find a suitable mascot to reflect that name.
16. St. Johns "Johnny The Thunderbird"
With a nickname like "Red Storm," you would think St. John's mascot would look something like a superhero.
Quite the contrary! Their mascot is actually a red bird, not a cardinal, dancing around with a big smile on his face.
Not a very intimidating mascot for an otherwise sweet and fierce nickname.
15. Delta State University "Fighting Okra"
Delta State University, located in Cleveland, Miss., changed its nickname from the "Statesmen" to the "Fighting Okra" and adopted a mascot that just doesn't make sense with the school.
The original mascot would be hard enough to create a mascot for, but the "Fighting Okra?" That just doesn't make sense for a school located in Cleveland, a place full of mascot ideas better than "Fighting Okra."
14. Worcester Polytechnic Institute "Gompei the Goat"
The bizarre story of this mascot comes from the late 19th century. A goat with an oversized head was under the care of a Japanese student Gompei Kuwada. When Kuwada could no longer take care of the goat, he had it beheaded and mounted.
How that story became the mascot of this prestigious school, we may never know, and it just doesn't seem to fit the school.
13. "Keggy The Keg" of Dartmouth
A school like Dartmouth probably doesn't want to be known for parties and irresponsible drinking. However, while unofficial, a mascot of a keg with arms has surfaced associated with the school.
The mascot just doesn't fit, as Dartmouth is one of the most prestigious schools in the country.
12. Rhode Island School of Design "Scrotie"
Are you serious!? The school's mascot is a dude in a penis costume. No joke. Their basketball team's nickname is "The Balls" and their motto is, "When the heat is on, the Balls stick together.”
"The hockey team is called the Nads, and their cheer is “Go Nads!” The cheerleaders for the Nads are commonly known as the “Jockstraps” (since they support the Nads). The yearly hockey game with rival college Cooper Union is known as the “Supportive Cup.”
Scrotie was created to cheer on the Nads in 2001. Despite his status as an unofficial mascot, he’s present at all the games and widely accepted by the student body. Of course, no self-respecting administration could actually approve such silliness."
I mean, really? For a school of design, something so silly just doesn't fit, but maybe that is why they went a little crazy with the unofficial mascot.
11. UC Irvine "Peter The Anteater"
The Anteaters is the official nickname for University of California Irvine, but anteaters aren't native to California, so this mascot makes no sense and doesn't really fit the school.
UC Irvine is yet another California school with a weird mascot and/or nickname. The Anteater is a prime example of how California is inventive when repetition and redundancy start creeping in.
10. UC Santa Barbara "Fantom of The Dome"
Santa Barbara's nickname is the Gauchos, so at first glance "Ole" actually seems to work. However, this obvious play-on words turns "Ole" into a phantom, which mixes two completely different legends together.
The most updated picture of the mascot (the older one is posted) adds gloves and a cape to the horse rider's ensemble, making it completely out of place.
9. Tennessee and "Smokey The Dog"
A "Volunteer" sounds like a man willing to fight for something he believes in, not a hound dog with big floppy ears hugging kids.
This mascot is way off from the school's nickname, but ask any of the Tennessee faithful, and they might just say they love their mascot, but have no clue where it came from.
8. Trinity Christian College "Trolls"
Where does a Christian college come up with a Troll as a nickname and mascot?
The mascot may match the nickname for Trinity Christian College, but when you picture a Christian school, immediately images of crosses and Bibles come to mind...last on the list is probably a troll.
7. "Big Al" University of Alabama
Alabama Crimson Tide. Why not a a dude in a big red tidal wave or something?
What about a tandem duo of a surfer holding a surfboard sprinting away from another dude in a red wave suit? About the only thing that doesn't make sense here is another elephant in a red sweater.
Great football program, good school, terrible mascot.
6. University of Akron "Zippy"
What does a kangaroo have to do with Akron, Ohio? Which horrible idea came about first? "Let's make our nickname the Zips" or "What is the most non-native animal we can think of to make a mascot suit after?"
I will give Akron the benefit of the doubt and say the kangaroo zips around when it is hopping at break-neck speed, but that is being generous.
5. University of Arkansas at Monticello "Boll Weevil"
In the state of Arkansas is the "Razorbacks," which is one of the toughest mascot nicknames I have ever heard. Just the name alone strikes fear into opponents.
But the Boll Weevils? The nickname is actually very old and describes a very small insect with the tenacious ability to destroy crops.
The mascot just doesn't fit the state anymore, nor the school.
4. Kent State "Flash The Eagle"
Kent State's nickname is "The Golden Flashes." It's no wonder they don't have a better mascot than yet another bird.
It seems after hours of scouring the Internet, I have discovered that just about every time a school has a silly nickname, they either go crazy with a silly mascot or default to the bird.
Why not get copyright permission to have The Flash as your official logo and mascot? Anything but another bird!
3. "Cy" Iowa State University
Iowa State missed out on a killer chance at having one of the best mascots in college sports.
With a nickname like "Cyclones," there are so many different possibilities. Instead, the school picked a bird, 'cause that's never been done before.
2. Stanford Cardinal Represented By a Silly Christmas Tree
Let's get one thing straight first: It is the Stanford Cardinal, NOT the Stanford CardinalS. The school's nickname is not a bird, it is a color. Likewise, the "Tree" is not the school's official mascot, it is a technically a member of the band.
Now that I have appeased the school, we can discuss how ridiculous it is that a tree has become associated with the school. While the origin of the non-mascot is noble, the tree itself is too goofy to be taken seriously.
Stanford University is located in Palo Alto, California. "El Palo Alto" is the redwood tree which is the city's official symbol, therefore the Stanford Tree is a reflection of the school's home city and its heritage. A not-so-silly explanation for a super-silly mascot.
1. Cal State Fullerton "Tuffy The Titan"
With a nickname like the "Titans," you would expect Cal State Fullerton to have a fierce mascot that strikes fear into the hearts of opponents. Instead, the school's mascot is an elephant.
The mascot is a tribute to the "First Intercollegiate Elephant Race in Human History."
"What began as a practical joke attracted elephants from universities around the nation and even Oxford from England. A crowd estimated at more than 10,000 people turned out on "Dumbo Downs" as the hastily graded field became known that spring afternoon in 1962.
To publicize the event, a circus-like elephant called Tuffy the Titan was used and it began appearing on sweaters and notebook covers around the campus. With no other mascot, the elephant was unofficially adopted.
Several revisions of the caricature have been made to create a more tenacious Tuffy, or Titus as he also was called in an attempt to make him Greek. The costume that brings the mascot to life also has changed. Tuffy even attracted a female Tiffy in 1992."
The mascot just doesn't fit, but to Titans of Cal State Fullerton, Tuffy reps them with pride.