Mascot Mania, Part Two: The Best College Mascots

With college football reaching its maxim headed into the week of Thanksgiving, I think it’s an appropriate time to ask which schools have the best and worst mascots. My criteria are simple: does it look good, does it make sense, and is it synonymous with the team and university. Continuing on with our discussion about college mascots, here is the second part of the series in which we present to you the top five best college mascots.

5. The Mountaineer – West Virginia University Mountaineers
This rugged mountain man symbolizes the proud heritage of West Virginia hillbillies much better than any actual hillbilly ever could (Uncle Jed included). I mean, who doesn’t admire this bastion of manliness? Just look at that beard! And, of course, we know beard = chick magnet (See: Zach Galifianakis) Yes, we know that sometimes the Mountaineer is played by a co-ed and some have problems with that – but what college guy ever complained about a babe in leather and fur? (rowww)

4. The Duck – University of Oregon Ducks

The Duck is a mascot that has been included on both best and worst mascot lists, but he’s going to make the cut at number four here. Sure, he really is a lifelike production of Donald Duck, but this Duck, like his cartoon counterpart, is always ready to scrap. On top of that, the Duck leads the football team into the stadium on the back of a motorcycle and loves to crowd surf through stadiums and arenas. This Duck is one tough hombre, if you ask me. He oozes attitude and doesn’t mind kicking your tail, then stealing your girl and driving off with her on the back of a Harley.

3. Bevo – The University of Texas Longhorns

Some will more than likely scream, “You put a cow on your best mascot list?!?” – and I’m afraid there will be a bounty on my head in the state of Oklahoma after this – but yes – Bevo deserves to be on the list and here’s why: The longhorn captures everything that you need to know about the state of Texas in a single image (Insert your jokes about Texans and steers here). Bevo is one of the few mascots that any non-football fan instantly recognizes when they see him. It’s a close race between him and the Chick-fil-A Cows as the most recognizable bovine in the world. Pretty impressive for a college mascot.

2. Sparty – Michigan State University Spartans

Sparty is one of the few mascots in the country that I can think of in which the mascot’s name is interchangeable with referring to the nickname or university. It’s also one of the few (maybe the only, in my opinion) that is able to pull off the anthropomorphized look with style. Others that have attempted just look cheesy, see Captain Cane, Pistol Pete(s) and Bubble Boy (err…Lil’ Red), among others. Plus, how can you not like Sparty after watching 300? These guys are much more manly than those namby pamby marching band Trojans led by Brad Pitt.

1. Uga – University of Georgia Bulldogs

Uga is the closest thing this country has to royalty. Starting with Uga I (yes they number them, just like kings) in 1956, every Uga since then has been descended from the original. (The current one it Uga VIII.) When a UGA mascot passes away (as Uga VII did unexpectedly in November 2009) he is entombed inside a mausoleum within Sanford Stadium and given a proper funeral. Whenever a new Uga takes the reins, he is formally crowned in a ceremony with the trademark red spiked collar – much like a royal coronation. The passion, pageantry, and tradition associated with Uga embody the very reason we love college sports. There’s no doubt that Uga is the king when it comes to mascots.

Read Part One: The Worst College Mascots

Jack Whittington I am a third year law school student at the University of Tulsa College of Law. My interests include social media, law, sports, pop culture, politics, and current events. I believe Gen Y'ers better than any generation before us is equipped to tackle the tough challenges facing us in today's world. Twitter: @j2_whittington

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