Mascots are a unique part of the college sports experience. Programs can become defined by their mascots if they are popular enough: like the Seminoles for Florida State or the Buckeyes of Ohio State. These mascots are personificatIons of the team and the fan base and continue to rile up their respective crowds to this day.
Here is our list in the ‘Best of College Football’ series for college mascots:
12. HONORABLE MENTIONS: 11-20
11. THE TOP 10
We have reached the top ten best mascots in the land. Under each one, I will convey a small reason for the choice and hopefully shed light on some more controversial spots on the top of the list.
Dog mascots are a personal favorite of mine and none show the calm majesty of the 12th man much like Reveille.
9. “BUCKY BADGER”
Bucky has been a mainstay for the Wisconsin faithful for years and he is one of the more unique mascots of the “animal” category. His stripped outfit sure stands out as well.
UGA is the best of the bevy of the bulldog mascots. He’s the personifcation of the rough-and-tumble style that made Georgia famous in the days of Herschel Walker.
7. “BIG AL”
The Crimson Tide is the only name one could describe the University of Alabama with. They run through all of their competition and their prowess as a program looms as large as an elephant.
6. “BRUTUS BUCKEYE”
Brutus is Lee Corso’s favorite of the college mascots. His odd mix of a buckeye-head and athletic human body are the perfect mashup. Not restricted to padded uniforms and, at its base value, is simply a guy running around with an oversized walnut on his head. That’s ingenious.
5. THE “TRAVELER” TROJAN
This pair have been a mainstay at USC for decades. The power of the Trojan program is best personified when Traveler rides into L.A. Coliseum and the warrior hops off his back. The giant sword stabbed into the 50 yard line logo is truly a sight to be hold.
Nothing says Tennessee much like a black coon hound. Smokey has been consistently rated as the best “live” mascot in the country and in my opinion, he’s the best dog around.
This will definitely come as controversial to some, but Sparty is definitely a great mascot; just not the best mascot. Sparty is actually a relatively new incarnation as a mascot and has had widespread attention from national media because he is so identifiable.
He’s not No. 1 simply on the premise that his persona is all there is, no action, no deep rooted history for his character.
2. “CHIEF OSCEOLA & RENEGADE”
There is something truly special about Chief Osceola & Renegade. The University and the Seminole tribe in Florida have worked together to create a culturally powerful and iconic mascot. Their combination with the Tomahawk Chop and the flaming war spear that is thrown into center field during pre-game is one of the most iconic sights in all of college football. If only more organizations could have the respectful union that FSU has with its namesake.
1. THE OREGON DUCK, A.K.A. “PUDDLES”
Nothing says college football much like the cartoon mascot. Practically every mascots started out as a caricature drawn to embody the golden age of animation. The Oregon Ducks took this a step further by contracting the leaders in animation, The Walt Disney Company, to make their mascot. Modeled after world-famous Donald Duck, The Duck of Oregon has had a number of quarks and traditions that have made him the best mascot in all of college football.