The landscape of college sports in this country is completely ridiculous. “Amateur” athletes are blatantly getting paid. Conferences are signing multi-billion dollar television contracts. People have even resorted to poisoning innocent trees when their teams don’t win. It’s outrageous, incomprehensible, and totally ludicrous.
And that’s why we love them.
College sports can also be the biggest time suck in human existence. Between tailgating, the game itself, and countless hours spent analyzing, who has time to study?
And of course, we’re taking the opportunity to add to this distraction. We’ve searched high and low for all the wackiest college mascots out there, and we’ve come up with the following list. Just make sure you hit up our vast collection of free term papers after reading this to get back on track with your studies.
10: University of Alabama – Big Al
The best mascots are the ones that make zero sense, as is the case at Alabama. Alabama’s nickname is the Crimson Tide; their mascot is Al the Elephant. Go figure.
9: UC Santa Cruz – Banana Slug
Nothing strikes fear in the heart of the enemy like the thought of a massive banana slug coming to decompose your organic matter.
8: Syracuse – Orange
While other colleges choose intimidating mascots like a tiger or bear, Syracuse bucks the trend by choosing… a color. The Syracuse mascot is just a big round blob of orange. Nothing more, nothing less.
7: University of Oregon – Donald Duck
The University of Oregon doesn’t have a mascot that just looks like Donald Duck, he is Donald Duck. Oregon has an agreement with Disney to use Donald as their mascot, just as long as he acts in a nature befitting to the Donald Duck brand, whatever that may be…
6: University of Colorado – Ralphie
Ralphie is a living, breathing, 500-lb Buffalo. He will probably kill you if he runs over you during pregame introductions. That cool enough for you?
5: Wake Forest – The Demon Deacon
It’s tough to say whether he more resembles a “demon deacon” or a registered sex offender. In any event, behold Wake Forest’s mascot.
4: Auburn – Tiger / War Eagle
Warning: staring at the above poster for too long may cause your brain to hurt. Auburn’s official mascot is the tiger, but instead of saying “go tigers,” Auburn fans yell “war eagle” at every opportunity. Don’t ask.
3: University of Miami – Sebastian the Ibis
While it’s certainly disappointing the Miami Hurricanes didn’t opt for a mascot that represents the meteorological phenomenon, they make up for it by choosing an Ibis, naming it Sebastian, and giving it the most menacing set of eyebrows since Walter Cronkite.
2: Notre Dame – Leprechaun
Notre Dame’s Leprechaun mascot is actually a real university student who applies for the role. The fact that every year some young man is willing to be remembered as a leprechaun for the rest of his life alone warrants a spot on this list
1: Stanford – The Tree
First off, Stanford doesn’t have an official mascot, but that doesn’t stop one student from becoming the tree every year as a member of the marching band. To become the tree, the student must go through “grueling and humiliating physical and mental challenges” during a strict audition process.
The tree regularly gets into trouble, with a history unmasking opposing teams’ mascots and even once getting arrested at a basketball game for public drunkenness. The tree is made from scratch every year from the student who actually wears the costume, so no two years ever look exactly the same. In terms of mascot tomfoolery, nobody comes close to matching the Stanford Tree.