Ahh, college football, where would we be without you? Especially your mascots. Mascots are truly lovable, they know how to pump up the crowd, have killer celebration dances, and sometimes, they know how to attack the opposing team’s mascot which is always an added bonus. However, sadly, there are some mascots out there who are complete failures. Just take a look at the oddest mascots in college football, some of these will literally shock you.
The Tree – Stanford
Ahem, while Stanford’s team name is “Cardinal”, the Stanford Tree is the Stanford Band’s mascot and the unofficial mascot of Stanford University. Interesting. Moreover, the university has struggled to come up with an official mascot. The Tree, has often been referred to be America’s most bizarre and controversial college mascot. Wonder why that is? The Tree more often than not is ranked as the “worst mascot”.
Rocky – Toledo
Toledo tried just a bit too hard with their mascot, Rocky. Since the ’70s though, Rocky has undergone many transformations, developing as the years went on. In 2011, the female version was even introduced. Maybe we should send them holiday gift baskets for all their effort to perfect Rocky. Or, maybe not.
Gaylord – FCS Campbell
Who would have thought the Campbell University Fighting Camels is, well, a camel. Now camels aren’t tough at all, they spit and bite and are smelly. Okay, fine, the mascot is cute so much so that everyone should whip out their new cell phone and snap a photo of the cutie.
The Fighting Okra – D2 Delta State
Now, it’s well known that Division II football has some odd-ball football mascots but Delta State University’s Fighting Okra takes the cake. While in actuality Delta State is known as the Statesmen but ever since the ’80s, the mascot known as “The Fighting Okra” has gained popularity with the student body. I know, we don’t get it either.
Peruna – Southern Methodist
When you think of a “Mustang”, you probably imagine a revving, hot, powerful sports car or the all powerful, handsome, strong, horse running through the fields with nothing but speed. Well, when you look at the mascot for the SMU Mustangs, named Peruna – none of the words string to mind. Peruna is after all, a pony and not the valiant stallion one would expect.
The Purple Cow – D3 Williams
Let’s take a little look at a lower division, the infamous, Purple Cow, which is a Division III football mascots from the Williams College Ephs. For the first time in 2007, ESPN’s “College Game Day” went to a Division III game site and this crazy mascot was worn by Lee Corso (a well-known sports broadcaster and football analyst). The Purple Cow would even appear in an ESPN commercial. It’s just a little sad, honestly, I mean it’s a purple cow. But hey, to each their own.
Sam the Minuteman – Massachusetts
New England is home to some pretty great sports teams such as the Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics, but the Massachusetts mascot of Sam the Minuteman is seriously baffling. He looks a little too much like a shady politician and that’s a bit much to digest.
Goldy Gopher – Minnesota
Wide eyes, buck teeth, and a warm smile just makes Goldy Gopher the cutest mascot. The Minnesota mascot has undergone a few transformations but he is adorable nonetheless.
Oski – University of California, Berkeley
Okay, yes, Oski the bear from Berkeley is adorable but he’s also a little odd looking. What’s more surprising than a little cute, fake bear as a mascot is that the fact that Berkeley used to use live bears as mascots up until 1941. That’s madness!
Otto – Syracuse
Who wouldn’t want an anthropomorphic orange, wearing a large blue hat and blue pants as their school mascot? (Oh, is it just me?) Before Otto was born, there were other mascots, such as “The Saltine Warrior” and a Roman gladiator. In 1995, Otto was named the official mascot and it looks like he’s not going anywhere.
Cayenne – University of Louisiana
A cayenne pepper, you don’t say? The mascot for the University of Louisiana took a more out of the box approach. They didn’t want just a physical representation of Ragin’ Cajuns (school’s nickname), like most mascots tend to be, Cayenne is instead the embodiment of the Ragin’ Cajun spirit of Acadiana. Interesting to say the least.
Purdue Pete – Purdue
For quite a few years, Purdue Pete was a head on an un-costumed body so Purdue upgraded their mascot, giving him foam rubber arms and a torso. Although to many Purdue Pete looks like a stiff mascot with little emotion, no one can tel if he’s smiling or frowning, it’s something of a mystery.
Big Red – Western Kentucky University
The University’s sports teams’ nickname is the “Hilltoppers,” and to our understanding a Hilltoppers embodies the fact that the school’s campus sits atop a hill standing 232 feet. Whatever the reason, it’s a really odd mascot. I mean, we just don’t get it.
Nebraska’s Lil’ Red
Now this is just one of two mascots for the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and just wait until you hear this epic description of their beloved mascot: ” A WalkAround inflatable mascot.” Yup, sums it up.
Penn State’s Nittany Lion
The history behind the Nittany Lion is actually cook – it refers to mountain lions that apparently one roamed Mount Nittany, which is a local landmark. Now the physical representation just doesn’t do the majestic animals any justice.
Wichita State University – WuShock
That’s right, the Wichita State University mascot is a big bundle of wheat. He happened to get his name from the school was just called Wichita University or WU. Nice one.
Tulsa – Golden Hurricane
Back from 1994 to 2009, Tulsa’s mascot was actually Captain ‘Cane, who was an anthropomorphized golden hurricane with human attributes like biceps, clothes, and a smirk upon his face. Fox Sports even crowned him the second worst mascot in the country. Then in 2009, Captain Cane was redesigned! To look like a human superhero who has the power to summon weather? Well then.
Virginia Tech Hokies – HokieBird
HokieBird is the official mascot of Virginia Tech and it actually has been named as one of the top college football mascots in America! This mascot even spawned a series of children’s books that feature college and pro sports mascots – nicely done! It makes our list because one, it looks….odd, with its colors and beak. Two, what kind of name is HokieBird?
TCU Horned Frogs – Super Frog
Okay, fine, he’s got a super cute face! But then again, it’s just a weird mascot to have. This “horned frog” got its nickname and mascot from the Texas horned lizard, nice.
Auburn Tigers – Aubie
Aubie is well known for his bright, bubbly personality. He’s even won a record amount of nine mascot national championships – good for you, kid. However, he is quite the “funny” looking anthropomorphic tiger, wouldn’t you say?
Alabama Crimson Tide – Big Al
Now, I love elephants but this mascot is just too much. Big Al is a bit of a disappointment on the cuteness factor and get this, there is a three-day tryout process (!) for any UA students who want to become the beloved mascot.
Iowa State Cyclones – Cy
Oh hey, look, the potato state makes the list…err, sorry, the corn state cause that’s so much better. Now because showing a cyclone was going to be too difficult, the school decided to use a cardinal because of the official school colors. Creative, we must say.
St. Louis University Billikens – Billiken
Granted this mascot will put a smile on your face if you’re not already running away cause he’s just a tad bit creepy. Apparently some of the other athletic departments are working on updating his look!
Wake Forest Demon Deacons – The Demon Deacon
Ahh yes, the Demon Deacon. You probably know him due to his rather unorthodox name and appearance, not that we can blame you. Of course the students and alum love him so we can’t really argue with that.
Texas A&M Corpus-Christi – Izzy the Islander
When your mascot is that of a costumed man who wears a tiki mask headdress, a grass skirt and a spear then you should be slightly ashamed? Embarrassed? None of the above? Oh well, can’t please them all.
Pistol Pete – Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State University’s mascot was inspired by Frank Eaton hence explaining why Pistol Pete features the traditional cowboy garb and an actual headpiece resembling Frank Eaton himself. This is just too weird.
Grays Harbor College – Charlie Choker
While most of us would think that a 8-foot wood carving of the brawny man, who is stretching a think rope in his giant hands, is weird and rather intimidating – the administration and students don’t see it. Since 1960, Charlie Choker has been the school’s mascot and it looks like he’s there to stay.
Providence College is a Roman Catholic university and yes, their mascot is indeed a Friar. Seriously. And at one point, they had an animal mascot, a Dalmatian named “Friar Boy.”
Gompei the Goat – Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Back in 1891, the class of 1893 in true college spirit, stole a goat and used it as a mascot. The goat was even tended by a student, Gumpei (Gompei) Kuwada. The reason why is because he was the only person with the initials G.K. Think about it…..G.K….goat keeper. Yup! To this day, the mascot is still that of a goat and it’s even called, Gompei.
Evergreen State College – Speedy the Geoduck
For your information, a Geoduck is a large mollusk. It has a long body protruding from its shell, peachy right? Well, uhh, not really! This has got to be the weirdest mascot we have ever laid eyes on and that’s saying a lot considering the mascots that have made this list. And get this, there’s also a “theme song” that goes with this particular mascot. “Siphon high, squirt it out, swivel all about, let it all hang out.” Classy.
University of California – Santa Cruz: Sammy The Banana Slug
Hold up, the Banana Slug? Are you kidding? Apparently not. Turns out Sammy has some killer dance moves and a bright personality. In fact back in 1992, Sports Illustrated magazine even named Sammy the Slug the top college mascot and the same happened in 2004 with Readers Digest.
Scottsdale Community College: Artie the Fighting Artichoke
Turns out that back in the 70s, the students found out that their college’s administration used scholarship money intended for Native American students to bride athletes to attend. Needless to say, the students were outraged! So much so that in a school-wide protest, the students then voted to have a ridiculous mascot to forever cast shame to the school for years to come. Enter, the Fighting Artichoke.
University of Arkansas at Monticello: The Boll Weevil
That’s right, a Boll Weevil, which is a pesky tiny insect known for damaging crops. What school spirit! No really. Think about it.
Peter the Anteater – Cal-Irvine College Mascot
The University of California-Irvine did in fact base their mascot on the anteater character from the Johnny Hart comic strip, “B.C.” Why? We don’t know but Peter made his debut in the 60s at a water-polo game and he’s still there to this day. We just can’t wrap our minds around that the fact that one, he’s an anteater and two, his name is Peter. Uhh, what?
Brutus the Buckeye – Ohio State Mascot
All dolled up in Buckeye colors, Brutus the mascot even dons a Ohio Buckeye nut on top of his head. Wonderful. He made his debut in 1965 and he’s there to stay. Over time, he’s had a couple upgrades to his wardrobe but apart from that, he’s still the same old mascot the students know and love.
Dartmouth College – Keggy the Keg
So we’re cheating include Keggy the Keg as he, technically, is not an official mascot. Dartmouth have actually been without a mascot since 1971 (formerly the mascot was an Indian). Keggy was then thought up as a replacement by a campus humor magazine and has been accepted by the student body ever since. The administration has never approved him officially and we don’t think they ever will!