It has been brought to my attention that today is National Mascot Day. Mascots are great throughout sports, but they just don't have the same appeal in professional sports as they do at the collegiate level. So, I wanted to compile a list of the best mascots in college football.
For the purpose of this list, all mascots — live, human and costumed — are considered with the exception of Uga, because he's a very bad dog.
10. Sparty, Michigan State
Sparty just has a nice look to him. As cartoonish, costumed mascots go, he's up there with the best of them. You want a mascot who conveys strength, which he certainly does.
9. The Masked Rider, Texas Tech
The horse is doing the majority of the work here, but a Zorro-like masked figure leading your team into battle on horseback is pretty damn cool.
8. Chief Osceola and Renegade, Florida State
Sticking with the horse and rider theme at No. 8, but planting a flaming spear at midfield certainly gives Florida State the edge over Texas Tech's horse just galloping a 40-yard dash and calling it a day.
7. Cocky, South Carolina
While i hold quite a bit of disdain in my heart for the university of South Carolina, Cocky is a solid chicken. He's also a critical part of one of the better entrances in college football.
6. Ralphie the Buffalo, Colorado
I mean, it's a real fucking buffalo. I honestly can't believe it's even legal to let a buffalo run out onto a field full of people, but that's why college football is the best sport on the planet.
5. Buzz, Georgia Tech
Buzz just strikes me as a great, fun-loving guy. The kind of mascot you'd want your daughter to date.
4. Big Red, Western Kentucky
When your team name is the "Hilltoppers" because your school is on a hill, you've got some leeway when it comes to a mascot. Western Kentucky went with a giant red ancestor of Grimace, the 1990s McDonald's character — and he's perfect.
3. Smokey, Tennessee
Out of an abundance of journalistic integrity and impartiality, I did not put the best boy in college football No. 1, although he absolutely deserves to be. A better dog in sports you will not find.
2. Mike the Tiger, LSU
Some schools, like Tennessee, may have a dog that you see on game day, but LSU has a real fucking Tiger on its campus all the time. You can go from one class to another and pass a tiger habitat. Shoutout to Mike the Tiger.
1. The Duck, Oregon
The Oregon Duck — sometimes unofficially referred to as "Puddles" — is simply the gold standard in the mascot community. It doesn't get any better than College Gameday being in Eugene and knowing The Duck is going to show up on his motorcycle to mess around with Lee Corso.