PAC12 Mascots: An Unscientific and Highly Biased Ranking
For anyone who’s been following Cowbucker for awhile, you know our story and where we come from. We were fortunate enough to start selling hats in our last term of school, at a school that went to the first College Football Playoff Championship ever the next year!
Well, it’s been three years now, and hat sales are great but football has been more... challenging than recent history. So what do we do, kids, when we’re feeling bad about ourselves? We JUDGE OTHER PEOPLE. That’s right! Here is our 100% Biased and Totally Unscientific Ranking of PAC12 Mascots:
12. Swoop, University of Utah
A guy in a mask and a tail. Swoop is a red-tailed hawk, a Utah-native whose tail feathers are a representation of Native American Tribe The Ute. Though this guy could probably peck another mascot to death in a fight, he comes in last on our list. Not at all because he is the only other avian mascot in the PAC12 and he rides in on a (way less cool) motorcycle.
11. Benny Beaver, Oregon State University
Ah, Benny Beaver -- the PAC’s little brother. He might not get to go to the Prom, but he’s going to do his best to keep you from going too. This industrious mammal carries around his chainsaw to do his best to hype the crowd up. (I don’t mean to state the obvious, but the coolest thing about beavers is that they don’t HAVE to use chainsaws.) Regardless, by an immense stroke of luck, Benny Beaver won the 2011 Capital One Mascot of the Year, which we’re all still questioning. Sorry Benny, this ain’t that rodeo.
10. Oski, University of California, Berkeley
Now I have never been to a football game at Cal Memorial Stadium; however, I cannot begin to imagine Oski pumping up a crowd with his cardigan and little white gloves. This mascot seems like the type of guy who asks people to quiet down rather than get more rowdy. Not to mention he wears a size 15 shoe and only stands at 5 feet-7 inches, which is just confusing. Regardless, I guess every school needs a mascot and this one really suits those smaht kids at Berkeley.
9. The Tree, Stanford University
This mascot doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, but a lot about Stanford football doesn’t always make sense… The Tree is actually not the Stanford’s official mascot. In fact, Stanford does not have have an official mascot at all. The Tree is, believe it or not, the band’s mascot and has been adopted as the unofficial mascot of Stanford over the years. Each year, the tree changes its design and Stanford fans love it. I don’t necessarily get it, but Stanford student body seems to know all, so I’ll trust them.
8. Chip, University of Colorado, Boulder
Chip is the less exciting version of his real-life counterpart, Ralphie the Buffalo. Unfortunately, Chip lives in the shadows of Ralphie who always seems to lead the excitement as he leads the football team onto the field. Chip seems to be doing something right though, as he received national honors on the 2003 Capital One Mascot All-American team.
7. Traveler and The Trojan, University of Southern California
Nearly half a decade ago, “The Trojan” rode around the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on a “conquest,” hyping up the crowd before a game. What was supposed to be a one-time occurrence became an ever-lasting tradition. As the only mascot in the PAC-12 that is not a covered costume, Traveler and The Trojan continue to prance around every game to keep spirits high and cheering loud.
6. Joe Bruin, University of California, Los Angeles
Perhaps a rather plain mascot, UCLA’s Joe Bruin comes in at number five on our list.
Joe Bruin is your average bear mascot, nothing really scary about him. TBH, I don’t understand why every school with a bear mascot lacks that intimidation factor. Joe continues to have a smile on his face, regardless of being a four-time-finalist for Capital One Mascot of the Year. UCLA is still mighty proud of Joe’s positive spirit and introduced him to lady bear Josephine to keep his spirits high.
5. Butch T. Cougar, Washington State University
Of all the cat-like mascots, I believe Butch T. Cougar is one of the best. Butch’s lineage is more frightening than he is, as he comes from a long line of real-life cougars. Up until 1978, Washington State University kept multiple live cougars on campus to use at sporting events. After the last cougar, Butch VI, passed away, Butch T. Cougar was introduced to university fans. Butch T. Cougar is most definitely continuing the legacy of his furry ancestors, but one question continues to linger… What does the “T” stand for?
4. Sparky the Sun Devil, Arizona State University
After toying with two other potential mascots, Sparky became the official mascot of Arizona State University in 1946. With a face that looks like he has a secret he’s dying to tell, Sparky comes in at number 4 on our list solely because of that killer ‘stache. In addition, his ability to boost school spirit goes beyond the field and into everyday student life. Sparky has become a beloved school treasure across the bajillion ASU campuses in Arizona.
3. Wilbur Wildcat, University of Arizona
Wilbur Wildcat, holding his own as a feline in a land where the Zona Zoo yells “Bear Down”. Wilbur comes in at number 3 solely for the fact that he is wearing a bucket hat that very closely resembles a Bucker. Now I’m not saying I’m biased, but that is a mighty fine bucket hat if you do ask me. I can also appreciate a rather scary factor when it comes to Wilbur’s face. Though with a scary face, the University of Arizona played match-maker and introduced Wilma Wildcat, Wilbur's wife, and the two have been inseparably hyping crowds since 1986.
2. Harry the Husky, University of Washington
Washington actually has two mascots -- a real husky named Dubs and Harry the Husky, costume mascot. Although Harry the Husky is far less cute than Dubs, Harry never has a problem hyping all the Washington fans. In 2010, Harry received a complete makeover and transformed into a beautifully vicious dog. With a tall and slim figure, this guy oddly resembles Washington’s head football coach, Chris Peterson.
1. The Duck, University of Oregon
We never claimed to be impartial! The Oregon Duck (obviously) takes the cake for best mascot in the PAC-12. This Duck hails from a rich history, originating from Disney’s Donald Duck and is the pride and joy of the University of Nike. However, the Duck’s real name is just that: “The Duck.” In the 1920s, student’s paraded around a real duck, named Puddles, to every football game until the Oregon Humane Society found it to be cruel and inhumane. Thus, The Duck was born, but the “Puddles” legacy lives on.