These colleges went way beyond the whole “dude in a furry suit” thing. Who knew live mascots could be so entertaining?
These 14 colleges threw costumes to the wind and chose mascots that are the real deal. Some are silly and some are scary, but all are, (how shall we put this?) fairly unexpected.
1. Louisiana State University
Louisiana State University’s Mike VI lives in an unbelievable 15,000-square-foot habitat that cost $3 million to build, and he also has his own personalized website. Sure LSU, those are totally normal things to give a tiger.
2. University of California Santa Cruz
The bright little banana slug, indigenous to the forest floors of Santa Cruz, became the official mascot of UC Santa Cruz upon student request in 1986. The game-day mascot is actually a student dressed up in an unreasonably silly costume, but you can find real banana slugs squirming all over campus. Appetizing, we know.
3. University of Texas at Austin
There’s a lot of debate over where University of Texas Longhorn bull, Bevo XIV, got his name. We like to imagine it comes from the word “beverage” because he keeps up with the best of ‘em during tailgating parties.
4. Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon University isn’t the only school that’s chosen an adorable dog to represent them, but it is the only one that got theirs gifted to them by Bill Cosby. Apparently the comedian has a thing for Scottish terriers (this one is cleverly named Scottie.)
5. University of Southern California
University of Southern California is often jokingly referred to as the “University of Spoiled Children,” and their expensive purebred Andalusian horse Traveler VII isn’t exactly helping to disprove this stereotype.
6. Colorado State University
Surprisingly, CAM the Ram didn’t get his name simply because it rhymes – Colorado State University used to be called Colorado Agricultural and Mechanical College.
7. United States Naval Academy
After brief stints involving cat, dog, and carrier pigeon mascots, Bill the Goat became the United States Naval Academy’s official mascot in 1904.
8. United States Air Force Academy
In a clear effort to one-up the Naval Academy, the United States Air Force Academy casually keeps a falcon around in order to let him loose at games. We’ll be staying inside, thanks.
9. University of Colorado
Male buffalos can be pretty aggressive, so in spite of her masculine name, of Colorado’s Ralphie the Buffalo is actually a female. Who knew buffalos could live such dramatic double lives?
10. University of North Alabama
Before you get concerned about the University of North Alabama mascots living in poor conditions, know that Leo III and Una live in a 12,000 square-foot climate controlled facility that has a price tag of $1.3 million and annual maintenance fees of $35,000. Chances are these lions have a more lush lifestyle than you do.
11. University of Arkansas
Insider info: Tusk, the University of Arkansas Razorbacks’ mascot, is actually a Russian Boar, not a North American razorback. What a poser.
12. Baylor University
You could argue that Baylor University was trying a little too hard when naming their bear Judge Sue “Lady” Sloane – the “Judge” is included because of the school’s namesake (Judge R.E.B. Baylor) and the “Lady” is there in honor of a former school president’s wife. This poor bear must hate introducing himself at parties.
13. Sir Big Spur
University of South Carolina’s Sir Big Spur has a pretty catchy name, but he’s also, well, a rooster. We’re not sure whether Baylor or South Carolina wins this round of Mascot Wars (a new show we wish we were creating for HGTV.)
14. Auburn University
Auburn University calls themselves the Tigers, but their famous “War Eagle” battle cry lead them to purchase War Eagle in order to intimidate opponents. We’re not sure if we’re an opponent, but we are pretty sure that we’re pretty intimidated.
Our apologies if reading this list has made your own pet seem terribly uninteresting. Now might be a good time to start applying to one of these colleges. At least one of them could be like your pet since your other option is to start saving for an artificial tiger habitat.