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TFM’s Ranking Of The 10 Worst College Mascots In The Nation

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hokie bird

Last week, I ranked the very best college mascots in the nation. The most common reaction I got from the column was, “Waaaaah, my school’s mascot totally deserved to be on the list!” Well, I can guarantee that won’t be said nearly as much for this one. Before we get into the 10 worst mascots in America, let’s start out with a few that aren’t quite as bad, but still worth bringing up.

Dishonorable Mentions

Gaylord The Camel – Campbell University

A post shared by Jacob Carter (@jakecarter96) on

Look, Gaylord is a perfectly acceptable name. Nothing wrong with it at all. However, what’s not acceptable is that sad combover sitting atop the camel’s head. How can you dab on ’em like that when you look so ridiculous?

Scrotie The Scrotum – Rhode Island School of Design

I know there will probably be a #FreeTheScrotum movement at some point, but the world just isn’t ready for that yet. Some incarnations of this mascot look like a real, anatomically correct scrotum, but the one pictured above looks more like the mascot of a testicular cancer awareness brochure.

Joe Vandal – University of Idaho

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The Vandals were a Germanic tribe that originated in what is now southern Poland. They were known for being fierce warriors, and they famously sacked the city of Rome. Joe Vandal reminds me less of those guys and more of a confused homeless man whose idea of vandalism would be to defecate in some mode of public transportation.

Johnny Poet- Whittier College

This honestly looks like next year’s hottest Halloween costume: Creepy Hollywood Exec. That smug, concerning grin is what I see in my nightmares, and all it would inspire me to do as an athlete would be to get a little too handsy with members of the opposing team.

Leprechaun – University of Notre Dame

Oh look, another creepy mascot. I know the leprechaun is beloved by Notre Dame fans, but I just don’t get it. Its presence at football games makes me think that some kind of trickery is going down. I half-expect to see this cheeky bastard tying the opposing players’ shoelaces together or some other nonsense. Anyway, I’m done wasting time with these chumps; let’s get to real offenders.

10. Cosmo The Cougar – Brigham Young University

This is not a cougar; this is the cowardly lion from The Wizard of Oz before he received the gift of courage. Even if he had any spare courage to give to his football team, they’d still be missing essential things like offensive talent and a competent coaching staff. Cosmo is bad. He’d be higher up on this list if not for this.

9. Oski – University of California, Berkeley

Oski was Pedo Bear before there ever was a Pedo Bear. He looks like something you’d find at a long-defunct amusement park in a former Soviet republic. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if I found out that he, Johnny Poet, and Joe Vandal all get together and discuss the best ways of spying on elementary school children.

8.Captain Cane – The University of Tulsa

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I won’t even start with Tulsa’s terrible “Golden Hurricane” moniker that makes no sense for a school that lies smack-dab in the middle of the country. Thinking about the life of the school’s mascot, Captain Cane, just makes me sad. Being a hurricane-themed superhero isn’t the best look when the country has been ravaged by hurricanes so recently. Also, large bodies of warm water are a hurricane’s power source. Our boy Captain Cane has to travel a long way to find any of those.

7. Butch T. Cougar – Washington State University

Another cougar. While BYU’s Cosmo makes his living looking sad and creepy, Butch opts for a terrifying gape. He looks like he rails two lines of Adderall before breakfast each morning, and he’ll definitely kill you without so much as a blink. Plus, the T in his name stands for “The.” Seriously.

6. Gunston – George Mason University

I wouldn’t touch Gunston with a hazmat suit on. I’m sure he can be found chasing the dragon in the dumpsters and alleys of George Mason’s campus, and I’m shocked that he can even sober up for long enough to prowl around the sidelines. This is what happens when Oscar the Grouch and the Hamburglar conceive a crack baby behind a Waffle House.

5. Mr. Okra – Delta State University

I’ll have to admit that this is a personal vendetta more than anything. I got really sick after eating some questionable fried okra one time, and I haven’t been able to go near the stuff ever since. Maybe I’m being too harsh for that reason, but you have to admit that this isn’t a good mascot.

4. Grey Dawg – Southern Illinois University

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Grey Dawg is modeled after one of the ugliest varieties of dog known to man: the Saluki. Those poor things have so little skin stretched out over their giant skulls, it gives them the appearance of an aging pop star left out in the sun. SIU would have fared better by going with almost any other breed of dog for their mascot, but they just couldn’t.

3. HokieBird – Virginia Tech

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HokieBird has probably already gone into hiding for the rest of the year, what with Thanksgiving being just around the corner. This guy excels neither as a sports mascot nor as a food, as turkey is one of the driest and least tasty meats you can find. I hope a president pardons this pathetic creature one of these years so that Virginia Tech can send him on his way and find something else to flap around the sideline.

2. WuShock- Wichita State University

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They say that given infinite time, a room full of monkeys with typewriters would write out the full works of Shakespeare. Assign the same group of monkeys the task of coming up with a college mascot, and they would never type out the words “anthropomorphic wheat shock.” If WuShock was a human, he’d be the guy who greets every girl he knows with “Where’s my huuuuug?” This is an anal abomination of great magnitude which will never be forgiven by any god or man.

1. Lil’ Red – University of Nebraska-Lincoln

By the time Lil’ Red came along, Nebraska already had a perfectly good mascot in Herbie Husker. So not only does he look like an unwanted child, he totally is one. He’s the equivalent of that gross kid on your street your parents would force you to invite to your birthday parties despite your protests. The Children of the Corn probably kicked this kid out for being a little too creepy to roll with them. Also, his name reminds me of terrible SoundCloud rappers. Lil’ Red truly is the worst of the worst.

Agree? Disagree? Think I should shove this list up my ass? Sound off in the comments and let me know.

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WJ Cope

He's the real reason people say "No one likes you when you're 23."

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