The Only Analysis That Matters - Part 2
Alright, if you have no idea what is going on - or if you want to read the first conference review (the ACC) then click [HERE]. Otherwise, we're diving right into the Big East.
Strengths: It's not a bear and it's not a cat - it's BOTH! Originality (sort of), instead of sticking with one of the standard 8 mascots, they brilliantly combined two of them!
Weaknesses: What sound would a bearcat make? GRRRR-MEOW? And that cat half, what kind of cat is it? A grumpy siamese or a kick butt leopard? Looking at the mascot, you can't really tell - meaning it's probably just a stock issue tabby.
Strengths: It's a bird with teeth, which is pretty darn cool. Making cardinal chomp faces with your teeth exposed on the side of your mouth is fun (try it, seriously). The Cardinal is the state bird of Kentucky, which is a mitigating factor for the "generic mascot 101" choice.
Weaknesses: In a league of unoriginal mascots, this one still manages to be represented in two seperate professional leagues as well as countless high schools and other colleges. Outside of the whole teeth bit, there isn't anything here you can't find in a bunch other places.
Rating: Doesn't Suck - the teeth and the fact that it's the state bird save it.
Strengths: Wannstedt looks like he has a Panther attached to his upper lip - which earns style points for coach and mascot coordination. Supposedly Pitt was the first college to use "panthers" as a nickname, but we find that hard to believe.
Weaknesses: Again, the "generic high school" naming syndrom is in full effect here. The Big East has a serious problem in this area, and the Panther is a pretty egregious offender. Rule of thumb - if you are going to have a generic nickname, have a cool (preferably live) mascot. Unfortunately for Pitt, that's not the case. Furthermore, could you pick between the Panther and the Nittany Lion if you met them in the street? Do they save money at the schools by sharing the same costume?
Rating: Continues the Big East suck parade.
Rutgers Scarlet Knight
Strengths: It's a red knight, except it sounds even cooler and more sophisticated with the "scarlet" designation. Brings to mind Sir Launcelot searching for adventure in the forests of midieval England, saving desperate damsels from the clutches of evil wizards. And who doesn't love damsels?
Weaknesses: Sadly, the mascot looks way less cool than he sounds. A nice suit of armor would really go well here. Also, this is a fairly new mascot ... the original Rutgers mascot was the Chanticleer, which was darn cool in and of itself.
Rating: Doesn't Suck - though it could be an elite level mascot with a better costume.
South Florida Golden Bull
Strengths: It's a bull, and more specifically a Brahman Bull, and that's about as strong as it gets. Definitely more original than most of the rest of this conference's dismal collection of retreads, and Florida even has a bit of a cattle indrustry to fit with it.
Weaknesses: Brahmans are known as extremely docile creatures for their size, not exactly a terribly threatening presence.
Rating: Doesn't Suck
Strengths: Goes well with bacon and pancakes.
Weaknesses: Does it comes complete with an Omega 4000? Seriously though, Syracuse's mascot history is an absolute disaster after they decided to get rid of the human Indian mascot in 1978. A Roman gladiator? Egnaro the Troll?!? (Seriously, a troll?). This went on for over 15 years until the school just settled on a big orange bag with a baseball cap on top. I guess if you've gone 15 years without a real mascot, a blob is better than nothing.
Rating: Sucks, sucks, sucks. One of the 5 worst mascots in college sports. And it's named "Otto".
Strengths: Fairly original, and husky's are awesome dogs. The Iditarod is one of the great American events, especially because of the history behind it and this mascot reminds me of that.
Weaknesses: Last time I checked the Iditarod was in Alaska, and not Connecticut. Also, the costume is pretty bland - almost as if you just ordered the generic white "bear/lion/panther/dog" costume in white from the mail order Costumes-R-Us catalog.
Rating: Doesn't suck, but it's awfully darn close.
West Virginia Mountaineer
Strengths: Looks like Davey Crockett, and every little boy wants to be him. Gets to wear a coonskin cap and carry around a rifle. Wears a fringed jacket. Gets to skip shaving regularly for the benefit of the costume.
Weaknesses: Has to put up with WVU fans, and the gunpowder for that rifle might not be safe around burning couches.
Rating: Most definitely does not suck.
The Big East did better than I thought they would, with only 3 "sucks" for a pedestrian 38% suck percentage - far better than the ACC, who had the unfortunate mishap of getting two of the Big East's worst mascots recently. This places the Big East in first for "my conference is better than yours" bragging rights at the moment, but there are still 4 more to go.