Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Only Analysis That Matters - Part 4


(EDIT 6/19/06 - Thank you Kansas State fans for your profane tirades, it's obvious that any attempt at humor completey skipped the Little Apple. I've deleted several comments that were way out of line for this blog and will continue to do so. There's an e-mail link at the bottom of the page, you can flame me with that if you absolutely have the need too).

This whole College World Series business and then that World Cup thingy sort of interfered with the important task or rating mascots, and for that I apologize. So after a several day hiatus, we're back with the Big XII and it's collection of live animals roaming the sidelines. Something about the wideopen spaces of the midwest must cater to having a 2000 lb. live animal wreaking havoc on opposing marching bands - but we're not going to complain. If you just stumbled into this, the introduction and ACC are [HERE], the Big East is [HERE] and the Big 10 is [HERE]. Without futher ado - on to the Big XII.


Baylor Bears


Strengths: They could rip your head off? The fact that the Baylor bears (there are several at any point in time) are all named "Judge" after one of the long term mascots in the '60s is a neat tradition as well. Baylor really supports the bear program, there's an entire staff at the school dedicated to the bears, and they each have their own individual Bear Trainer.

Weaknesses: None. They are real live bears, claws and all.

Rating: Baylor gets the Big XII off to a great start without a hint of suck.


Colorado Buffalo


Strengths: It's a huge full grown buffalo, the symbol of the American west and possibly the largest mascot in all of college sports. When Ralphie comes running out before the games, you can be darn sure nobody is trying to get in her way.

Weaknesses: They didn't know it was a male or female for a while (at that size, it's not like you need a microscope to figure it out) - but that's not Ralphie's fault.

Rating: No suck in sight, simply one of the best mascots in college sports.


Iowa State Cyclone


Strengths: Pretty much nothing - though I guess the costume is baggy enough it could be a good sleeping bag if neccessary.

Weakness: There's no shape to the costume, it's just a fuzzy red bag. The head looks bad, and the mesh grill in between the beak is lame (yes, we know the human inside has to see - just don't keep reminding us of it with the costume design). Of all the "dressed up human" type costumes, this is one of the worst. Oh yeah, it has nothing to do with "Cyclones" either. Miami couldn't make a hurricane costume, but they still got something somewhat related. CARDINALS HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH CYCLONES.

Rating: Sucks, sucks, sucks. Still not even the worst mascot in the conference though.


Kansas Jayhawk


Strengths: Extremely unique and with a strong historic background. The Civil War began on the Kansas / Missouri border in the late 1850's, and the free state ruffians from Kansas were named "jayhawkers". While the actual bird is an early 20th century creation and has gone through several variations, the roots are very much from the Civil War era (Lawrence was burned and sacked and massacred by Missouri raiders - there's a reason the rivalry is so bitter).

Weaknesses: Some say it looks a bit like a Toucan or some other common cartoon birds. This is pretty weaksauce as complaints go.

Rating: Unique with Civil War roots? No suck here.


Kansas State Wildcat


Strengths: It's just a head, so you can be a basketball player, a football player or even ride a Harley with ease.

Weaknesses: Everything. This is the worst mascot in all of college sports. It's just a head, which is lame in and of itself. The "Powercat" logo that it's derived from is recent, and was a dead copy by coach Snyder of the Iowa Hawkeye logo (where he had been previously). Oh yeah, "Wildcat"? Which local high school did that come from?

Rating: It's purple. It's unoriginal. It's a lame generic nickname. The mascot's name "Willie" isn't even unique (Northwestern's has the same name). AND IT'S ONLY A HEAD. Quite simply, the worst mascot in major Division 1 sports.


Missouri Tiger


Strengths: "Truman" is named for President Truman, a Missouri native and the nickname comes from another Civil War era unit (similar to the Jayhawks) and dates from around 1890 - so I can't be too harsh on the generic nickname and mascot choice.

Weaknesses: The costume is way too cartoony if you are going with the "ferocious wild animal" theme, and there's is no excuse to ever be photographed pulling a Travolta from Saturday Night Fever.

Rating: Sucks. There's only one school that pulls off "Tigers" well, and this isn't the one.


Nebraska Cornhusker



Strengths: Looks like a farmer husking corn (at least the regular one - the inflatable one is just downright frightening).

Weaknesses: Just a boring and generic mascot, it's a guy wearing a red costume. Quite honestly, with the simple and elegant "N" helmets and classic red and white uniforms - shouldn't NU just go with the Michigan or Indiana model and skip having a mascot? Unfortunately, NU has gone for not one but two mascots, and neither are anything exciting.

Rating: Sucks. Nebraska might just be better off without a mascot at all.


Oklahoma Sooner Schooner


Strengths: Pretty funny that a school coached by Switzer and on the NCAA's permanent watch list is nicknamed after a bunch of cheaters - it's quite fitting. The actual Sooner Schooner rumbling around the field is certainly different from anything else in college sports (closest thing I can think of is GT's Ramblin' Wreck). While it's not a true "mascot" it works for the purposes of this competition.

Weaknesses: At it's core it's a wagon that dragged families around, which couldn't have been that exciting.

Rating: Doesn't suck - I love the tradition.


Oklahoma State Cowboy


Strengths: "Pistol Pete" is named in honor of former US Marshall Frank Eaton, who was a guy you'd rather have on your side than against you. Back when the law was more of a moving target in that part of the country, he was the law:
Frank then set out on the trail of his father's killers. First was Shannon Campsey, Frank killed him on his own front porch. Doc Ferber was next, he was shot off of his horse with "two forty-five slugs through his breast". John Ferber would have been next, but the day before Frank caught up with him, he was shot for cheating at cards. Frank went to his funeral just to make sure he was dead. At John Ferber's funeral, Frank met a Deputy United States Marshal who was on the trail of the same men. After talking about the men, Frank was offered, and accepted a commission.
The costume itself is pretty gritty, and the unshaven whiskers are a nice touch and you can sort of smell the whiskey on the mascot's breath just looking at it. Oh yeah, Golden Tornado got our photos next to the official Pistol Pete statue with (surprisingly similar to the mascot) Eddie Sutton himself, so that's got to count for something.

Weaknesses: It's really just a plastic head on a human body, but the costume is so solid the rest of the way around we're cutting it some slack.

Rating: We're afraid if we gave it a grade of "suck", Frank Eaton would come from the grave with a Winchester after us. Doesn't suck for sure!


Texas Longhorn


Strengths: Animals the size of family cars are impressive enough, but when you tack on horns wider than I am tall you get a truly great mascot. Combined one of the best logos in all of sports, the longhorn steer on the sideline is a 1-2 punch that is hard to beat.

Weakness: Can you imagine having to clean up after Bevo? That's a job that can't be popular.
Rating: No suck at all, great mascot, great tradition and great cheerleaders (had to mention those).


Texas A&M Collie


Strengths: Live mascots are always a bonus, and Reveille is a great name that fits with the tradition of the school, along with being a gorgeous dog.

Weaknesses: Did you know A&M had a live mascot? Somehow Reveille flies under the radar.

Rating: Texas A&M has one of the best fanbases and gameday experiences in the country. There is nothing associated with it that sucks, and Reveille is no different.


Texas Tech Red Raider


Strengths: Looks like Yosemite Sam, one of the more underated cartoon characters of all time. There is also an extremely cool Masked Rider that has only been at home games since 1971 because of rules surrounding live animals at away venues.

Weaknesses: This guy has an important part to play along with the mascots in gameday celebration.

Rating: Doesn't suck. We really like the Masked Rider tradition, and as far as "stuffed mascot" types go, the Red Raider costume isn't bad either.

The Big XII only has 4 mascots that suck out out 12 schools, for a very strong 33% suck ratio that vaults them clearly into first place and might prove to be insurmountable by the Pac-10 and SEC (edit - I had originally written this with only 3 mascots that sucked, and upon further review we decided that a 4th should join that list. Of course, I need an editor badly and forgot to change the percentage in the final paragraph before I posted. If you see a comment below related to this there's your explanation). The combination of clever mascots with strong history (KU and OSU) and the best collection of live animals on the sidelines in all of college football is a very strong effort by the middle of the country.

48 Comments:

Blogger Steve S said...

How does Lassie as a mascot not suck?

Other than that, suprising showing for the Big 12. Though, if you start figuring cheerleaders into the mix, the Pac-10 could be the dark horse winner.

3:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mizzou = suck

5:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

agree with steve... the collie as a mascot definitely SUCKS!!!

pretty much agree with everything else though...

8:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow. how can a collie ever possibly suck? unless of course you hate Lassie, childhood and everything good. then a collie probably would suck.

11:04 PM  
Anonymous nico said...

Before they adopted the dragon "Blaze" as their mascot, UAB had a mascot that lasted almost no time that basically looked like the Nebraska Cornhusker guy in centurion attire.

Several on campus groups protested after the unveiling of the new mascot (they basically had the San Diego chicken prior to that) because they said the centurion looking fellow was representative of "misogynistic white rage."

I figured that little nugget might be helpful if you tackle the CUSA mascots.

8:46 AM  
Blogger Mole said...

Though I'm not much of an Aggie fan, you guys should read up on the things they do with Reveille. It's like a mini cult when it comes to that dog, not to mention the rest of their traditions.

College Station is a strange place to party.

1:54 PM  
Anonymous Brad said...

Longhorn weakness: no balls, which explains the aura of depression that Bevo emits.

Collie weakness: Reveille VII is crazy, watch a game this year, i guarantee you she will be barking and her cadet handler will be struggling to restrain her.

Baylor Bear weakness: if the bear were to go on a blood thirsty rampage in Waco...would anyone be there to see it?

2:39 PM  
Blogger miguel said...

A collie? For real? Not sucking?

I've lost a little of the large amount of respect I had for this analysis.

It's like finding out a friend of yours thinks Mindy from Facts of Life is hot.

3:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://aggietraditions.tamu.edu/reveille.shtml

All ye collie bashers, read up on why reveille lacks in the suckitude department.

6:50 PM  
Anonymous Brian said...

Anonymous Aggie,

Wow, the backstory page actually made Reveille worse in my eyes.

"Reveille, the first lady of Aggieland... is the highest ranking member of the Corps of Cadets, and she is a Five-Star General."

Lame.

And the original and first several Reveille's weren't even collies. Leave it to the Aggies to fabricate tradition.

Someone should let the ASPCA know that you force the poor dead animals to watch the Aggies get blown out all the time.

9:25 PM  
Anonymous bjstrykker said...

The dog still sucks.

9:30 PM  
Anonymous Chg said...

As an SEC fan, I don't have a dog in this fight. But if I did, it would beat the crap out of that weak collie.

As a household pet, collies are a solid B+ dog. As the living image of a football team, they're just awful.

10:10 PM  
Anonymous Jason said...

Hard to argue with your assessment of the Husker mascots. The new Herbie is a bit too cartoonish. Lil' Red (the inflatable) was not well received in Nebraska at first, but has grown on us. I can't explain it.

Heck, even Kirk Herbstreit loves Lil' Red. He went on and on about him on Game Day.

I wouldn't miss either of them for long if we decided to go mascot-less.

And you're dead on about K-State having the worst mascot in college sports. I think you gave Lassie too much credit though.

"What's that boy? Mike Leach is stuck in a well?"

10:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last time I checked, 4 out of 12 was 33%. That's a full 8% more suck.

11:09 PM  
Blogger I'm a Realist said...

For my money, the battle for greatest mascot in sports comes down to Ralphie and Renegade. The only thing that could be more electrifying than Osceola riding Renegade out to midfield and launching a flaming spear into the ground is a 1,300 pound buffalo that can reach speeds of 25 mph running at the opposing team's sideline with "handlers" being the only thing keeping her in check.

6:10 AM  
Blogger Reed4AU said...

I can't wait for the SEC one, I can think of a couple that suck but most seem good if not great.

Also I hope you do some smaller schools, because they have some of the wierdest ones. Dartmouth's mascot is "Keggy" a walking keg.

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aggies don't seem to have much of a great fan base anymore. They are practically giving away their football tickets. Fran is a joke and while the collie isn't too terrible, the fact that there are MULTIPLE collies around any given time, is a little absurd.

9:42 AM  
Blogger paulwesterdawg said...

I'm with Steve S. Lassie is too wusscatorified to not suck.

I respect A&M's tough factor overall. But Uga VI would take that little female behind a fire hydrant and make a woman out of her.

As for the guy saying TAMU is giving away tix. Last I heard, list price on big games was $63+. That's not giving away much of anything.

pwd

11:37 AM  
Anonymous AGS said...

Don't forget about Ralphie's 6 foot vertical. Yes, I said 6 feet

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A yellow jacket is a hornet. Awesome, man.

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to nitpick but I doubt Ralphie goes much over 700 lbs. tops. Bevo looks to be at least a half ton.

Grown male bison definitely get into the one ton range but having one as your mascot would be suicidal, unless you never let him out of the trailer. The same would likely apply were Bevo of the unemasculated variety of Longhorn.

3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bevo is sedated and does nothing but chews cud.

i have seen ralphie go wherever she sees fit. that is AWESOME!

i'd agree that the best mascot comes down to renegade and ralphie.

4:12 PM  
Anonymous Aaron Pollock said...

The reason Bevo is sedated is because one time he really did rampage down the sideline, dragging his handlers with him as they held on for dear life.

Incidentally, that was a game against Houston, which had a live cougar roaming their sideline.

7:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those of you that don't like K-State's mascot, must not like head.

8:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How could a bird that can't even fly not suck as a mascot?? ku mascot is literally "for the birds"--gets my vote for sucks!!

8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

any chance these last three posts are fans of KSUcks? you grapes are always talkin about how your logo is "one of the most recognizable in sports"...yeah right, only if your asking farmers in western kansas. Bevo is a 1100 lb. steer with 3 ft. horns...nuff said. as far as the jayhawk goes it is one of the classiest mascot in college sports, not fierce but classy... although it does have some heel spurs that could do some damage.

1:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you're going to call someone out on their intelligence, make sure you understand the difference between your and you're.

8:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Cardinal has everything to do with Cylcones. Do some research and you will find that Iowa State was the Cardinals until a butt whipping of Northwestern (36-0) happened the same time Tornadoes (Cylcones) hit Iowa. The Chicago Tribune read something like "Iowa Cyclone devastates Evanston." Then the Cyclone tag began and the Cardinal stands for the original mascot.

10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree about big heads sucking as mascots. But a couple words in defense of K-State. Kansas State had a live Wildcat at the games (in a cage) in football and basketball up until the early 1980s. And wildcats were extremely common in Manhattan, Kansas when it was founded -- Wildcat Creek on the west side of town was named in the 1850s -- so there really is an actual connection to the area. I really like your rankings, though!

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not only does the "Cy" the Cardinal represent the origional mascot of Iowa State University, it is one of the school's colors (cardinal and gold).


Go State!

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

both mascots in the state of kansas are terrible.

ksu's mascot does suck. if it only had some furry arms and legs, it could be one of the best in the conference. the old mascot, 'touchdown', was a live bobcat, but all the p.c. butts made them stop using it.

the jayhawk could be good, its got history to its name, but good god. it looks like a chucky cheese character. it is really stupid looking.

worst mascot in college = either the old stanford tree or the syracuse orangeman.

6:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

seems kind of jaded seeing as has the guy who wrote this is a premium member of a phog.net, a ku chat board.

6:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best description of the KSU mascot I've heard.

8:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, some problems I have with your mascot evaluations. First, you're right, Willie needs a body. But as others have posted, wildcats are prevalent in the area and wildcats used to roam the sidelines at KSU. As far as Colorado, their mascot is the Buffalo. Ralphie is a BISON. They are two different breeds of animal, and you would think the self proclaimed "Harvard of the Rockies" would have a zoologist tell them the difference. To me, it's worse than when a couple years ago Florida had a crocodile and not a 'Gator on their media guide. Big mistake. I can't give props to morons. As far as KU goes, that bird has zero to do with the Civil War. You didn't see any of those dumb birds, which are a figment of someone's imagination, running around during the Civil War. If you are (erroneously) going to hammer the Iowa State cardinal for having nothing to do with the Cyclones, then Jay needs to get hammered too. He has zero to do with the Civil War and/or slavery in Kansas. Plus, what bird wears big yellow shoes?

5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are mixing live animals with character mascots...apples and oranges (i.e. KSU has a live Wildcat, he resides at the Sunset Zoo and CU has "Chip" a character that for some reason my wife is wild about).

Regardless, your results remind me of bad data...garbage in, garbage out.

7:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Missouri deserves much better because of the originality of the school in general (Mizzou is the oldest school west of the Miss
River) and Truman was named Mascot of the year in 2003 by a non-missouri affiliate (its in the media guide for 2004)

Truman is great cuz Truman was an amazing president as well. One of the most straightforward people there was.
M-IZ Z-O-U GO TIGERS AND TRUMAN!

5:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Missouri deserves much better because of the originality of the school in general (Mizzou is the oldest school west of the Miss
River) and Truman was named Mascot of the year in 2003 by a non-missouri affiliate (its in the media guide for 2004)

Truman is great cuz Truman was an amazing president as well. One of the most straightforward people there was.
M-IZ Z-O-U GO TIGERS AND TRUMAN!

5:22 PM  
Blogger Erik said...

Great Stuff...but I gotta have my SEC Mascots...I need to know if my Rebels suck or not!

Any "Bulldogs" = suckfest

How f'n boring!

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If missery left the big 12, would anyone outside the states of Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas notice and would anyone for that matter care?

11:05 PM  
Anonymous Carlala said...

Here is what pisses me off about the CU Golden Buffalos. First of all, its buffalo, not buffalos. You might as well be the Colorado Deers or the Mouses. Second, that which you are calling a "buffalo" is a bison. Buffalo live in Africa. Third, has anyone seen a golden buffalo? I've seen a brown one and even an albino, but never in my life have I seen a golden buffalo. The Colorado mascot sucks as much as its student section sucks at not getting kicked out of games.

You can rip on the new Herbie costume all you want, but you should at least give props for being original. Last time I checked, there weren't any other "Cornhuskers" out there... At least when I say "Go Huskers," no one can get confused, as opposed to ISU, KSU, and OSU etc saying "Go State!" Which one? There are 50 to choose from!

Oh, and as much as Herbie "sucks" he IS the reigning Capital One Mascot of the Year. Go Huskers!

12:53 PM  
Blogger Ash Lux said...

Wyoming and New Mexico State both also use Pistol Pete as their mascots (http://collegeprep.okstate.edu/homepages.nsf/toc/pistolpete). However, in 1923 Oklahoma A&M students asked Frank Eaton to be the model for their new mascot (he agreed).

10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's totally okay to not like K-State's mascot. No big deal there. But when you talk about it being a ripoff of Iowa's..it was designed by the same guy. He's a freelance illustrator that used to be in the Art Department at Iowa, and now lives in Manhattan and teaches Illustration at K-State. Peace.

11:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Willie Wildcat can still kick a cartoon bird's but! Extremely original? Just cause they are the only ones? Who else would WANT to be a colored crow? Check out the early ones..what do you have? Heckle and Jeckle! KU can keep that gay mascot, it is very fitting. Along with that stupid cheer that no one knows what it means. If doesn't have anything to do with football or basketball, that's for sure.

Now check out the Wildcat and K-State's Powercat! They are used NATION WIDE becuase it is SO POPULAR! You can see it everywhere, because people want to be associated with it.

And remember, you can't spell lacK of institUtional control or aKademic fraUd without good ol' KU!

8:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I LOVE MIzzou and there mascot is way better then the crappy KAnsas Jay Hawk. GO MIZZOU!

9:03 AM  
Blogger Mizzou lover kyle said...

KANSAS STINKS GO MIZZOU

9:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Texas Tech actually had the Masked Rider long before the Raider Red mascot. The rider entering the stadium for home games is much more awe inspiring. Get a picture of that on here.

9:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

here are my comments

huskers:Awesome this is about the most original mascot in the nation
k state:ok who can like a guy in a mask
kansas:a dumbass bird...
iowa state:another dumbass bird...
colorado:ralphie alright pretty dumb fans and everything else though
missouri:all gay except the name truman i give some respect for that

texas:pretty good
oklahoma:average i guess
oklahoma state:good history
texas a&m:GREAT HISTORY no1 can dis this im not an a&m fan but im not retarted if any1 makes fun of A&M tradition they dont know shit
Baylor:
Texas tech:average

11:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

youre right about the north division but wrong about the south

texas:its a gant bovine with no
balls
oklahoma; theyre just named after cheaters
oklahoma state: just a plastic head
texas a&m: a spastic dog
baylor: its a green bear and they havent won 10 games since they became a team
texas tech: a fruity yosemite sam

4:01 PM  

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