Top 10 Bad (Worst) College Mascots


College mascots are supposed to be intimidating, but most importantly entertaining, as they are what really get the crowd yelling and roaring during the game. Most mascots are some type of animal that is seen as tough or dangerous like a lion, bear, or an eagle. However, not all mascots are rough and tough like you’d imagine. Some are actually quite silly and comicial.

Here is a list of 10 surprising college mascots. They’re still there to root and cheer on the team to a victory, but these guys aren’t so rugged and may not induce the proper amount of fear into the opponent as you would hope. But they have provided a fun list and for that we give them a big cheer, “We’ve got the spirit, yes we do…”

10. YoUDee

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University of Delaware Blue Hens

YoUDee, the fighting Blue Hen of the University of Delaware, is definitely the most historical mascot on this list. In fact, he’s such a popular mascot that in 2006 he was inducted into the Mascot Hall of Fame and most recently, in 2009, he won the UCA Open Division Mascot National Championship. As the university’s story has it, YoUDee is blue and gold because his great-great-great grandfather, who fought in the American Revolutionary War, was given the Gold Medal for Valor at the Battle of Trenton. It’s said that those soldiers under the command of Jonathan Caldwell would often times carry about blue hens into combat in order to hold cockfights when the fighting died down or there was time to spare. These men are compared to the hens, and in essence seen as very brave and daunting. However, maybe it’s just me, but YoUDee looks way to nice to be a quality college mascot.

9. Peter the Anteater

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University of Irvine Anteaters

You’ll find Peter the Anteater cheering on teams at the University of Irvine and riling up the crowd, but he is more than just a mascot. He also attends political rallies and events, even meeting the past U.S. President George W. Bush. Peter the Anteater came about as an idea from Johnny Hart’s “B.C.” comic strip. The university has given him an age, a birthday, and even a major and minor at the college. Though he’s buff, has a mean face, and his markings may make him look a little scary, who’s really shaking in their boots after looking at a long-tongued animal that eats ants?

8. Cowboy Joe and Pistol Pete

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University of Wyoming Cowboys and Cowgirls

University of Wyoming is one of the few universities to have two mascots. One is human and the other is a live animal. Pistol Pete, the human half of the mascot team, wears chaps and pistols, and has a huge mustache, of course. Cowboy Joe, the other half, is a pony that often wears a coat sporting his name. He’s often seen at the games and any other UW social events. A pony and a cowboy seem like really nice and friendly mascots for any college to have, but UW sports them proudly.

7. Cayenne

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University of Louisiana at Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns

Cayenne is the fourth and newest mascot at University of Louisiana at Lafayette that was introduced just nine years ago in 2000. Before him were the Bulldog, Mr. Ragin’ Cajun, who was just animated, and Fabulous Cajun Chicken. Cayenne doesn’t have a huge background or cool story. The students at the college simply wanted a mascot who was able to embody the south, especially Acadiana, where the school is located. They simply wanted a true, physical representation of a Ragin’ Cajun and the spirit of the college’s location. Food mascots definitely aren’t the scariest, but Cayenne does have a face that may fend off a few competitors. In any case, I wouldn’t be so proud to call a red pepper my school mascot.

6. Speedy the Geoduck

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Evergreen State Geoducks

If you don’t know much about seafood, more specifically large saltwater clams, then you probably think that a geoduck is some type of waterfowl. However, a geoduck, (pronounced goo-ee-duck) is an extremely large saltwater clam that can have a shell of over nine inches in length. Outside of the shell is a siphon, which can be more then three feet in length. Speedy, the new mascot at Evergreen State, was introduced in 2006 and is said to bring the team a lot of luck. The mascot came about after the school hosted an individual learning contract in which a student was able to design a new mascot. Though it’s new, the mascot costume is just horrible. It looks something out of a sci-fi TV show gone wrong. Even if it looked less amateur, how frightful could a geoduck really be?


5. Scotty the Scottie Dog

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Carnegie Mellon University Tartans

Carnegie Mellon University definitely has an interesting theme, which then led to an interesting mascot for their college. The university is highly centered around a Scottish motif, due to the fact that Andrew Carnegie was Scottish. As silly as it seems, the university’s mascot is a Scottie Dog named Scotty. At times they have a live black Scottish terrier – Bill Cosby gave them the dog as a gift–  at some games there is a student in a costume. Now of course, if you’re afraid of little yappy dogs, then Scotty will surely scare you right off of your rocker. But, when comparing Scotty to other mascots, he’s definitely not at the top of the chain.


4. Artie the Artichoke

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Scottsdale Community College Fighting Artichokes

In the 1970s, students who attended Scottsdale Community College were highly upset at the amount of money that was being put into the college in order for it to become a junior college sports powerhouse. Because of this, the students felt a need to rebel a little, and were given the option to set up an election to name the new school’s mascot. In the running were three possible winners: the rutabaga, the artichoke, and the scoundrel. Obviously, the artichoke won and Artie soon came to life. Even though the college officials called the election void and fake, the artichoke mascot has continued to call SCC his home. It’s safe to say that a vegetable isn’t the greatest pick for a mascot. Unless you live in some world with man-eating artichokes, Artie isn’t so scary at all. Tasty, surely.

3. Sammy the Banana Slug

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University of California-Santa Cruz

Banana slugs are slow, bright, slimy, and definitely not anything most would imagine being a mascot; but nonetheless, Sammy is the mascot at the University of California-Santa Cruz. Though it’s hardly a mascot that would be seen as intimidating or crowd-riling, it truly mimics the school’s main pillars: non-aggressiveness, flexibility, contemplation, and stepping outside of the status quo. The banana slug was the unofficial mascot of the college for decades. In 1986, students at the university pleaded with the Chancellor to bless the slug as its official mascot (the previous Chancellor had selected a sea lion as a possible mascot). The students continued to demand the change and eventually won after appearing on the David Letterman show.

2. WuShock

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Wichita State University Shockers

WuShock came about around the late 1940s after a student named Wilber Elsea decided that the university needed to host a competition that involved designing a mascot that embodied the school. Before the contest, the university was unofficially referred to as the Wheatshockers, due to the fact that students often earned money by harvesting or shocking wheat in nearby fields. However, the school wanted something tougher with a no-nonsense scowl. Soon enough, the name WuShock came to life and today you’re sure to find the big yellow mascot with wheat all over at the games. Maybe it’s just me but I wouldn’t find this mascot to be intimidating, no matter how mean the look on his face is.


1. The Fighting Okra

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Delta State University Fighting Okra

Delta State University is said to have two mascots. The oldest and most official mascot is the Statesman. This mascot is named after State Representative Walter Sillers Jr., House of Representatives Speaker for 20 years, who played a big role in the town where the school is located (Cleveland, Mississippi). There is also a female version of the Statesman, called the Lady Statesman. Though the Statesman is said to be the official mascot, it’s rare that you’ll find him at every sports game. What you will find is the Fighting Okra, who came to be extremely popular in the 1980s. It’s said that the new mascot grew out of the thoughts of those who didn’t believe a Statesman was frightening at all. There are plenty of theories as to wear the okra idea came from, but it’s said that a few sports players came up with the idea of needing a mascot that was mean and green, and okra fit that perfectly. Though a funny mascot, I’m not so sure just how fear-inducing it is.

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  1. Scottish terriers have a stronger jaw pressure than pit bulls and were used to hunt and kill badgers! Bears won’t even mess with badgers in the wild! Anyway, they aren’t simply yappy little dogs. They’re tough and scrappy and seem like a pretty cool mascot.

  2. C’mon Man – How ’bout New York University (NYU) . . . The Violets . . . the only thing that could possibly be less intimidating would be THE SHRINKING VIOLETS. Can you imagine smack talk from a flower?

  3. Keggy the Keg- Dartmouth
    Gents and Ladies- Centennary College
    Blue Blob- Xavier
    Big Red- Western Kentucky
    Stanford Tree- Stanford University
    Captain Cane- Tulsa
    Roboduck- Oregon
    Pistol Pete- OSU
    Boll Weevil- UAM
    Eph- Williams College

  4. Our friend Sammy the Slug has no known predators. I think that’s a pretty kick-ass mascot that doesn’t have anyone stupid enough to go after it.

  5. I’m surprised that you didn’t include the University of Oregon ducks, of all mascots, in your list. Besides the fact that ducks don’t exactly instill knee-rattling fear into, well, anyone, the U of O actually struck a deal with Disney, and got them to agree to let them use Donald Duck, of all characters, as their official mascot. So, not only is their mascot one of the most harmless birds around (not to mention one that’s prey for about half the animal mascots that the U of O plays against) he’s…Donald Duck…one of the silliest cartoon characters of all time. To see what I mean, click here:

  6. You also forgot the Ohio State Buckeys. If you want to have a very well known school (particularly in athletics) with a weird mascot Ohio State is for you. Brutus the Buckeye. Yes the mascot is a nut.

    • Yes, and the official tree of the state of Ohio is the Buckeye. Not exactly that weird when you take that into account. But they aren’t just any nut, they’re poisonous too.

  7. The Goshen College Maple Leafs. That’s right leafs, not leaves, because that means they are all from one tree. I don’t even think they are the fighting maple leafs because they are pacifists.

  8. no one has mentioned the university of minnesota mascot yet.

    we're the golden gophers. unfortunately, the guy that designed the mascot had allegedly never seen a real gopher, so it actually looks like a chipmunk. don't get me wrong, i like goldy and all, but in terms of being intimidating….it's lacking.

  9. First off, this list has no respect for creativity and picking a mascot that actually represents your school. In Santa Cruz banana slugs are everywhere, and they have only club sport teams so they aren't trying to intimidate anyone. Way better to be something silly than the 457th school with the tigers as their mascot.

    Second, you missed the worst mascot ever. The mascot so bad that it was actually given to the school by the administration as a punishment. I am speaking of the Stanford Cardinal (that is the color, not the bird). In the 90s, the school decided that the old mascot of the Indians was insensitive, so they decided to have a school wide election of a new mascot. The school overwhelmingly voted for the "Stanford Robber Barons". If you are wondering why look up the founder Leeland Stanford. The school felt this was disrespectful to the founder and decided to have the mascot be the Cardinals instead. Since it is a little difficult to have a color run around a field, the redwood tree from the school's crest has been made into an anthropomorphized abomination. You can see it here:

    • all three mascots are named pistol pete however new mexico state is the aggies while ok st and wyo are the cowboys

  10. The Syracuse University mascot is an anthropomorphic orange… That's right up there with artichoke isn't it?

  11. Any bad mascot list missing the Beacons out at UMB clearly isn't that good.

    The beacon sits between two waves on our merchandise for God's sake, it's just a giant penis!

    • I don't know about the rest of you but the geoduck looks like a certain part of the male anatomy that might belong to the jolly green giant. But, maybe that's just me. Ho, ho, ho – green giant!

      • I have a friend who went to Evergreen, and yes, that's the point. They chose the geoduck because it's a phallic symbol.

    • I can’t believe this. That is actually me in that photo in the Geoduck costume! We weren’t known for our sports teams but we were known for our ridiculousness.

      Our school motto- “Let it all hang out”

  12. Occasional stumbler on

    I'd probably put the artichoke to number 1. There are not that many options out there that could be a worse idea for a mascot.

  13. I was wondering as soon as I saw the title if Artie made it into the list! I wondered how SCC came up with an artichoke as a mascot. And a fighting okra in Mississippi doesn't shock me either…