Sports Illustrated is celebrating college football’s 150th season by ranking the top 10 all-time greatest mascots. The University of Georgia’s bulldog was accorded 1st place.
Uga is followed by the ever-present Duck from the University of Oregon, Mike the tiger at Louisiana State University, Bevo the longhorn bull at the University of Texas and Stanford University’s Tree.
Ralphie, the University of Colorado’s 1,200-pound live buffalo, comes in at number six. If you’re counting, that means Ralphie ranked behind a human in a tree suit – small solace for Colorado State University fans, since the venerable Cam the Ram didn’t make the list.
The massive bison is guided by student “Ralphie Runners” as the mascot thunders down the field to open home games. Sports Illustrated rightly describes it as a bucket list fan experience. Earning the honor to run with Ralphie is like trying out for the team. There is a physical trial that follows a lengthy application process.
Closing out the list is Cocky, South Carolina’s costumed gamecock, Western Kentucky University’s Big Red, Syracuse’s orange named Otto and Smokey the University of Tennessee’s bluetick coonhound.
The latest Uga is the 10th iteration of the mascot, which the magazine says has been a staple since 1956. The current Ralphie is Ralphie V. She (Yup, she is a she. Male bison are much too big) has served since 2008.