Every school has one. For better or worse, mascots represent our favorite collegiate programs on a national level in front of millions of viewers. From Delta State’s Okra mascot to UC Santa Cruz’s Sammy the Slug, there are plenty of awful mascots out there.
Instead of going after the weirdest mascots, we stuck with the Power 5, which, to be honest, was a much more difficult task. This list is sure to irk college sports fans who think their mascot isn’t that bad.
Trust us, it is.
Here’s the definitive list of the worst mascots in Power-5 programs.
10: Nebraska – Lil’ Red
With an oversized frame, Lil’ Red is nightmare fuel for the millions of kids out there watching a college football game. Okay, so he might not be the official mascot of the Nebraska Huskers, but he’s a notable part of the program, and thus, he’s featured here.
The Mascot Hall of Fame got this one incredibly wrong.
9: Missouri – Truman the Tiger
Truman might get his origins from the U.S. Civil War, but there’s nothing serious about a mascot that looks like it came to life from a 1950’s cartoon. There are too many cats in college sports, and this is the worst one, not to mention the unspeakable things Truman has been caught doing over the years.
Missouri would be better served with another mascot to send to its sporting events.
8: Purdue – Purdue Pete
Is he smiling? Is he frowning? No one knows what’s going on with Purdue Pete’s face and it’s downright terrifying. To make matters worse, Purdue Pete used to be made up of just a head stuffed on a normal human frame, making for an interesting visual.
Despite the university’s move to make Purdue Pete less of a man and more of a mascot, Pete didn’t become any less menacing with that expressionless stare coupled with that massive hammer.
7: Vanderbilt – Mr. Commodore
Mr. Commodore is about as useless as the commodore from the Pirates of the Caribbean. Haven’t seen it? Okay, let this suffice instead. Let’s say you’re gearing up for your favorite sporting event, tailgating and all, and Mr. Commodore comes up.
His pale exterior and creepy face are enough to scare the soul right out of someone.
6: Oregon State – Benny Beaver
You know that overly intrusive friend that pries into your life at every turn? Yeah, that’s Benny Beaver. We’re not sure if he’s angry, or just hopped up on drugs, but Benny Beaver has a look that stares straight through you.
Is Benny Beaver more bark than bite?
5: TCU – Horned Frog
It’s not even a frog! The so-called “horned frog” is actually a lizard, which automatically makes us question why the university isn’t just straight up and honest with us. If you’re lying about the mascot, what other secrets could be in store?
To be honest, we’re not even sure which way the Horned Frog is looking, which just makes for an uneasy aura.
4: Wake Forest – Demon Deacon
One of the most iconic mascots in sports comes in at No. 4 thanks to the fact the Demon Deacon looks more like Jim Carrey’s character from the animated film A Christmas Carol than anything else. Sure, he has a jaw made of iron, but that over-sized nose and sleepy eye combination makes for a very confusing visual.
3: Minnesota – Goldy Gopher
Goldy Gopher is adorable. That’s right, we said he/she/it is adorable. So why does Goldy make the list of worse mascots? Sports aren’t supposed to be adorable. Football isn’t for the meek, basketball isn’t for either. Lacrosse, rugby, you name it, sports chew you up and spit you out.
That’s not place for an adorable little gopher.
2: Notre Dame – Leprechaun
Here we go. Now we’re to what will likely be the most-controversial addition to the list. Let’s forget the Fighting Irish logo and focus on the mascot itself.
There’s just something off about a man dressed up as a leprechaun cheering for his team. The leprechaun would be better served wearing a legitimate costume, rather than decking out a student in fighting Irish garb, at least for consistency’s sake.
Easily the No. 1. We’ll preface this with a question: what better mascot is there to represent a color? It’s not an easy question to answer, but we’re pretty sure the answer isn’t a tree.
And we’re not just talking about any tree. We’re talking about the Charlie Brown Christmas tree. This thing is just downright pitiful. Imagine a drunk college student pasting together school project at the last minute and you get Stanford’s unofficial mascot.
There you have it, the worst college sports mascots. We’re sure there won’t be any disagreements here.