10 great college football mascots

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor
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The Texas Longhorns mascot leads the team out of the tunnel before the game against Tulsa, Sept. 8, 2018, at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas.

These 10 mascots are among the best to roam the sidelines at college football games.

Uga, Georgia Bulldogs

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Uga is a sideline staple at Georgia football games. After the death of Uga VII, his half-brother, Russ, was selected as interim mascot for the final two games of the 2009 season. He continued as interim mascot for the first six games of the 2010 season and participated in a "passing of the collar" ceremony for Uga VIII before the homecoming game. Less than two months later, Russ was once again called upon for the bowl game because of an illness to and the eventual death of Uga VIII. Russ eventually assumed the title of Uga IX in 2012, but he died in December 2015 and was replaced by his grandson.

Mike the Tiger, LSU Tigers

Courtesy of LSU Athletics

Mike the Tiger has been an attraction at Louisiana State football games since 1936. On home football game days, Mike's cage on wheels is parked by the opponent's locker room outside Tiger Stadium. Opposing players must pass by Mike in order to reach their locker room. In 1950, four Tulane students abducted Mike before a game. He was eventually returned and the students were banned from LSU's campus. A new habitat was constructed for the Bengal tiger in 2005. Mike VI debuted during LSU's national championship season of 2007. He was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2016 and was euthanized. Mike VII made his debut during the 2017 season.

Bevo, Texas Longhorns

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Bevo spends Saturdays in Texas roaming the sideline at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. The Texas Longhorn steer made his first appearance at halftime of the 1916 football game against Texas A&M. Bevo XIV retired in October 2015 after contracting bovine leukemia virus. He died shortly thereafter. Bevo XV made his debut in 2016, 100 years after the first Bevo was introduced. He made headlines at last season's Sugar Bowl after charging at Uga before the game.

Ralphie, Colorado Buffaloes

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The first Ralphie debuted in 1966 and spent 13 years on the Colorado sidelines. Ralphie II took over in 1978, but she unexpectedly died after a 1987 game against Stanford. Ralphie III was pressed into action prematurely after her predecessor's life was cut short and served through the 1997 season. Ralphie IV then spent 10 seasons on the sidelines from 1998-2007. Ralphie V took the field at a Colorado game for the first time in 2008.

Big Red, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

AP Photo/Michael Noble Jr.

A red, furry blob created by Western Kentucky student Ralph Carey in 1979 serves as the school's mascot. Big Red was inducted into the Mascot Hall of Fame in 1997.

Oregon Duck, Oregon Ducks

AP Photo/Chris Pietsch

The Oregon Duck mascot is modeled after Walt Disney's Donald Duck character through a special licensing agreement. During the 2007 season opener, the Duck attacked Houston Cougars mascot Shasta for seemingly copying the Duck's routine of doing push-ups after a score. The Duck was suspended for a game and the student wearing the costume received an unspecified punishment. This motorcycle-riding mascot knows how to get the fans at Autzen Stadium on their feet.

Sebastian the Ibis, Miami Hurricanes

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

Sebastian the Ibis has been a fixture at Miami games since 1957. On game days, the costumed mascot leads Hurricanes fans in the C-A-N-E-S cheer, spelling the letters with his body. Why an ibis? Because the bird is the last sign of wildlife to take shelter before a hurricane approaches, giving warning that danger is imminent. Sebastian narrowly avoided arrest before a game against rival Florida State in 1989. Miami's mascot, wearing a fireman's helmet and yellow raincoat while holding a fire extinguisher, was tackled and handcuffed by police during an attempt to douse Florida State mascot Chief Osceola's flaming spear.

Albert the Alligator, Florida Gators

AP Photo/John Raoux

Beginning in 1970, an anthropomorphic version of Albert the Alligator replaced the real alligator that roamed the sideline at Florida games. Albert was featured in a commercial for ESPN's "SportsCenter" and is the subject of three children's books. Albert got a mate, Alberta, in 1984.

Mountaineer, West Virginia Mountaineers

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The Mountaineer has been a presence at West Virginia sporting events since the late 1920s, but the school established a protocol for determining who would assume the Davy Crockett-esque character in the 1930s. Students undergo a rigid application process for the right to assume the role, which requires selection by the school's senior honorary. Although not a requirement, the men chosen to personify the Mountaineer customarily grow beards during their tenures to complement the coonskin cap and rifle.

Stanford Tree, Stanford Cardinal

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The Stanford Tree first appeared at Cardinal games in 1975. Stanford student Tommy Leep made headlines in 1996 when he was ejected from a women's basketball NCAA tournament game while dressed as the Tree for "dancing in an undesignated area." That was after an earlier scuffle with tournament security, from whom he had attempted to escape by hurling himself across the basketball court on a rolling chair. Stanford then banned him from performing for the rest of the tournament.

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