College is a time of personal growth, new friendships, and of course, epic parties. The best way to represent all that excitement is with a fun mascot! These costumed creatures fire up the crowd at football games, walk around campus during orientation days, and bring an unbridled level of pride to any school.
Of course, for every Notre Dame Leprechaun and Florida Gator, there are a few bad college mascots on the list.
Here are 15 of the worst college mascots of all time:
- The Stanford Tree – Stanford University
- Wushock, the Wheat Stalk – Wichita State
- Sammy the Slug – UC Santa Cruz
- Fighting Okra – Delta State University
- Fighting Pickle – University of North Carolina School of the Arts
- Speedy the Geoduck – Evergreen State College
- Keggy the Keg – Dartmouth College
- Kernel Cobb – Concordia College
- Artie the Artichoke – Scottsdale Community College
- Big Red – Western Kentucky University
- Battling Bishop – Ohio Wesleyan
- Blue Blob – Xavier University
- Weezy the Boil Weevil – The University of Arkansas at Monticello
- Mortamer McPestle – St. Louis College of Pharmacy
- Temoc, the Comet – University of Texas at Dallas
The Stanford Tree – Stanford University
Stanford is located in Palo Alto, California, a place that is known for their beautiful redwoods. That explains why the school band, not the school, went with this guy as their mascot. The band is pretty serious about their tree. Every year, there’s a formal tryout to see who has what it takes to sport the costume. Stanford won’t be yelling “timber” on this mascot anytime soon, but he still often makes the list of the worst mascots in America.
WuShock – Wichita State
Sorry Dorothy, it looks like we are in Kansas this time around. You can tell by the giant stalk of wheat hyping up the crowd at Wichita State. WuShock, or Wu for short, is inspired by shocking, aka harvesting wheat – a popular pastime in Kansas. It doesn’t sound like much fun, but WuShock was cool enough to be the target of one of Jimmy Fallon’s jokes on “The Tonight Show” so there you go.
Sammy the Slug – UC Santa Cruz
It could be an alien, it could be a rejected Teletubby, but this is Sammy the Slug – a banana slug that’s been UC Santa Cruz’s mascot since 1996. Sammy is slimy, slow, and ugly, but he still has a special place in the hearts of all the students. In fact, they voted in a poll for him to replace the sea lion that used to be their mascot.
Fighting Okra – Delta State University
The Fighting Okra can easily be considered for a list of ugly college mascots. He’s the face of Delta State, and like a lunar eclipse, he only appears at random times around campus. The Okra was conceived in 1987 at a basketball game. Students thought their original mascot wasn’t tough enough and wanted something “mean and green” to represent them. An edible vegetable that is great in casseroles was the obvious choice.
Fighting Pickle – University of North Carolina School of the Arts
The University of North Carolina School of the Arts doesn’t have any sports teams. Their pickle mascot instead came fresh out of the jar as the result of a campus-wide contest in 1972. The student body wanted a mascot to represent their artistic endeavors, which is why the Fighting Pickle carries a paint brush and wears a sweet piano tutu. It should come as no surprise that a student, Dina Perez, is the one who dreamed up this design.
Speedy the Geoduck – Evergreen State College
Geoducks are super weird, slimy creatures that are commonly found in the northwest United States. That explains why this creature serves as Evergreen State College’s mascot. Speedy has thankfully gotten a makeover to look more like a turtle in recent years, but the damage has already been done. He’s repeatedly made worst mascots lists from big names like Time Magazine, Fox Sports, and The Huffington Post.
Keggy the Keg – Dartmouth College
Most colleges try to shut down campus parties, but Dartmouth embraces the ragers! Just take a look at their unofficial mascot – Keggy. The giant silver keg was banned from home games, only to make his triumphant return five years later. Since then, he sometimes makes an appearance around campus during appropriate events, so you know, not when the parents are coming to visit.
Kernel Cobb – Concordia College
Laugh if you will, but Kernel Cobb has over 1,000 followers on Twitter and is a source of pride for the students at Concordia College. That means a corn mascot has more social media friends than you, probably. The Kernel started off as a friendly, approachable guy, but over time something must have popped. In 2006, he transformed into this ferocious beast and there’s nothing corny about him. Fun fact: Cobb also has a little cousin named Niblet and plush toys of him are sold in the bookstore.
Artie the Artichoke – Scottsdale Community College
A personified artichoke has been Scottsdale Community College’s official mascot since 1972. Disgruntled students originally voted on him as their mascot as a joke since they were mad about more of the budget going toward sports than academics. They thought their school deserved a super lame mascot. However, since then this smiling vegetable has become a lovable part of campus and a favorite among fans. He’s even been photographed with NFLer Patrick Peterson of the Arizona Cardinals.
Big Red – Western Kentucky University
Big Red isn’t a wad of bubblegum. He’s the brainchild of creator Ralph Carey, a former student who didn’t want anything too stereotypical to represent Western Kentucky University. As the story goes, he drew a red blob on a piece of paper, brought it to the school’s president, and it was thought of as brilliant. Since then, Big Red has been “The Spirit of the Western” and a huge hit with the students.
Battling Bishop – Ohio Wesleyan
“Battling” and “bishop” are very unusual words to pair together, but that’s been the nickname of Ohio Wesleyan’s teams since 1925. Their mascot, meanwhile, received a makeover in 2010 where he went from having “a jovial grin” to sporting “a more determined expression.” The end result is a man that’s significantly less huggable. Why so serious, Mr. Bishop?
Blue Blob – Xavier University
If Grover from The Muppets let himself go, he’d end up as Blue Blob – the lovable mascot of Xavier University. This big fella replaced a sword-wielding musketeer who was terrifying to children. Now he’s kind of a big deal and a superstar. He’s even had a starring role in two SportsCenter commercials!
Weezy the Boll Weevil – The University of Arkansas at Monticello
The boll weevil is a real creature that feeds on flowers. Weezy, on the other hand feeds off the crowd’s energy as he stands on the sidelines at football games. Tryouts are held every time someone new is needed to dress as Weezy or his gal pal, Blossom. It’s worth the audition, though, as the student receives scholarship money in exchange. Unbollievable!
Mortamer “The Eutectic” McPestle – St. Louis College of Pharmacy
Leave it to pharmacy students to name their mascot after the process of two solids coming together to form a liquid. The furry yellow guy in the lab coat has no connection to his name’s meaning, but he’s always courtside at home basketball and volleyball games. He even has a song! Be a Eutectic! Smack it down, reflect it! Our scary pharmaceutic troll will smash you in his mortar bowl.
Temoc – University of Texas at Dallas
Temoc is what happens when a ninja turtle and Heat Miser from those holiday TV specials have a baby. The bizarre mascot was created in 1998 by an alumnus named Aaron Aryanpur. He’s supposed to be the living embodiment of a comet, which makes sense. “Temoc” is “comet” spelled backward.
While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with these schools, there is something strange about their mascots. They go off the beaten path of being a tiger, eagle, or bear to be something a bit more unusual.
It could be argued, though, that’s what makes them so interesting! These college mascots have their own history and that’s something to be respected. The students love them and share stories about them, even if they are just a giant artichoke or pickle. So there’s really no right list of worst mascots ever. Everyone is great in its own way!
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Wichita State University. WuShock: A True Original. Retrieved September 17, 2019, from https://www.wichita.edu/about/wushock.php
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Evergreen. Speedy, Evergreen’s Geoduck Mascot. Retrieved September 18, 2019, from https://www.evergreen.edu/geoduck
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Scottsdale Community College. History. Retrieved September 18, 2019, from https://www.scottsdalecc.edu/about/history
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Ohio Wesleyan University Battling Bishops. Why Battling Bishops? Retrieved September 19, 2019, from https://battlingbishops.com/sports/2017/1/5/Why%20Battling%20Bishops.aspx
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Raines, B. (2016, February 22). Whether He’s Licking Fans with a Two-Foot Tongue or Swallowing Jackets, Xavier’s Blue Blob is Hard to Miss. Retrieved September 19, 2019, from https://www.si.com/college/2016/02/22/meet-blue-blob-xaviers-goofy-endearing-mascot
Williams, D. (2012, December 26). Meet the Eutectic, St. Louis’ Mystery Mascot. Retrieved September 19, 2019, from https://www.espn.com/blog/playbook/fandom/post/_/id/16149/meet-the-eutectic-st-louis-mystery-mascot
Eutectic Sports. Morty the Eutectic. Retrieved September 19, 2019, from http://www.eutecticsports.com/mascot
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