College is one of the most memorable times in a person’s life, largely due to being surrounded by fresh-thinking, eager students, and a strong camaraderie (and sometimes the lure of cheap beer). Colleges and universities look to capitalize on these feelings by generating school spirit, an abstract concept often summed up and brought out by a college mascot. Some college mascots look intimidating on the field or court, such as the Florida Gators or the Michigan Spartans. And then some don’t. Some are weird, funky, or just plain bizarre college mascots.
In this list, we picked our favorite bizarre and outlandish college mascots from across the United States. Some of them were student jokes which caught on, such as the huge beer keg at Dartmouth known affectionately known as Keggy the Keg. Some were student protests at overly rigid or corrupt university administrations. Some were failed attempts at ferociousness, such as the University of Oregon’s Duck Vader. And some were just brilliantly bizarre – check out #11 or #2 to find particularly good examples of these. From stirring up the crowd to representing their college around the state and country, see if your school made the list of the 25 Most Bizarre and Outlandish College Mascots.
Keggy the Keg
Dartmouth may be an Ivy League school, but that doesn’t stop its students from having some fun. Though the school doesn’t have an official mascot, it’s unofficial representative Keggy the Keg often shows up to sporting events and is embraced by the student body.
The Boll Weevil
Ever hear of a boll weevil? It’s an insect that feeds on cotton buds and flowers and completely decimated U.S. cotton production in the 1920’s. The University of Arkansas at Monticello chose the ravenous beetle with a droopy Squidward nose as its rough-and-tough mascot.
We all known cayenne pepper gives food a kick, and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette has elevated the fiery spice to represent its Ragin’ Cajuns. An anthropomorphic cayenne pepper, Cayenne has flame-ridden arms and a rust red complexion.
The Stanford Tree
Wherever the marching band goes, so goes The Stanford Tree. A competition is held annually where students design tree costumes then perform stunts. Whoever takes top spot gets the honor of representing the team for the next year, rickety homemade tree costume and all.
Known for its pot-smoking, laid-back lifestyle, the New College of Florida has one of strangest college mascots on our list – or not. When designing the college, administrators didn’t have a mascot so they left the space blank, represented by empty brackets – [ ] – in the constitution. Almost sixty years later and the mascot has become known as Empty Set or [ ].