TCU Horned Frogs mascot cheers against the Wisconsin Badgers during the first half during the 2011 Rose Bowl
Why settle on the standard tiger or lion or bobcat as a mascot? Vermont chose a mascot that encompasses a whole group of wildcats: the Catamounts. We'd give oohs and ahhs for creativity if Western Carolina didn't have the same mascot, so instead we'll simply give props for not discriminating against felines. Bing: See their catamount. | What is its nickname? Find: See photos of the real-life felines.
Marshall Thundering Herd
Marshall may be most famous for a tragic 1970 plane crash that killed 37 members of its football team. But we think their nickname deserves some notice, too. In 1965, students, alumni and faculty voted on Thundering Herd, ruling out other contenders such as Boogercats. Bing: See their Thundering Herd. | What do they call it? Bing: The tragic event and its aftermath were depicted in a 2006 movie (which one?).
Originally the Akron Zippers, the Akron Zips boast one of the only female mascots in collegiate sports. Bing: See a photo of Zippy the kangaroo. Search: What college has a male-female pair of reptilian mascots? See photos.
Wichita State Shockers
While it's much more exciting to think of the Shockers mascot having something to do with high voltage, that's just not the case. In Nebraska they husk corn and in Kansas they shock wheat, or at least Wichita State students did back in 1904 to clear the fields for football games and earn a little cash. Find: What is the odd nickname for their Shockers? | See him posing with a cheerleader. Bing: See photos of Nebraska's Husker mascot.
In 1981, Stanford officially adopted the Cardinal (singular) as its official mascot. And yes, it's a color. The tree that appears at major sporting events is technically a part of the band and represents the large redwood tree, El Palo Alto, that stands in the community surrounding the university. Bing: What was the old mascot? And how tall is that tree? Search: See photos of the bug-eyed tree and the wacky band.
North Texas Mean Green
In 1966, the media dubbed the North Texas defense "Mean Green." North Texas officially adopted Mean Green in lieu of the Eagles in 1968. Coincidentally, North Texas' most notable alumnus, Joe Greene, acquired a similar nickname in 1969 — as a Pittsburgh Steeler in the NFL. Bing: See photos of Mean Green, the North Texas eagle. Find: Watch Mean Joe Greene's classic Coke commercial.
TCU Horned Frogs
While actually a lizard, horned frogs are just 3- to 5-inches long, but can shoot blood out of their eyes, making them intimidating and respected in Native American and Mexican folklore. The Horned Frogs became the mascot of AddRan Christian University in 1897. The school was renamed in 1902, to Texas Christian University, but the Horned Frogs remain the same. Bing: See photos of TCU's horned frog. | What is its nickname? Search: Listen to a horned frog's scream-like "ribbit."
UC Santa Cruz
The Banana Slugs just may be the best mascot in college sports, but they're still one of the strangest. A slimy, shell-less mollusk is hardly quick or tough or fierce, but the UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs are endearing and even triumphed in a 1980s movement to change the mascot to the Sea Lions. Bing: See photos of the slimy creatures and Santa Cruz's surprisingly cute mascot.
The geoduck is a mollusk native to the Pacific Northwest, where Evergreen State is located. The geoduck's somewhat phallic appearance is referenced in the school's Latin motto, Omnia Extares, which translates to "let it all hang out." Bing: See photos of the odd mascot. Search: How do you pronounce geoduck, anyway?
Delta State's official mascot, the Statesman, just wasn't fierce enough for students in the 1980s, who drummed up the now famous Fighting Okra. The Fighting Okra grew so much in popularity that by the mid-1990s students voted to officially make it the unofficial mascot. Now let's just hope they don't run into any black-eyed peas. Bing: See the Fighting Okra and the Statesman together.
University of North Carolina School of Arts
You may think it's odd that a school with no officially-sanctioned athletic teams has a mascot. Well, we do, too. But since they chose one for their rec teams, we need to throw a little love at the Fighting Pickles. Heaven forbid they get sour! Bing: See photos of the Fighting Pickle, complete with artistic touches.
University of Arkansas - Monticello
The ferocious Boll Weevils of University of Arkansas - Monticello are the tiniest of all university mascots, as the boll weevil is a 6mm-long beetle that feeds on, and destroys, cotton plants. In a nice twist of irony, the UAM women's teams are called the Cotton Blossoms. Bing: See photo the insect-like mascot. | How do real boll weevils look?
Grays Harbor College
While the Grays Harbor College men's basketball team has managed only one win a season the past three years, the nickname predates the slang word for losing. The Chokers actually are a reference to wire and rope chokers used in the logging industry, which is prominent near Aberdeen, Wash., where the school is located. However, if their sports programs don't turn it around, they may want to consider a new name. Bing: See photos of the Grays Harbor Choker.
Trinity Christian Trolls
While the legend of the Trinity Troll is a bit uncertain, Trinity College in Illinois is the only school in the country with a troll as a mascot. Bing: See a picture if the troll.