Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


College Mascots vs. What I think they Should be

Roll Tide? Go Vols?

Go gamecocks? Go tigers? Whether fierce or a little quirky, every school has their own beloved mascot. A college mascot serves to embody the spirit of the school and uplift the spirits of the students. Mascots help tie together communities of students, families, and fans. Every mascot came about for a reason, but some seem to be a little out-dated or just did not fit the school’s vibe, so I am offering new suggestions. These are all just my opinion– every mascot is great as is!


  1. Appalachian State University- eastern elkAppalachian State University / Employment

Eastern Elk Calling Championships | Great American Outdoor Show

App State, located in Boone, North Carolina is a super spirited school surrounded by gorgeous streams, mountains, and wildlife. App State adopted their current mascot, a Mountaineer, in 1942. The mountaineer symbolizes the history and adventurous nature of the university and its students. However, I think their mascot should be an eastern elk. The eastern elk is native to the Appalachian region and became extinct in the late 19th century. It is a big and powerful, yet peaceful animal which symbolizes the connection between man and nature. An eastern elk would be a great mascot for Appalachian State because it represents the power and unity of the students and their tie to nature. The giant antlers would also be a great logo for the university.


University of Tennessee Knoxville- smokey mountain lions

University of Tennessee's new mascot Smokey XI ready step inResearcher tracks clues on mountain lion sightings in Great Smoky Mountains National Park | Virginia Tech News | Virginia Tech

The University of Tennessee has a blue tick hound dog named Smokey as one of its mascots while also being nicknamed “the volunteers.” The university adopted this nickname because many Tennessee residents volunteered to help fight in the War of 1812 and the Mexican-American War. They adopted the nickname as a tribute to the volunteers. The blue tick hound dog, on the other hand, was chosen as a mascot in the mid 20th century when the university needed a live mascot to represent spirit at the football games. While being nicknamed “the volunteers” is fitting and respectful, I think their animal mascot should be a smokey mountain lion instead of a hound dog. A smokey mountain lion would symbolize the wildlife and region of the smokey mountains in Tennessee. Mountain lions are fierce, intimidating, and versatile, representing the power and strength of the students to adjust to change around them. Smokey is still super cute, though.


University of Alabama- the rhinosImage result for free clip art ALabama elephant | Alabama crimson tide, Alabama crimson tide logo, Crimson tide mascot

There was some disagreements on this idea, but I still stand on it. The university of Alabama’s mascot is an elephant. This mascot choice makes sense regarding the football team being powerful and strong like elephants, but I do not think of elephants as being forceful and intimidating like SEC football players. I think Alabama’s mascot should be a rhino instead because rhinos are much more intimidating and scary to see barreling towards you… actually, an elephant would also be scary barreling towards you, but still. I think of elephants as being gentle giants, whereas rhinos are aggressive and strong animals. Also, if the mascot was changed to a rhino, there would be no change in the chant or slogan since it says nothing about elephants anyway.


College of Charleston- sandpiperThe Western Sandpiper – Nocs Provisions

Clyde the Cougar | Mascot Hall of Fame

Okay, I understand that a sandpiper is not the most fierce or intimidating mascot, but it is a great symbol for Charleston. College of Charleston’s current mascot is a cougar, representing agility and speed. Charleston cougars flows off the tongue nicely, but it feels a little basic and I have never seen a cougar around Charleston. Sandpipers, however, are seen all over Charleston beaches and would make a very unique mascot. Sandpipers quickly scurry along the shoreline, representing the mindfulness of College of Charleston students and their ability to adjust to the constantly changing city. Sandpipers also travel in flocks, representing the connectedness and community of Charleston students and residents.


University of Tampa- tarponsFISHING GIANT TARPON OF TAMPA BAY | PELAGIC Fishing Gear

Tampa Spartans - YouTube

The University of Tampa’s mascot is a spartan warrior, chosen to represent strength and courage. The Tampa Spartans does not really flow nicely, so I think their mascot should be the Tampa tarpons instead. Having the tarpons be the University of Tampa’s mascot would offer local relevance considering that there are many tarpons located in the Tampa Bay waters. Tarpons are also known to be powerful fighters, making a great mascot for an athletic and competitive school sports team. A tarpon is a unique mascot and very fitting for a school near the water.

Harvard University- phoenixHarvard University - Phoenix Wall Art Phoenix Rising From the Ashes of Flame Canvas Wall Art Poster Prints Phoenix Bird Decor Chinese Dragon Picture Artwork Home Bedroom Living Room Decoration - 12x18 inch: Posters

Harvard University is known for its color, crimson, instead of an animal or historical figure because the university has never adopted an official mascot for its sports teams. What mascot could live up to Harvard’s standards other than a phoenix? A phoenix is a mythological bird from Ancient Greek, Egyptian, and Chinese mythology. The phoenix is giant and majestic and it is known to be reborn from its own ashes, ultimately being immortal. Having a phoenix as Harvard University’s mascot would symbolize the resilience and determination of its students and the immortality of the school and its strong reputation. The phoenix has a cycle of death and rebirth which could also symbolize the students’ ability to overcome challenges and face adversity.



Stanford University- red cardinalStanford Tree: Stanford's Unofficial Mascot ExplainedA Northern Cardinal in North Austin

Stanford University does not have an official sports team mascot, but the school unofficially adopted the “Stanford Tree” as its symbol. While the tree is quirky and unique, it is not very fierce and just does not suit as a mascot very well. Instead, I think Stanford’s mascot should be a red cardinal. A red cardinal is independent and associated with leadership which would fit Stanford well to represent the high academic excellence and leadership of the students at Stanford University. A red cardinal also has a great visual appeal as a mascot for a university because of its bright red color. The red cardinal would be an easily recognizable and iconic mascot for Stanford University since its school color is already red.


Every current mascot of each of these schools is fitting for its own reasons and is a crucial part of the school’s spirit. Feel free to leave your own ideas or arguments in the comments and comment if you want to make suggestions for a second part of this article.

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