Tigers, lions, bears, and birds of prey are among the most popular college football mascots.
Conventional wisdom dictates that a good college mascot should evoke strength and power, but some schools defy traditional thought. Many smaller or lesser-known programs seem to find traditional mascots rather passe, and eschew the conventional in favor of the interesting, amusing, bizarre, and sometimes just plain weird.
25) Rowan University. The Rowan Profs (that's short for Professors) are represented field-side by an owl named Whoo RU. While the owl itself is not an intriguing mascot, you have to give Rowan credit for the naming pun, which comes with a dash of irony, seeing as they are the Professors.
24) University of Texas at El Paso. The Miners' mascot, Paydirt Pete, looks like Woody from "Toy Story" hung out with Burt Reynolds for a little too long. Watch him with the Miners.
23) West Virginia University. The Mountaineers' mascot is not merely a furry facsimile of a mountaineer, but is an actual human dressed up in full Mountaineer regalia, including the coon-skinned hat and rifle. Points for keeping it real.
22) University of Akron. Zippy the Kangaroo makes me wonder why we don't see more marsupials on the sidelines on Saturdays.
21) Youngstown State University. Who doesn't like Penguins? Pete and Penny wear their natural tuxedos, giving Youngstown State a unique representation on the field.
18) Texas Tech University. The Red Raiders are led onto the field by the Masked Rider, a Zorro-like character who goes above and beyond the typical cowboy mascot.
17) University of Arkansas at Monticello. This satellite school is represented at football games by a Boll Weevil. A beetle that feeds on cotton buds? Yes, and what makes this even better is the fact that the school calls its women's sports teams the Cotton Blossoms. I love it.
16) University of Louisiana at Lafayette. The Ragin Cajuns' mascot is Cayenne, a giant, walking cayenne pepper. Because, of course, it is. And, no foosball is not the devil, Bobby.
15) The Ohio State University. Brutus Buckeye taunts opponents like only a real nut can.
14) Texas Christian University. Superfrog is the official mascot of the TCU Horned Frogs and reminds me of the often overlooked viciousness of Battletoads.
13) University of Hawaii. The Warriors bring one of the most interesting game-day traditions to the field when Vili the Warrior breaks out in the "haka" chant, leading the team in a prolific show of pride, unity, and opponent intimidation.
11) Western Kentucky University. The Hilltoppers' Big Red mascot isn't really any particular creature. It's a giant walking blob of red that kind of resembles Grimace of McDonald's fame. It sure is different.
10) Stanford University. The Cardinal are represented by a tree, oddly enough. Every time I see the Stanford Tree, I think to myself, "Didn't I see you in the "Wizard of Oz," or was it Mortal Kombat 2?"
9) Syracuse University. What's big, round and orange? Otto the Orange, ladies and gentlemen.
8) University of Montana. Bears are a common mascot, but Monte rides a chromed-out Harley and that is something you won't see at Cal or Baylor.
7) Ohio Wesleyan University. The Battling Bishop is ready to engage in a holy war. Amusing and bizarre, indeed.
6) Notre Dame. The Notre Dame Leprechaun representing the Fighting Irish speaks for itself.
5) Whittier College. Johnny Poet proves that the fountain pen is mightier than the sword. Or does he?
4) Campbell University. This Baptist college is toeing a fine line by calling its sports teams the Fighting Camels.
3) Delta State University. The Fighting Okra is unique enough but outfitting him with boxing gloves, a mean scowl, and bushy eyebrows make for one of the most amusing mascots in college football.
1) Dartmouth College. Keggy the Keg might be the unofficial mascot at this Ivy League school, but the keg stands alone as the most unique, albeit bro-tastic, mascot in all of college football.
The author is a lifelong fan of the LSU Tigers.