Getting help ranking the Big Ten mascots

·2 min read

I’ve never really cared about mascots. I was always more interested in what was taking place on the field than the guy in a knockoff Disney World costume telling me to get fired up for the defense or doing pushups after every score. I’m trying to watch a football game. Could you please stop trying to distract me? I don’t want to have to focus on two things at once, so I simply never paid attention as a result.

So when I decided to rank the Big Ten mascots, I knew I needed help. There’s only one person I could turn to, and that person… is my wife. She’s never seen or heard of most of the mascots, so these rankings are her initial impressions. One thing is clear, college football fans place a lot of emphasis on tradition when it comes to our mascots because, without that knowledge or understanding of that tradition, we get a very different list.

Buckle up Big Ten fans. Things are about to get interesting.

Michigan

Michigan does not have a mascot.

Michael Allio-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana

Indiana does not have a mascot.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois

Illinois has not had a mascot since 2007.

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Nittany Lion (Penn State)

My wife’s thoughts: The costume is boring.

Nittany Lion
Nittany Lion

© Dan Rainville / USA TODAY NETWORK

Purdue Pete

My wife’s thoughts: He looks like a lawn gnome without a beard.

(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Ohio State (Brutus Buckeye)

My wife’s thoughts: He has crazy eyes

Brutus Buckeye
Brutus Buckeye

© Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

Herky the Hawk (Iowa)

My wife’s thoughts: I don’t understand why he has to be so mean.

(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)

Scarlett Knight (Rutgers)

My wife’s thoughts: I like the concept of a knight but the costume could look a little better.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Willie the Wildcat (Northwestern)

My wife’s thoughts: He is what he is without any extra pizzazz

Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

Goldy Gopher (Minnesota)

My wife’s thoughts: He’s got a cute face

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Bucky Badger (Wisconsin)

My wife’s thoughts: He’s creepy but it screams Wisconsin (Editor’s note: I have no idea what that means)

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Herbie Huskers (Nebraska)

My wife’s thoughts: He looks like a guy you’d want to spend time with. (Editor’s Note: I think that’s a good thing)

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Sparty (Michigan State)

My wife’s thoughts: He’s very rugged

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Testudo (Maryland)

My wife’s thoughts: He’s a cute bird… what… he’s a turtle… that’s even better… I like turtles

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

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