What are the Best College Football Mascots in 2025?

Is there anything more important than the school mascot for choosing a college? Yes. There are at least a hundred much more important things. But there aren’t many things more fun than that.

Your school’s mascot isn’t just an acrobatic freak with scary eyes and a permanent smile. It’s so much more than that. It represents your school, its identity, and its fighting spirit.

If your school has a well-known football team, your mascot can be like a lightning rod and help channel the energy of the crowd.

Even if your school’s team stinks, the mascot is still fun to watch. Mascots are great no matter what. So, to celebrate the college bowl game season, we’re highlighting these strange creatures’ weird, wild, and wonderful work.

So, we highlighted the best college mascots in 2025. Want to know why you need mascots? Interested in becoming a mascot? This article is for you. Let’s dive right in.

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Why do You Need the Best College Mascots?

There are a lot of reasons you need the best college mascots in 2025. Some of the top reasons are-

#1: Get your audience and fans more involved.

Fans cheering can do a lot to boost team spirit and determination. There’s no better way to get fans excited than with a sports mascot.

A good team mascot can get your fans excited and make them cheer for your team the whole game.

Your team’s mascot will keep the crowds interested and entertained with a well-thought-out personality. This gives your players a boost.

#2. More ways to make money

If your sports team has a mascot, it can sell merchandise with the mascot’s image on it. You can send mascots to community events to boost sales and marketing for the sports team.

A custom, the well-thought-out mascot, will give your team the chance to make money through licensing and merchandise. This is a unique way for your sports club to make more money.

#3: Spread the message to your team

Whether you’re a professional team that wants to get to the top or a social sports team. Or do you want to teach adults and kids good values while having fun? A custom mascot can help spread your team’s overall message.

A scary animal like a lion, shark, or warrior could scare your opponents and make your team look like a serious challenger. While a silly monster or caricature could help you connect with the crowd through silly antics and a playful persona.

No matter what kind of mascot you come up with, it will tell a lot about your team and what it stands for. A sports mascot also helps people learn about the team, remember it, and stay loyal to it.

Another reason the best college mascots in 2025 are important is that they-

  • Increase media exposure.
  • Helps make the place a good place for families.
  • Boosts entertainment levels.
  • Mascots are hard to miss because they stand out.
  • A sports mascot will give your sports club a laid-back and fun vibe.

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What is the Cost of the Best College Mascots in 2025?

“How much does a mascot cost?” is the first question most people ask when they want to get a mascot. In general, we like to divide custom mascot pricing into three different categories.

  • Basic mascot costumes- $4,000 – $6,500
  • Common mascot costumes- $6,500 – $10,000
  • Complex mascot costumes- $10,000+

Prices for custom mascots usually range from $4,000 to $10,000 or more. Different levels of customization, building methods, and the cost of materials all play a role in the wide range of mascot prices.

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Are the Best College Mascots in 2025 Worth It?

Definitely. Many people would want to be a mascot just for the perks. But the university gets what it pays for when it comes to how much work they have to do. Every game is a performance, and walking on the beach in a tie-dye maxi dress is nothing like baking in that hot suit.

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Mascots have to move around all the time, talk to the crowd, and perform with the cheerleaders or band. They also have to remember that everyone is watching them the whole time they’re in the suit. Mascots who have done the job say it’s hard, but it’s well worth it.

#1. Big Red

Ralph Carey, a student at Western Kentucky University, offered to make a mascot for the school in 1979. Even though his first sketches showed a bear, Carey decided not to base the mascot on any living thing. Instead, he showed the committee a fuzzy blob.

Somehow, they were able to agree on the design, and Big Red was born. Big Red’s skills depend on the student who wears the costume. But in general, the creature dances a few steps and then makes people laugh with silent comedy. The Big Red is one of the best college football mascots in 2025.

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#2. Otto the Orange.

Otto is a personified orange blob with a blue hat and a great attitude. He doesn’t look like he’s very athletic, but his positive attitude has made him a fan favorite. Even though Otto is well-known today, he had to work hard to get his university status. Otta is one of the best college football mascots in 2025.

At the beginning of the 1980s, the students took things into their own hands. The cheerleading team took on an unofficial member who was a walking orange. Word got around that his squad mates called him Otto. By 1990, everyone on campus knew the name. He is one of the best college mascots in 2025.

The leaders of the university tried to come up with their mascot, and a wolf and a lion were among the finalists, but the students didn’t like them. Otto already had too many fans. In 1995, Otto, who was then 17 years old, finally got university approval and became the official mascot of the Syracuse Orange.

#3. The Stanford Tree

Depending on who you ask, the Stanford Tree is either one of the best or one of the worst college sports mascots. It is one of the best college football mascots in 2025. We’re big fans of it. The Tree might never win a beauty contest, and it has been acting badly for a long time. Still, the Tree is a common sight at Stanford sporting events and shows how unique the school is.

Like many other schools, Stanford had a Native American mascot named Prince Lightfoot. From 1951 to 1972, Yurok Nation member Timm Williams played the part of Prince Lightfoot. In the 1970s, Stanford stopped calling its team the Indians, and for the next ten years, people tried to come up with a new name.

In the years that followed, the strange and gangly mascot became known for changing its costume every year. It had a long history of fighting and tension with Oski the Bear.

#4. The Oregon Ducks

If you think Oregon’s mascot looks just like Donald Duck, that’s not a mistake. It’s Donald Duck. But the story of how the Oregon Duck came to start a long time and a long way back. It is also one of the best college football mascots in 2025.

Athletes at the University of Oregon were unofficially called “the Ducks.” A student vote in 1932 made it official. So, a real duck named First Puddles came to be the team’s mascot. In just a few years, cartoons of Puddles started to look more and more like other famous cartoon ducks.

By 1947, they told Walt Disney about the theft. Leo Harris, who was in charge of sports at Oregon, knew a Disney cartoonist. He used this connection to get Walt Disney to sign a handshake deal letting him use an image that was otherwise protected by a trademark.

In 1978, when the students got the chance to change their mascot to a new character named Mallard Drake, they chose to keep Donald instead. The state animal of Oregon is a free duck.

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#5. Sam the Minuteman

Even though we don’t know a lot about his early life, the mascot for the University of Massachusetts, Amherst may have the squarest jaw. Even though that may not be enough to put him here, the veteran has a winning smile. He has placed in the top ten at the Mascot Nationals of the National Cheerleading Association for the last four years in a row.

Sam has been a regular at sports games, on campus, and in the wider community since the 1970s. But it wasn’t until the early 2000s that he rode a wave of fame that brought him more national attention.

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The minuteman with the three-cornered hat had a great year in 2005. He came in second place in the Capital One Mascot of the Year competition. He has also named Playboy’s Mascot of the Month for October. Sam is one of the best college football mascots in 2025.

#6. Herbie Husker

In 1974, Herbie Husker got introduced as a farmer who wore overalls and had a big ear of corn sticking out of his pocket. Herbie has been a part of the University of Nebraska for longer than any other mascot. This makes making him a unique sight at Cornhusker football games.

Herbie came before a bunch of scary discarded husks like Corncob Man (1955–1962), and Mr. Cornhead (the mid-1960s). And Huskie the Husker, a gangly papier-maché monster (1962-1970). Early cartoons of Herbie show him as a friendly hayseed. Early versions of the live mascot costume make him look like a literal night terror. This is probably why, in 1993, the university made Lil’ Red, a sort of inflatable sidekick that kids could play with.

Herbie underwent modernization in 2003. The result was a picture of a Nebraskan farmer that was more muscular and up-to-date. Herbie won the Capital One Mascot of the Year Competition in 2005. He is one of the best college football mascots in 2025.

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#7. Big Al

Big Al should be here even if it’s just because he’s a guy in an elephant suit. There just aren’t that many believable elephant mascots that look like people. Big Al’s first game was the 1980 Sugar Bowl, but it was an event planned for 50 years. He is one of the best college mascots in 2025. 

Over the next few decades, the elephant became a big part of marketing and merchandise for the so-called Red Elephants. In the 1940s, a real elephant named Elamite, which belonged to the university, would even show up at games. In the 1950s, when the costs of keeping the elephants were too high, the school started renting elephants from local circuses instead.

While, in the 1960s, a student named Melford Espey, Jr. dressed up as an elephant and took the place of the real one. By the end of the 1970s, Espey was running a college. Then, legendary Alabama coach Paul “Bear” Bryant came up to him and asked him to bring the mascot back in an official way.

In 1979, the school asked Walt Disney for help with the design after seeing Western Kentucky University’s Big Red. He agreed, and after they met, he famously asked Coach Bryant for his autograph.

This is how Big Al started his reign at Bryant Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, which lasted for more than 40 years. Big Al is one of the best college football mascots in 2025.

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#8. Keggy the Keg

Keggy the Keg, Dartmouth’s unofficial mascot, is probably not the first thing that comes to mind.

Equaly, Keggy is the school’s mascot, and the Dartmouth students have welcomed the mascot with open arms.

The school’s administration, on the other hand, has good reason not to accept Keggy as an ambassador. Keggy is one of the best college football mascots in 2025.

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#9. Brutus the Buckeye

Brutus, the anthropomorphic buckeye nut, is one of the most unusual mascots. When Ohio State University students convinced the athletic council that they needed a mascot in 1965, Brutus made his first appearance. He has gone to become one of the best college football mascots in 2025.

Even though it was cool to have a live mascot at the time, the council chose the buckeye to honor the state tree of Ohio. Male and female students performed in the mascot costume.

Brutus has become popular on the sidelines for his athletic shows, which often include gymnastics. Considering how big Brutus’ head was, it was a pretty big deal.

#10. Ralphie the Buffalo

Ralphie, a real buffalo who works for the University of Colorado, is in tenth place. The buffalo is the best college football mascots in 2025. Ralphie VI and the five buffalo got used as mascots before her and are both females.

Even though they are often thought to be male. Ralphie I got to the university in 1966, but buffalo had been going there for about 30 years before that.

She quickly became one of the most well-known college sports mascots because of the way she ran across the park to lead the Colorado football players to the field.

Ralphie’s runs can only get stopped by five handlers, and they only happen if she is in a good mood before the game.

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How to Become a Mascot?

Step 1

Go to a game where the team’s mascot is doing a show. Check out what the mascot should do, like flips, dunks, skits, dancing, or just standing still for pictures. Check to see what kind of “personality” the performer should show. Watch how the mascot interacts with the crowd, the cheerleaders, the band, and the promotions on the field.

Step 2

Ask the person in charge of the audition what he or she wants from the mascot. Find out what the advisor thinks can change about the current mascot.

Step 3

Practice the skills you’ll need to show at the audition. Some may want you to dance. Others may want to do certain things with their bodies. A prepared skit, dance, or cheer with the cheerleaders, or even being part of a pyramid, may be necessary.

Try to find a full-length mirror so you can see how your gestures look as you practice. Putting your practices on video can also help. Think about how the costume would make you feel. Use these feelings to help you create a character for your audition.

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Step 4

Skit Development. Come up with a theme that you’re comfortable with and that fits the character of the costume.

For instance, a ripped Spartan probably wouldn’t dance ballet to Swan Lake, and a soft teddy bear probably wouldn’t wrestle a dummy. Choose music that you think will work well with the character.

Clint Black is not a good choice for your character if he or she wears hip-hop clothes. Choose dance moves or physical tricks that you’re good at and practice them until you can do them perfectly.

Look out for new movies, TV shows, and news stories that you could use in your skits. Be careful not to cross any lines that could cause trouble!

Step 5

The Interview: Some schools like to know what goals and interests the performer has. Some mascots get played by “teams” of people, depending on the size of the school and how well-known the character is.

Others are just for one person. Some mascots are usually the main attraction at every game, while others stay out of the way.

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Step 6

Be positive! Even if you don’t cut, be ready to have fun. Show the judges that this opportunity is fun, great, and something you want to be a part of!

Step 7

Keep your cool if you didn’t get the part. Remember that the impression you make on your first tryout may not get you a job. But it could show judges that you are a future talent in the making.

Think about joining a team that helps the mascot and learn how to improve your skills with the current mascot for next year.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is it fun to act as a mascot?

Most of the time, mascots are just a fun and high-energy way to add life, excitement, and silly entertainment to any event. To wear a mascot costume and be a good mascot, you need to know some basic things. That’s why there are a lot of best college mascots in 2025. 

How does it feel to work as a mascot?

Expectations are false. The life of a mascot has a lot of weight, responsibility, and expectations, just like most things. Even though these guys look funny and should be happy all the time, people can turn on them quickly if something goes wrong.

Is it hard to breathe when you’re dressed as a mascot?

No. The main purpose of a mascot costume’s ventilation is to get old air out of the head and bring in fresh air from the outside. This is just not possible without a ventilation fan. If there is no way for fresh air to get into the costume, your mascot performer will have a harder time breathing.

Do mascots get paid in college?

Many schools with big sports teams pay for their mascots by giving them scholarships. The best students can get all of their college costs paid for. Also, there are benefits to being a part of a well-known sports team.

Who makes the most money as a mascot?

Denver Nuggets’ Rocky. Sapling says that the NBA’s Rocky is the most well-paid mascot in professional sports. With a salary of $625,000, he makes more than 10 times the average salary for a mascot of a professional sports team.

Can mascots talk?

No. The fact that most mascots don’t talk is something they all have in common. This has over one use. First, it lets you stay in character and do a physical performance without using words. Second, when you wear a mascot costume, your voice is heavily muffled, making it hard to hear you.

Conclusion

Some of the best team mascots in the world can be usually found in college football. These cute characters have become the faces of our favorite teams.

We hope this article has helped you with the best college football mascots in 2025.

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References

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