6 Eccentric Mascots and What They Teach Us About Their Schools

Bears, lions, roosters, tigers, owls, ospreys, mythological creatures — they’re not that outrageous when compared to our list of college mascots that are both idiosyncratic and awesome. You see, a lot can be gleaned about a college by just looking at its official mascot.

1. Otto the Orange

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Image courtesy of SyracuseU

You would think Otto the Orange is Syracuse University’s mascot because of a love of all things citrus, but in fact Otto came to be because the university’s previous mascot, The Saltine Warrior, was deemed offensive by the school’s American Indian students.

Since then, the school’s NCAA division basketball team garners top honors, and the private medium-sized university is a source of pride for upstate New York’s orangemen and women.

2. Cayenne

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Image courtesy of TotalProSports

Geaux, Ragin’ Cajuns! Considering cayenne pepper is an essential ingredient for cajun seasoning, it’s appropriate that a hot pepper is University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s mascot. It’s still funny. And it should make you hungry for some Jambalaya while you tailgate for a game next to the Cajundome.

While not only adding spice to life, UL Lafayette is one of the more affordable state-funded schools, and its renowned engineering and nursing programs have excellent after-college job placement rates.

3. The Fighting Pickle

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Image courtesy of UNCSA

North Carolina School of the Arts has a pickle with a mustache as its official mascot. The Fighting Pickle, an anthropomorphic French pickle artist, sports a paintbrush to rouse the fans (even though the school has no official athletic team).

The unique mascot says a lot about the small school’s influential character, since it is home to a flourishing fine arts cohort, many of whom have gone on to find success in cinema arts, theater, dance, and music.

4. WuShock

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Image courtesy of UOL Esporte

At the turn of the century, Wichita State University received its “shock of wheat” mascot because players would make extra money harvesting wheat during the off season. First called the Shockers, the name has since evolved into WuShock — a brightly yellowed figure who has a surprisingly menacing face for a stalk of wheat.

Listed by Forbes as one of America’s best colleges, WSU is the only urban university in Kansas. Graduates earn on average $42,000 in entry-level positions, considerably more than those early athletes from 1904.

5. The Stanford Tree

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Image courtesy of The Mirador

Gee, I’m a tree. But who’s complaining? Originally outfitted as the school’s marching band icon, The Stanford Tree is the official unofficial mascot for Stanford University, appearing at football and basketball games, and has been the unfortunate target for pranksters, notably Stanford’s rival UC Berkeley.

6. Sue E. Pig

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Image courtesy of Sara Hays

Just say her name aloud a few times and it becomes obvious she is the weirdest pig in college sports. Sue E. Pig is the female counterpart to University of Arkansas’s male mascot the Razorback hog. Her apple red coloring is a far cry from the pink hue of Miss Piggy.

UA is a great school for undergraduate professions, and its proximity to the Ozarks make it an optimal choice for nature lovers. By the way, the school’s rallying cry “Woooooooo, Pig! Sooie! Woooooooo, Pig! Sooie! Woooooooo, Pig! Sooie!” is trademarked.