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Countdown to Kickoff (66): Which BYU football opponent has the best mascot?

Yeah, I’m gonna take my horse to the old town road. I’m gonna ride ‘til I can’t no more.

NCAA Football: Arkansas State at Southern California Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve been able to cover a lot of important topics on our Countdown to Kickoff, but today we touch on something might be the most pertinent of all. Something that separates the elite schools from the dregs of meaninglessness in the world of football. Something that everyone cares about very much, even little children.

Today, we talk about mascots.

BYU’s independent schedule affords them the opportunity to face many different dogs, warriors and birds, and this year is no different. Let’s take a look at which mascots are most impressive in our comprehensive rankings.


12) Liberty - Sparky the Eagle

Sorry Sparky. Anything having to do with Jerry Falwell Jr gets an automatic dead-last position in every ranking. Those are the rules and I stand by them forever.

11) Boise State - Buster Bronco

If Buster Bronco was a human, he would chew with his mouth open and have a creepy mustache. ALSO, Buster is the name of Western Michigan’s mascot as well.

10) Utah - Swoop

Their nickname is the Utes and they have a bird for a mascot. Why not just go by Utah Birds? Most Utah graduates are flighty and poop where they are not supposed to.

9) Utah State - Big Blue

Have you seen what an actual blue bull looks like? They exist and are terrifying but they are not actually blue. CU doesn’t paint their buffalo gold and Texas doesn’t paint Bevo orange so why the hell is this bull painted blue?

8) USF - Rocky the Bull

At least this bull is gray, which is a color of bull that people have seen before. His horns are gold though so we have to knock him down a few notches.

7) Tennessee - Smokey & the Volunteer

Smokey should probably he ranked higher on this list but he looks like one of those dogs that whines all night long.

6) San Diego State - Aztec Warrior

The SDSU student union recently voted to get rid of the Aztec warrior mascot because of cultural sensitivities, which is a surprise because I thought their mascot wore a white shirt, tie and a bike helmet.

5) UMass - Sam the Minuteman

Sam looks like he’s about 17 feet tall and would be super fun at parties, probably because he throws down a few Boston Ales before each game.

4) Idaho State - Benny the Bengal

There isn’t a whole lot to cheer about in Pocatello but Benny the Bengal seems like he can really get the crowd fired up.

3) Toledo - Rocky

This was the only mascot that I had never seen a photo of before this post. I’m not sure what I was expecting but Rocky the rocket man is perfect. He’s in a space suit with a giant helmet. If we were to judge based on originality this would be numbero uno.

2) Washington - Dubs & Harry

I’m a sucker for a true live mascot and both of these pups look like very good boys.

1) USC - Tommy Trojan & Traveler

I went to a USC football game in 2013, not expecting much but I came away with the understanding that 1) Trojan fans can probably out-drink anyone west of the Mississippi and 2) Tommy Trojan & Traveler are so damn cool. It’s not really about how they look but more the fact that it’s a dude swinging a sword while riding around on a majestic horse. ALSO, the original costume for Tommy was the same getup that Charlton Heston wore in Ben-Hur. I mean come on.