10) UC Santa Barbara's Olé the Gaucho
No. Go to hell.
9) UC Berkeley's Oski the Bear
This is not a mascot. This is a disguise for a serial killer. I can't even decide what aspect of Oski is the most disturbing. The thin gloves? The regular, everyday pants and shoes? The all-too-perfectly-curved grin? The fact that the jewel in the crown of the University of California is represented by a pudgy, besweatered Winnie the Pooh ripoff?
8) UC San Francisco's Nonexistent Bear
Best as I can tell, UCSF does not have a costumed mascot. Before falling down this rabbit hole, I would've assumed that this would put them squarely at the bottom, but instead they get to be the pivot point from actively terrible to merely boring. Congratulations!
7) UCLA's Joe and Josephine Bruin
Snooze. Mascots shouldn't be made out of the same material as the slipcover on my mom's couch. Their noses look like Brillo pads. And why are there two of them?
6) UC Riverside's Scotty Highlander
THIS is more like it. Crazy eyes, great fur, and a goddamn Scottish tam on his head! If bears weren't such a boring mascot choice, this would easily have made the top 5. We get it, California, you're bear country.
5) UC Davis's Gunrock the Mustang
Not bad at all. Do you think the guy inside looks out of the mouth or the eyes?
4) UC Santa Cruz's Sammy the Slug
It's getting weird now. And I like it! Sammy gets docked a few slots because it looks like he's wearing a sweatshirt under his jersey that just happens to be the exact color of his skin. If I'm not allowed to do that, neither should he. Also, while his mouth says "Go Slugs" his eyes clearly say "I Ate Too Many Shrooms".
3) UC Merced's Rufus the Bobcat
Classic. Nice detailing with the whiskers and the ear tufts. Solid ferocious sneer. Well done.
2) UC San Diego's King Triton
Sure, their mascot is literally Ariel's dad from The Little Mermaid with more clothes, but who cares? That beard! The fake muscles! The matching cuffs and crown! The coal black eyes and the sinister grin! There's nothing not to like.
1) UC Irvine's Peter the Anteater
Bravo, Irvine, you killed it.