Everything is big in Texas, especially their University system. Texas has numerous public and private institutions in its borders, and according to their website 45 Public Universities. Someday, we'll get around to ranking the rest of Texas' mascots but for now, I'm keeping with Dan's criteria, and only going with schools that begin with "University of Texas". Let's Go!
#10 UT of the Permian Basin Falcons
Before you say anything, I am aware that the giant steel falcon welded onto the 10 ton rock above isn't a mascot. That's because UT of the Permian Basin doesn't have a mascot. Normally this would disqualify them, but a fucking steel mascot on a goddamn 10 ton rock is crazy as shit, and frankly too frightening to not include. In the past year, they've added a football program, and many think that a traditional mascot isn't far behind. But until then, they have this giant-ass steel bird of prey to guide them to victory.
#9 UT Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros
Once again, you're thinking, "Marc. What the hell? Do NONE of these schools have a mascot? Why are the Vaqueros even being included if they don't even have a mascot?" You really want to know why? BECAUSE THEY KILLED TWO MASCOTS. LIKE TWO MASCOTS DON'T EVEN EXIST ANYMORE. UTRGV was actually only founded in 2013, and when it was founded it absorbed two separate colleges. It gained both of those colleges histories as well as their sports programs. The college President, Guy Bailey, asked students to come up with a new color scheme and mascot. A committee of students came back to him with a complete list full of names for him to choose. So naturally HE MADE UP HIS OWN FUCKING OPTION AND IGNORED ALL OF THEIR IDEAS. Don't worry, that's because when students were polled about their options, the overwhelming winner was "NONE OF THE ABOVE" with 45% of the vote. So President Bailey just made up his own option and color scheme and selected it. Don't worry, Latinos are pissed because it plays on a stereotype, women are pissed because of the gendered ending, and white people are pissed because it doesn't include them. Hooray.
You still might be wondering how the Vaqueros could possibly have a ranking higher than UT Permian-Basin even when they don't have ANY physical representation. That's because the Vaqueros KILLED TWO OTHER MASCOTS. What could possibly be more Texas than that?
#8 UT at Tyler Patriot's "Swoop"
As far as I can tell, there is no single definitive Swoop. The only thing I can say as that I'm glad that the original eagle (shown above in all of its black and white terror) is dead. Or at least biding its time. Since then, UT Tyler has been using the latter mascots pretty interchangeably. The first one has really fucked up eyes. Like, he's having a seizure and his eyes are rolling into his head. The other has all black, beady eyes. Eagles don't have those kinds of eyes, unless they're specifically the White-Bellied Sea Eagle which is native only to Australia, and not Texas.
Way to fuck up, Tyler.
#7 RIP UT-Pan American Bronc's "Bucky the Bronc"
Our first UTRGV victim is "Bucky the Bronc". As you can tell, he is a stand up guy. His name is based on the local way to say Bronco. And as of 2015, he even is a college graduate. Says Bucky of this experience, “I’ve congratulated over 81,000 graduates and I’m really excited to be a graduate, too. I’m very excited for this next chapter in the university’s history and I am so proud to have brought spirit to the campus for the past 88 years." If Bucky is such a cool guy, then why is he so low on this list? Because the people who love him are kinda crazy.
Don't believe me? Check out the 3,887 signatures on his Change.Org petition to keep the mascot. Watch the protest with over 300 students marching. Or go to the "SAVE BUCKY" Facebook page, and read the comments from its 3,632 members. These are people who have taken their voices to radio, TV, and even made a Freedom-of-Information Act request to find the "truth" about Bucky's death. Undoubtably they will keep wearing Bucky gear for years to come, even as the Vaqueros ride victoriously into the sunset. Rest in Peace, Bucky.
#6 UT at Arlington Mavericks "Blaze"
Blaze is everything a horse mascot should be. The white fur pops with the blue background. But perhaps the thing that makes him more impressive than Bucky, is that Blaze took the old UT-Arlington mascot and won. Unlike the UTGRV situation, Blaze prevailed in a student vote, and the mascot he beat, Sam Maverick, is based on Samuel Maverick, famous Texan and all around badass. Samuel Maverick is the person responsible for the phrase "Maverick" when he refused to brand his cattle, and was dubbed a "Maverick." Maverick went to Yale, ran a gold mine, voted for succession from the USA multiple times, was imprisoned by Mexico, became a land baron, and was the Mayor of San Antonio, twice. His grandson also coined the term "gobbledygook".
Sam Maverick was an old school Texan and represented a lot of the things Texans still take pride in. However, Sam Maverick owned slaves, and in 2007 his mascot was replaced by Blaze, that majestic slave-owner killing horse with clouds for fur.
#5 RIP UT at Brownsville Ocelots "Ozzie"
Yes! Yes! Yes! Before we get into Ozzie's tragic death, and the politics surrounding it, let's just take a moment to realize and know that for two short years there was at least one ocelot as a mascot in the world. That's right, Ozzie was only a mascot for two years (see above to watch it be euthanized). The Ocelot is one of the cooler cats in the world, and a much more original cat to have as a mascot than a wildcat or tiger. It gets points for originality. However, its two year lifespan does drive it down this list.
Why does this deceased mascot deserve to be higher on the list than Bucky the Bronc? Because Ozzie ALSO graduated college, but did it at the age of two. Also, when UTPA students were pulling for Bucky to be the new mascot of UTRGV, Ozzie wouldn't go down without a fight, and ended up pulling Bucky down with him. At the age of two, this ocelot graduated college and took down a full grown horse. Awesome.
#4 UT at San Antonio Roadrunners "Rowdy"
More awesome originality. And this mascot is STILL ALIVE! The roadrunner is such a no-brainer for a mascot from the Southwest that I'm surprised that more schools don't have one. And its practical. IT RUNS! Rowdy leads the football team into every home game. IT ROADS! Check out Rowdy tailgating with all of the UTSA cheerleaders. Again, this is an original bird. Not a hawk, not an eagle, not a falcon. A roadrunner. Rowdy is a great mascot, and controversy free!
#3 UT at El Paso Miners "Paydirt Pete"
The name alone is amazing. Paydirt Pete. If you're going to just have a random guy with a pick axe be your mascot, the name becomes vital. Like, what if his name was just Greg? Or Miner Guy? Paydirt Pete evokes everything we want out of a name. All in all there have been six iterations of Paydirt Pete. The first Pete started off as a Snow White-esque miner, and was replaced with a similar, dirtier version. The third Pete obtained a hard hat, muscles and a smoking habit. Apparently a cigar was actually a part of his costume. This Pete was then replaced by a more homeless, bearded panhandling Pete (known as "Deranged Pete") with a gunny sack. In 2005 the newest "Magnum PI" Paydirt Pete was debuted. The sixth Pete is easily the best iteration, with a huge pickaxe a huge belt buckle and a love for America. Rock on, Paydirt Pete.
#2 UT at Dallas Comet's "TEMOC"
I can't even... What the hell is... So many thoughts, fears... First off TEMOC is the craziest shit I've ever heard of. Like... What was that board of regents conversation like? Lets see. Our teams are the Comets, lets have our mascot be a comet with arms and legs! Temoc was originally named Blaze, but as you saw with #6 on these rankings, it was taken. And thus the greatness that is Temoc was fully realized. In case you don't understand where Temoc comes from, let the official school website tell you: "Temoc's name, blue skin and fiery orange hair all come from a single source: Temoc is "comet" spelled backwards." Thank you so much, website. That character is so frightening, I can't even find the words, so I'll have Temoc do the honors:
Not everyone takes an immediate liking to the quirky mascot, however. He once startled a female student who was checking her smartphone while waiting for an elevator. As the doors opened, she looked up and saw the tall blue-skinned creature with fiery orange hair. And that ever-loving smirk.
“She let out this horror movie scream. It just went on and on,” he said. “My heart was pounding, but I can’t talk when I’m playing Temoc. So I tried to gesture that she would be alright, and I gave her a kiss on the hand. I felt so bad about that.”
Read the rest of the article here. Perhaps it is his charm, perhaps it is his terror, but really the thing that cements Temoc at the top of the list is just how absolutely mind boggling he really is from his name to his design. Now that you've met Temoc, what could possibly be #1?
#1 UT at Austin Longhorn's "Bevo" And "Hook 'em"
The University of Texas at Austin, (commonly shortened to just "Texas") is the flagship school of the UT system. This is probably why it deserves two mascots: Bevo the Longhorned Steer, and Hook'em, a mascot version of Bevo with a cowboy hat. The other reason is simple: Bevo's giant-ass horns can't always fit into every doorway and arena. This is where Hook'em fills in.
Bevo's history is as long as its horns. The first introduction of Bevo actually happened 100 years ago this year. As you can probably tell, Bevo is a living mascot, which isn't as uncommon as you think. In fact it was first introduced with a former mascot, a dog named "Pig." However, most living mascots aren't 1,800 lbs and capable of crushing parked cars and leaping over an 8 foot tall fence... All told there have been 14 Bevos throughout the history of Texas, the most recent, Bevo XIV died earlier this year. Bevo is a flagship at football games and even has its own part of the field to lay down on while it is misted with water. Bevo is a huge part of the University and is an icon all throughout the United States. All it takes is one look at those goddamn horns and you know you're looking at the living embodiment of Texas.
Hook'em first came about in 1974 as a response to the increase in indoor sports. Bevo can't always make it to basketball games, or lead cheers, and that's Hook'em's role. Even though Hook'em is a secondary mascot, he too embodies Texas. If Hook'em didn't have a Texas Jersey on, or any school colors, we would know exactly what school and what state he represents. Perhaps it is because of how well known Texas is that we forget just how original this mascot is. The Chicago Bulls may also have a bull for their mascot, but Hook'em's horns are unmistakable. Paired with a gigantic live animal, there's no question UT at Austin has the best mascots, and deserves first place.
Thanks for reading! Let's be honest, you probably just skimmed and looked at all of the pictures. Don't worry, I'm not mad. Just know that someday, when you're not looking, Temoc will be there.