College mascots prepare to cheer, climb and cook their way to the pinnacle of mascot fame and fortune.

And now for something completely different

Here at Auto Credit Express, we’re usually pretty serious when it comes to auto credit and credit repair. But every once in a while, something comes across the desk that we just have to tell you about. So with the college football season upon us, here is the latest press release from lender Capital One:

College Mascots

MCLEAN, Va., – Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE:COF) today announced the members of the seventh annual Capital One All-America Mascot Team, made up of 12 over-sized and often under-appreciated characters — including three birds, three cats (that could be trouble), one bison, one horse, one wolf, one turtle, one bear and a dog. Each one of these mascots will be putting their best claw, paw, hoof and talon forward while attempting to claim the proverbial mountain of mascot fame and fortune — the title of “Capital One National Mascot of the Year.”

Starting September 8th, fans can vote online at, for their favorite All-American Mascot, who will be announced during the Capital One Bowl on January 1st. This year’s contest features a weekly mano-a-mano battle royale among this year’s All-Americans:

The Contenders

Auburn University – Aubie
Boise State University – Buster Bronco
Brigham Young University – Cosmo Cougar
Iowa State University – Cy
Louisiana State University – Mike the Tiger
University of Maryland – Testudo
North Carolina State University – Mr.Wuf
North Dakota State University – Thundar
UCLA – Joe Bruin
University of South Carolina – Cocky
University of Tennessee – Smokey
United States Air Force Academy – The Bird

“We created this contest to celebrate the unsung heroes of college football,” said Steve Schooff at Capital One. “Last year, a kangaroo from the University of Akron hopped and kicked its way to the top mascot title in the land. This year, we’re anxious to see which mascot will rise to the challenge and claim the throne of Capital One National Mascot of the Year.”

The fan vote is the sole determinant of the winner; the people choose. Voting consists of 11 weekly head-to-furry-head match ups between the All-Americans, with fans being able to vote daily for their favorite mascots. The mascots with the best win/loss records face off in online playoffs starting in November. The winner will be pronounced Capital One National Mascot of the Year on January 1, 2009 during the Capital One Bowl.

“Mascots work as hard as anyone on the field, but are lost in the shadows of touchdown celebrations and pre-season and post-season accolades of the flashy all-star quarterbacks and running backs,” said Dr. Roy Yarbrough, mascot guru and historian. “This is a great tribute to them, and fans should show their support. Bragging rights and national recognition are on the line.”

This year’s eclectic crew of birds, mammals and reptiles were chosen from Division IA and IAA athletic programs with college football teams. They made the squad after being ranked on mascot musts such as interaction with fans, originality and pedigree. The panel of judges included mascot guru and historian, Dr. Roy Yarbrough, and representatives from Capital One.

Over the past six years, Capital One has helped thrust the spotlight on these unsung heroes of the gridiron. Team members star in a national advertising campaign, which this year features the mascots participating in the Capital One Mascot Challenge — Top Tailgater, a series of unusual (and fictitious) grilling, cooking and tailgating competitions. In addition to the hoopla, each mascot receives $5,000 for its school’s mascot program. The Capital One National Mascot of the Year receives an additional $5,000 scholarship to help fund its school’s mascot program.


Didn’t see your school’s mascot in this year’s Mascot Challenge? Once again, Capital One has added an additional fan component to this year’s competition. Fans can log on to and nominate your school’s mascot for a chance to win $1000 toward their Mascot Program and an opportunity to compete in the 2009 Capital One Mascot Challenge! Each voter is allowed one vote per day, so show your school spirit and vote — vote — vote to see your favorite BMOC (Big Mascot on Campus) in next year’s competition!