The College Mascot Challenge


By: Kale Havervold

6 Min Quiz

Image: Wiki Commons by Michelle Eberhart

About This Quiz

College sports are incredibly popular and millions of people tune in to watch them every year. Whether it is the college football playoff or the NCAA's March Madness, there are a few times where college sports take precedence over the pros. However, the talent on the field or on the court isn't the only good thing about college sports.

One of the best things about college sports are the mascots. There are new mascots, mascots with decades of history and everything in between. While some are the standard "student in a costume," there are several schools with live mascots that range from dogs to tigers. These mascots can excite a crowd in a huge way and get fans ready to cheer on their team. 

College sports are without a doubt home to some of the best team and mascot names in the world. But just how much do you know about these interesting team names and polarizing mascots? Can you name the team name of national champion Clemson University? How about naming the lovable mascot of the Georgia Bulldogs? If you can (or want to learn), we have the quiz for you. This quiz will look at everything from interesting and creative team names, lovable and famous mascots, the history of team names and mascots and so much more. 

 Without any further ado, put your football helmet or basketball shoes on and get ready to take on our college mascot challenge.

Which of these schools has a team called the Crimson Tide and are known for dominance in football?

The Alabama Crimson Tide isn't only an incredibly cool name, but they are also an incredible football team. They have won numerous national championships, including five in the last decade.


What is the primary color of the Kentucky Wildcats?

The Kentucky Wildcats sport blue jerseys when they take the field or court. While Kentucky participates in many sports, it is their men's basketball team that is the most well known. No team has gotten more wins in NCAA Div 1 basketball than the Wildcats.


Of these Texas-based schools, which calls their teams the Red Raiders?

Texas Tech is located in Lubbock, Texas, and its teams have been known as the Red Raiders for nearly 100 years. They are fresh off their first ever men's basketball national championship.


Of all of these birds, which is the mascot and team name for Oregon?

If you're in the stands during an Oregon sports game, you will see a large duck mascot on the sidelines. Oregon teams were originally called the Webfoots as far back as the 1890s, before eventually becoming the Ducks.


Duke is seemingly a high seed in March Madness every single year. What is their team name?

While they are not the most successful in terms of winning championships, the Duke Blue Devils have long been one of the best college basketball teams on the planet. They get great recruits every year, most recently Zion Williamson, one of the best prospects in recent memory.


The teams at the University of Miami are named after which of these natural disasters?

The Miami Hurricanes are one of the most decorated NCAA football teams and have produced some of the best players ever. They have been around since 1926 and there are many rumors and controversies about how the team got its name.


Syracuse is a school located in northern New York and has a lovable mascot. What is its team's name?

While it might not be a very common sports team name, Syracuse teams are known as the Orange. The team has been known as the Orange since 1982 after the Native American "Saltine Warrior" mascot was banned in 1978.


Which of these schools call its sports teams the Tar Heels?

The University of North Carolina sports teams are known as the Tar Heels and are best known for their basketball. The university also has the distinction of being one of the oldest public universities in the USA, having been established in 1789.


What type of animal is the mascot for Michigan?

The Michigan Wolverines are among the most popular college sports teams in numerous sports. They have a storied history in both football and basketball, and tens of thousands of students study at the university.


Only one school has teams named the Boilermakers. Which school is it?

Purdue is not only a great sports school but also owns one of the most unique team names. The name was chosen in 1892, a year after a news report called Purdue players Burly Boiler Makers. The name stuck and it still remains their team name well over 100 years later.


Clemson won the NCAA football national championship in 2018. What is their team's name?

Ever since Clemson football began in 1896, the team has been known as the Tigers. Clemson is fresh off of winning another national championship in football and is one of the favorites to win it again in 2019.


Which school has a mascot called "Bucky Badger" that is adored by fans?

Since 1940, Bucky Badger has been a mainstay at most Wisconsin sports games, cheering on the team. He also attends several other events around campus and was introduced into the Mascot Hall of Fame in 2006.


Fresh off its win of a national championship in men's basketball, what school do the Cavaliers represent?

If you are watching the Cavaliers play, you are watching the team from Virginia. While they have been a great basketball team for years, they finally won their first men's basketball national championship. In addition to men's basketball, the school has 26 other teams.


Of the following schools, which didn't name its team the Bears?

As you could imagine, the Bears are one of the most popular college sports team names. Mercer, Brown and Baylor all use the mascot, while Boston College's mascot is the Eagle (which is another popular name).


Which university has "Pistol Pete" as its mascot?

The Oklahoma State Cowboy's mascot is Pistol Pete, one of the most beloved in the country. The mascot was inspired by a real person named Frank Eaton and has been the team mascot for many decades.


Brutus is the mascot for which football powerhouse?

Brutus Buckeye is the mascot for Ohio State University. A buckeye is the state tree of Ohio and Brutus' head is a nut from a buckeye tree. He debuted in 1965 as a result of winning a competition that aimed to decide a mascot for the sports teams at Ohio State.


Which school features teams called the Horned Frogs?

Not only is the horned frog the mascot for TCU today, it was also the mascot before the university ever had that name. In 1897, when the university was still called AddRan Christian University, a few students decided their mascot should be a horned frog. The school was officially renamed its current name a few years later, in 1902.


UCLA has a long history of quality sports teams. What is their name?

The UCLA sports teams for both men and women's sports are called the Bruins. Despite not having as many teams as other schools, they are second all-time in overall NCAA sports team championships with 116 to their name.


Auburn made an underdog run in March Madness in 2019. What is their team's name?

The Auburn Tigers have long been one of the most successful teams in NCAA football and are recognized for their basketball program as well. Auburn is one of nearly 50 American universities that call their team the Tigers.


The Sooners have been one of the best teams in college football for years. Which university do they represent on the field?

At first glance, you might be confused as to why Oklahoma decided to name their teams the Sooners. It goes all the way back to the 19th century. It is referencing a name given to those who participated in the Land Run of 1889. This land run opened up land in Oklahoma for non-natives to settle.


While "Blue Hens" might not sound that intimidating, which school chose it as their team name?

The University of Delaware named their sports teams after the blue hen. While this might not make a lot of sense to some, there is a reason for it. The state bird for Delaware is a blue hen chicken, so the name is a homage to that.


Which animal is the mascot for the Alabama Crimson Tide?

The mascot for Alabama is an elephant. But why? Well, it all came down to a sports writer who wrote "the elephants are coming" about the rumbling of the Alabama players running out of the tunnel. The nickname stuck and an elephant became their unofficial mascot for decades, until "Big Al" officially became the mascot in 1980.


Which of the following schools has a leprechaun as its famous mascot?

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have one of the most recognizable mascots in sports, the leprechaun. The leprechaun mascot was first seen in 1960 and it was made the official mascot a few years later, in 1965.


Which school that had one of the biggest underdog victories in NCAA football history goes by the Mountaineers?

The Mountaineers are from Appalachian State. Before 2007, the Mountaineers were hardly known among college football fans. But after stunning the 5th-ranked Michigan Wolverines, many took notice. Many sports fans still call it the greatest upset of all time.


This purple and gold team features both a costumed and live mascot. Who are they?

In the past, live mascots used to be incredibly popular. But nowadays, most schools simply have a standard costumed mascot. However, the LSU Tigers have both a live tiger as well as a costumed one as their mascots.


Michigan State made it to the Final Four this year. What is the name of their team?

In 1925, Michigan State held a contest to change their sports team's name. Eventually, it was decided they would become the "Michigan Staters." However, a local sports writer didn't like this, went through the entries and liked the "Spartans" the best. The name caught on quickly and became the new nickname for the school's teams.


Which university do the Longhorns call home?

With longhorn cattle being an important part of Texas history, it is no surprise that the University of Texas chose that animal to represent their teams. The Longhorn team name existed back in 1900 and possibly earlier.


Wake Forest has one of the coolest team names in college sports. W​hat is it?

The Wake Forest Demon Deacons are among the best college sports team names out there. The team originally had the nickname of the Baptists, and when a writer wrote "Those deacons played like demons," the name stuck and has been their team name ever since.


Not only is it ranked among the best party schools in the country, Tulane has a great sports program. What is their team name?

Being in New Orleans, you would expect Tulane to be a party school. It is indeed, but it also has an underrated sports program. Their teams are called the Green Wave. The nickname was originally adopted in 1920 after a song called the "Rolling Green Wave" was released.


All of these schools have teams called the Rams, except for one. Which is it?

VCU, Rhode Island and Colorado State have long been named the Rams. Arizona, on the other hand, is known as the Wildcats. As you can imagine, the Rams is one of the most common team names in college sports.


Harvard is known for its​ academics but also fields many different sports teams. What are they known as?

The team names at Harvard are the Crimson. While you might not hear a lot about their sports teams, they actually have more men's and women's sports teams than any other Div 1 school, at 42.


Saint Louis has a rather interesting team name. What is it?

There are many interesting college sports team names, but few are as interesting as the Saint Louis Billikens. So, why name a sports team after a semi-popular charm doll? Well, in the 1910s, their football coach apparently looked like a Billiken, which led to the team's name.


The Georgia Bulldogs are one of the few teams with a live mascot. What is its name?

In addition to being another name for the university, Uga has also been the name of the team's live mascot for many years. Since 1956, all the different bulldogs named Uga have come from the same lineage.


Which of these schools calls their teams the Raiders?

While there is an NFL team called the Raiders, there are also several college teams with the same name, one of which is the Colgate Raiders. The teams at Colgate are very popular as 25% of students are involved in a sport.


Of these schools, which is the only one without a live mascot?

Many universities and colleges have live mascots. While there are real gophers out there, the Minnesota Golden Gophers use a costumed mascot named Goldy Gopher. He began his career as their mascot in the 1940s.


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