No medieval fighter, dragon nor cute furry cat can outpace birds when it comes to the crown for college sport mascots. Of the 353 Division I NCAA schools, 242 use some sort of beast to represent their athletic team.
GlobalSport Matters looked at all 353 school mascots and categorized them into animal, human, inanimate object, mythical creature or evil spirit categories.
The results below showed 242 mascots being some form of animal with the next most being 81 human characters.
In the animal category, birds ranging from eagles, hawks and mockingbird are among the animal mascots with 66. For human mascots, medieval fighters lead the pack with 34.
Mythical creatures and evil spirits cut it close with three dragon mascots and five devil mascots, respectively.
As far as inanimate objects, 14 institutions had unique mascots. Some that defy definition are Western Kentucky University with Big Red, a red, furry blob; Wichita State’s WuShock, a bundle of wheat; and Syracuse University’s Otto the Orange.