Here we go into the final stretch – let’s see which mascot will wear this year’s Badass Crown!
The (16) Liberty Flames over the (5) Oklahoma State Cowboys
The (11) Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders over the (2) Duke Blue Devils
If it can cut
the a head off of a Chimera, it would make short work of Duke’s pencil-chinned Hades dweller.
The (8) Pittsburgh Panthers over the (13) Boise State Broncos
Both of these mascots have terrifying, pupil-less eyes – how you tremble when you look into the window of the soul and see nothing there! But Pitt’s panther has a couple of things the Bronco lacks, most of which are fangs. And as intense as the Bronco looks, there is nothing of the raw, badass-multiplying rage that radiates like a nuclear blast from the head of that cat.
The (11) Belmont Bruins over the (10) Iowa State Cyclones
Here’s where logo design made all the difference. AN image of a huge, black, angry F-5 tornado bearing down on a farmstead would be one thing, but ISU’s definitely isn’t that. One of the biggest problems with that cardinal on top is that it makes the storm look small as a matter of scale.
What the Belmont Bruin really has going for it, though, it a whole mess o’ crazy. It literally looks insane – it’s eyes aren’t really focused, but it looks irrationally enraged. There’s no Teddy in this bear. Bears are big and strong under almost any circumstances, but this one looks like it will just keep rampaging forever, and with extreme prejudice. And unlike a cyclone, it will lift up the cellar door to follow you underground…
The (13) Montana Grizzlies over the (8) North Carolina State Wolfpack
In case you couldn’t watch it, that’s a 14 wolf pack scattering like mice after the grizzly just decides he wants the animal they just did all the work of killing. Your badassity hits a ceiling at the point you’re unable or unwilling to defend yourself.
The (2) Miami Hurricanes over the (11) Bucknell Bison
The same logic from the last round is evident here, even if the logo design is better. Besides, that whole story about the ibis is very cool – it’s not like they use a duck or something lame like that.
You’re killing me, Miami. You’re in the big leagues now – a 2 seed! Scrape some cash together and stay away from the used costume shop.
If their official name wasn’t still “The Hurricanes”, their lame wrong-costume would have cost them much earlier.
The (4) Michigan Wolverines over the (8) North Carolina Tarheels
That video actually talks about how it can out-climb a mountain goat. Apparently they’re also known to hunt and kill moose, which is a larger animal with larger horns than that Tarheel goat – there’s simply no competing here.
The (7) San Diego State Aztecs over the (3) Florida Gators
According to Aztec mythology, before the earth as we knew it existed there was Cipactli, a crocodilian creature roaming existance looking for a good meal. Gods Tezcatlipoca and Quetzalcoatl didn’t dig that state of affairs, and so, using Tezcatlipoca’s own foot as bait, they killed the beast, made the earth out of it, and then populated it with their people. (Alligator priests could not be reached for their own version of events, so I gotta go with what we’ve got.)
The one living in the other’s dead body is clearly the superior badass.
The Elite Eight
The (16) Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders over the (16) Liberty Flames
This is actually a pretty straight forward comparison – both of these mascots are unique, airborne, and make use of energy as weaponry. But having the power to brandish and wield Zues’ lighting gives Middle Tennessee the edge here.
The (11) Belmont Bruins over the (8) Pittsburgh Panthers
The (2) Miami Hurricanes over the (13) Montana Grizzlies
The (7) San Diego State Aztecs over the (4) Michigan Wolverines
Bloodlust, strength, and a healthy dose of total insanity define both of these indisputably badass mascots, but as a civilization, the Aztecs take it to another level. For example, a wolverine may tear your face off, but the pantheon the Aztecs came up with will tear off a piece of your soul just by trying to process what you’re looking at.
The Final Four
The (11) Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders over the (11) Belmont Bruins
If you were a wildlife ranger dealing with an insane rabid bead that was mawing its way through campers and cabins all over the wilderness, I bet you’d love to fly above it with a self-aware vehicle that can land in a tight spot, manuever on the ground, and bring down bolts of lighting to any wayward beasts below. That’s how Pegasus killed that Chimera, and that thing breathed fire. ‘Nuff said here.
The (7) San Diego State Aztecs over the (2) Miami Hurricanes
Just based on the placement of the Aztec civilization on the map, they must have had many run-ins with hurricanes over the years. And clearly they did some damage, because the god which could be described as the Aztec Satan, Tezcatlipoca, is associated with the storms, and he used them to turn people into monkeys and bring about the end of the world from time to time. That depiction of an Aztec god up above? That’s Tezcatlipoca.
This is where that Ibis finally trips Miami up. Depictions of things matter, which is kind of the point of the mascot in the first place. Had Miami embraced the whole Bringer of Destruction and arch rival to Quetzalcoatl thing, then they’d probably win it all. But instead they went with a sea bird, which simply cannot rival the badassity of a civilization that brought us things like this:
The Championship Game
The (7) San Diego State Aztecs over the (11) Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders
Pegasus was an amazing beast and supernatural weapon of war. But the sheer size and scope of the badass-drenched Aztec empire, and the violence used to maintain it, brings the prize home to their pyramids. What other empire refused to conquer its neighbors fully, just so they could keep fighting them and sacrificing/eating their POWs? That may be evil, but boy it’s commitment.
So congrats to this year’s Badassiest Mascot. They’ll be awfully tough to beat next year, unless some school decides to ditch something lame like, say, a Gopher, and go with a mascot with a proven history of subjugating even the scariest and most violent of civilizations…