Hey everyone, not sure how often this has been done here, but after Rutgers joined the B1G I looked into our fellow conference members and their mascots. Some of them I had to look up the meaning of and I wanted to write up a little post to poke some fun at our fellow conference members with my thoughts as a Scarlet Knight (and trying to take into account your state/school history). This is all in good fun and one of the best things about joining your conference is this site that brings all the teams together.
1. Illinois Fighting Illini - Ok I see what you did there by taking the first half of your state's name, but seriously? From reading the FAQ on your school's website it basically says that it was randomly picked in 1874 and then later applied to athletics I'm just glad that Rutgers didn't pick the "Fighting Jers" as our mascot, this one is kinda lame.
2. Indiana Hoosiers- Apparently this is your state's demonym, but I think it's another lame mascot. I like the history there, and the way it ties back to Indiana, but not as a university mascot and team name. Hearing it out hear on the east coast should I assume that all people calling themselves Hoosiers are alumni of the university or just people from Indiana? Maybe it makes more sense when you live in the state, but I still don't like it.
3. Iowa Hawkeyes- This one is cool. Not sure why it's specifically the "hawkeyes" and not just the "hawks" (which I assume most people end up calling them), but that's just splitting hairs over a pretty cool mascot.
4. Michigan Wolverines- Not much to say, a wolverine is an awesome mascot.
5. Michigan State Spartans- Another cool one. Plus he looks like he's a cousin of our Scarlet Knight which I think is funny.
6. Minnesota Golden Gophers- A gopher? really? That's pretty lame. Do gophers even have anything to do with the state of Minnesota? If not then I don't see any reason why you'd want one as your mascot. And why specifically a golden gopher? Isn't gold your secondary color? I guess it was just for the alliteration.
7. Nebraska Cornhuskers- Had to look this up to. Despite being in the Garden State, most of us have no idea what "husking corn" is, but it seems to be just removing the outside so you can eat it? Despite that your mascot just looks like a cowboy which would be a much cooler mascot. Super lame sounding.
8. Northwestern Wildcats- Eh, this one is ok I guess, but it sounds kinda generic, like the mascot they use in movies for schools when they need to make one up. It's not bad, but could be better.
9. Ohio State Buckeyes- So your mascot is an acorn? I get that it ties to the "buckeye" state, which is cool, but the mascot looks ridiculous and sounds pretty dumb.
10. Penn State Nittany Lions- Not terrible, lions are cool and tying it back to the local mountain is a nice touch, but it sounds kind of weird putting the 2 together. Minor gripe though.
11. Purdue Boilermakers- This one is the worst I'd say. I looked it up and read on your school's site about how it was a historic name and referred to the working class that used to attend, but it sounds really dumb and your logo is a train. I'd think "locomotives" even sounds better than "boilermakers".
12. Wisconsin Badgers- Your badger looks pretty classic and being the "badger state" it's a nice tie-in. Otherwise I'd say it's meh, but in that case it's not bad.
13. Maryland Terrapins- At first I didn't like it, but the more I look at your logo it grows on me. It's the state animal of Maryland and Testudo seems alright. Kind of like Wisconsin's case; normally I'd say it's dumb, but it's not bad.
14. Rutgers Scarlet Knights- I think our mascot is pretty awesome as far as college's go. It's a Knight and our school color is badass, what more could you want?