College football season is right around the corner. Games kick off this weekend. You'll be able to check out the University of Illinois football team and their new head coach Brett Bielema take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers right here on 1440 WROK. Kickoff is at 11 but our pregame will begin at 8AM with a two hour episode of the Illini Guys followed by the normal one hour pregame hosted by Brian Barnhart. If you're an Illinois fan and you haven't checked out the Illini Guys, you are missing out.

Last year I ranked the NIC-10 mascots by my ability to beat one in a fight so let's kick off the Big Ten Football season with a Big Ten Mascot Fight To The Death ranking.

Some schools have more than one "mascot" so I will be choosing which one I feel best represents the University.

Let's start with the mascots that will probably kill me.

1. Michigan State University - Sparty


A literal trained warrior from Sparta, one of the most feared armies of all time. I don't stand a chance against a single person from the movie 300.

Chance of Survival - 1%

2. Penn State University - Nittany Lion


There's no such thing as a Nittany Lion. They're just mountain lions from Mount Nittany that looks over the campus. Still they're mountain lions. There's a reason we all thought Kim was going to die in the second season of 24.

Turns out that was actually a cougar. Same thing if not a little less dangerous. Also this particular Nittany Lion is especially creepy. Not sure how that relates to its fatality.

Chance of survival - 4%

Rutgers University - The Scarlet Knight


It's probably because I watched Bill and Ted's Excellent adventure on a loop when I was a kid, but I've always thought I had a chance with a knight in a full suit of armor. It just seems so cumbersome. I'll just run around him and knock him down. Doubtful I'd win, but I feel it's possible.

Chance of survival - 10%

4. Purdue University - Boiler Pete

attachment-Purdue Pete

I had to make a decision on which mascot to use for Purdue because they officially have two. One is an actual boilermaker train. That would obviously kill me but it would also be the only non living mascot on the list.

Their other mascot is the abomination above, Boiler Pete. Boiler Pete is creepy. He won an award for it and everything. 

Pistol Pete looks, in a word, dumb. I'm pretty sure I can just talk him out of that hammer and go to town on him. I would take pleasure in that. Hypothetically speaking of course.

Chance of survival - 25%

5. Michigan University - Wolverine

attachment-Biff_and_Bennie Wolverine

As I was searching for pictures of these mascots I realized that I've never seen a Michigan mascot. And that's because they don't have a physical representation of a Wolverine at any events. Kind of weird.

That picture above is of Biff the Wolverine. The only live mascot for the University of Michigan. They used to have a stuffed wolverine named Biff on campus that served as the mascot. I couldn't find out if there is still a stuffed wolverine anywhere on campus but I'm guessing every frat house has at least one.

Wolverines are notably tough and ferocious. He's got a shot at my femoral artery but after that, my size will dominate.

Chance of survival - 60%

6. Wisconsin University - Bucky the Badger


Bucky is an icon, but he's still just a large rodent. I did no research on this but my gut tells me that a badger is bigger than a wolverine but just as nasty. The added size gives Bucky a slight edge over the wolverine.

Chance of survival - 62%

7. Northwestern University - Willie the Wildcat

Antonio "Tony" Vernon

The actual type of cat that Willie is, is never really defined anywhere. They were bestowed the nickname by a writer for the Chicago Tribune in 1924. I've always imagined Willie to be a bobcat for some reason. You can't really tell.

An actual wildcat is just a breed of basically a house cat that hasn't been domesticated.


So I'm sticking with a bobcat. I'll get scratched up, but I'm not losing this fight.

Chance of survival - 85%

8. Nebraska University - Lil' Red

attachment-Lil Red

This is a small child with balance issues.

I'd dominate.

Chance of survival - 95%

NOTE: Nebraska is another school with 2 mascots. Lil' Red is the one they mainly use these days they also have Herbie Husker that is basically a farmer I guess.

attachment-Herbie Husker

I love farmers. I wouldn't want to fight one anyway.

9. Iowa University - Herky the Hawk

University of Iowa Athletics

Herky might look tough, but remember he's just a bird. I just don't see how a bird that small can kill me. If it was one of these birds it would be a different story.

Why some university hasn't adopted the cassowary by now is beyond me. Terrifying.

Chance of survival - 99%(against a hawk, against a cassowary, 1%)

Those are all the mascots that have a chance of killing me. The rest will have certain death, some a little more difficult than others.

10. Minnesota University - Gopher


Anything I can step on and kill cannot kill me, insects and snakes excluded. I've also seen the documentary on killing gophers at least a dozen times.

11. Maryland University - Testudo the Terrapin

attachment-Testudo Maryland

I love Testudo. A turtle is a ridiculous mascot. It's great. There's actually a cool story about a real turtle being kidnapped and recovered multiple times. Give it a read. 

Anyway, there are multiple ways to kill a turtle. I'd probably go with drowning, but there are plenty of options.

12. Ohio State University - Brutus the Buckeye

Army West Point vs. The Ohio State University at Ohio State, Sept. 16, 2017. (U.S. Army photo by Michelle Eberhart)
Army West Point vs. The Ohio State University at Ohio State, Sept. 16, 2017. (U.S. Army photo by Michelle Eberhart)

Brutus is another mascot that I love but at the end of the day he's just a nut that's already technically dead and I'm not allergic.

N/A. Indiana University - The Hoosiers

Because Indiana is a lame university, they didn't even bother to get a mascot. People that go to Indiana University are just called Hoosiers. The same thing everyone from Indiana is called. No mascot. I love basketball too but Indiana takes it a little far.

Great movie though.

N/A. University of Illinois - Fighting Illini

Ah. I'm not getting caught here. Illinois, like Indiana, has no official mascot. Chief Illiniwek used to be the mascot but once the school realized that the whole thing might be a little culturally insensitive, they changed his status to the school's symbol. Remember that. Illinois has a symbol not a mascot.

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