The SEC may have the respect of the NCAA Tournament selection committee for it’s play on the court, but apparently the league still has some work to do in the mascot department.
At least that’s the opinion of USA Today’s For the Win.
The website set out on the enviable endeavor of ranking all 68 of the mascots that will done their team’s colors and represent their universities in cheering on the squad in the 2018 NCAA Tournament, which is slated to begin on Tuesday evening.
The parameters of these rankings are as vague as those used by the selection committee, which seeded a conference-record eight SEC teams into the field this season. For the Win’s Charles Curtis prefaced these rankings best when he wrote:
“I base these rankings on a fairly informal formula made up of creativity, threat level of the mascot and the costumed critter itself.”
None of the league’s eight mascots were selected for the Top 20 of this list, and we’re here to expose the travesty.
With that in mind, the first SEC team to be slapped in the face was the Kentucky Wildcats, which were ranked in a tie for No. 68 for the lack of creativity in their mascot. John Calipari’s team shares a mascot with Villanova, Kansas State, Davidson and Arizona for a total of five “Wildcats” in the field.
Next, predictably, both Auburn and Missouri fell victim to the same judgement on the Tigers mascot. Missouri’s Truman checked in at No. 58 on the list and Aubie, who is considered one of the best mascots in the nation, checked in at No. 56. Poor form.
Texas A&M (No. 40) and Tennessee (No. 38) were each on the lower half of the rankings. How can these lovable dogs be treated so poorly?
Alabama (No. 29), Arkansas (No. 27) and Florida (No. 21) were the SEC’s top representatives, though none of them were able to crack the Top 20. Albert is a national treasure and he can’t crack the Top 20? No respect!
In case you were wondering, the top mascots on this list are of the non-Power 5 variety. Perhaps Curtis is caught up in the shiny newness of the Radford Highlanders or the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks (OK, that one is actually pretty cool) on the big stage.
His Top 5 mascots:
1- Radford Highlanders
2- Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks
3- Wichita State Shockers
4- UMBC Retrievers
5- San Diego State Aztecs
While we’re sure this news may have upset you (not really), please try your best to enjoy the tournament anyway. After all, this is March Madness and things like college basketball mascot rankings are what it’s all about. Right?