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If there’s one thing that separates college athletics from professional: it’s passion.  Not to say that professional athletes don’t compete with passion and pride, I just feel it’s on a different level in college.  Ask any avid college sports fan and they’ll tell you that college sports is the epitome of tradition and passion.  You really can’t get much better.

Now, I feel as though we can all agree that the passion of college sports is both unique and spectacular.  The only question is, where does that passion derive from?  Of course, some of it can be contributed to the players and fans, that’s a no-brainer.  But we cannot forget about one of the most vital and yet, in many instances, under-rated contributors: the mascot.  No matter what is happening down on the field, you can always rely on your school’s mascot to provide excitement as well as fun to each college sporting event.  In a world where college mascots represent both the university’s athletics program as well as the community as a whole, mascots bring a certain level of pride and respect that is unmatched.

We’ve profiled a lot of different college mascots over the past year.  Whether your favorite mascot is bizarre, funky, scary, badass or just simply awesome, we love all college mascots.  What better way to pay tribute to these symbols of pride than recap the best of the past year?  Here is a countdown of our favorite college mascots that we’ve covered throughout this past year.

10. Ohio State University Buckeyes

Ohio-State-Buckeyes-Mascot-Monday-2-1024x614

Who would have thought that a hairless nut would make such a perfect mascot?  Ohio State’s Brutus the Buckeye is one of the most unique mascots in all of college sports.  Check out the original post here.

9. University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors

University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors

The Rainbow Warriors easily have one of the most badass mascots in the country and deserve to be on anyone’s list.  Not to mention, the mascot may beat you up if he’s left out, just sayin’.  Check out the original post here.

8. Oklahoma State University Cowboys

Oklahoma State Cowboys Mascot Monday
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Pistol Pete takes caricatures to a whole new level.  Between the pistols and the over-sized hat, it’s easy to see why people love Oklahoma State’s Pistol Pete.  Check out the original post here.

7. Arizona State University Sun Devils

Arizona State Sun Devils Mascot Monday

Although the new Sparky looks like he’d be the lovechild of Jafar and the Honey Nut Cheerios bee, Arizona State still has one of the coolest mascots to date.  Check out the original post here.

6. Syracuse University Orange

Syracuse University Orange Mascot Monday

You can’t get much better than an orange mascot, right?  No, I’m not talking about the color, I mean a real orange.  You really can’t get much better than the Syracuse Orange.  Check out the original post here.

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Chris Pumphrey is a recent grad from Drew University, where he studied Political Science and History. A former soccer player, Chris loves all things sports-related and spends most of his time watching ESPN. If he's not talking politics, he's most likely to be found anywhere an Orioles game is happening.

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