#6 UCLA Bruins vs. #11 Minnesota Golden Gophers
Joe Bruin looks like he likes fun. Which is great. He's still 1500 pounds of claws and anger and I don't trust him for a second.
Let's go ride bikes! You guys! I probably won't murder you!
Goldy Gopher is the reigning Mascot Nationals Champion, but this isn't some rinky-dink awards ceremony; the Mascot Bracket shall not be swayed by such trivialities. The thing is, he's a gopher. He'd stand a chance if Joe Bruin depended entirely on, I don't know, a field of carrots and lettuce to survive but I'm fairly certain Joe's heartier than that. I tried to figure out if any other gopher may have been able to put up a challenge in a way that I could then apply to Goldy, but I"m afraid all that did was get me clips from Caddyshack and get myself on some sort of government list of creeps who google "Famous Gophers".
Big hitter, the Lama.
#3 Florida Gators vs. #14 Northwestern State Demons
I"m never sure how to deal with supernatural mascots. It's tempting to just say that the Demon would be able to either supernaturally kill Albert the Gator or convince him to make aseries of life choices that condemn him to a life devoid of meaning.
The problem lies in Vic the Demon himself. I'm working off of the assumption that part of Vic the Demon's supernatural powers involve being able to choose his appearance. That's pretty standard in the sort of fantasy/horror fiction that would involve Vic, either through some manner of glamour or full-on shapeshifting.
You can't be serious with this. Stop this right now.
So assuming that's the case, why would he go with "Ed Asner if he were a Wood Elf". If you look at something like the Blue Demon from DePaul, he's got the pointy ears and horns on his forehead, but they kept going by making him more Devil-ish. Northwestern State covered the horns up with a sweatband, slapped on some ridiculous eyebrows (He's too demonic for mild grooming!) and called it a day.
I just can't. I can't reward that. If that's the look he's chosen, he's clearly got some problems with decision making, so I'm thinking he'd mostly succeed in giving Albert some mild indigestion.
#7 San Diego State Aztecs vs. #10 Oklahoma Sooners
The Sooners seem to have tried to improve their chances by entering double the number of mascots, with Boomer and Sooner. That said, they're ponies. The standard too-wide smile and hyper-alert eyes are somehow only made more horrifying by the mane. Or, rather, the way in which they're wearing the mane.
Maybe I'm judging prematurely. Maybe that's Pete Wentz inside the pony-head. But I doubt it.
The Aztec Warrior, on the other hand, has some pretty great headgear, a shield and a conch shell. I'm not sure what the associations are between the Aztec and blowing conch shells, but I assume they're valid. Additionally, I'm going to assume guy's got a spear, as that's in the logo. Horses in North America died out during the last Ice Age, so the Spanish bringing horses over gave them an advantage over the Aztecs.
But the Spanish aren't here, and I think the Aztecs will be more than able to handle a couple of horses. Make things even.
San Diego State advances.
#2 Georgetown Hoyas vs. #15 Florida Gulf Coast Eagles
I feel like Jack the Bulldog is taking a different approach towards intimidating his opponents. He's got the spiked collar and the tiny little hat, but unlike most other costumed animal mascots that seem to wind up being dressed in a jersey and shorts (or, in the case of Rebel Black Bear, slacks), Jack is otherwise nude. I'm not one who has ever seen the utility in dressing up pets, so I get the impulse to stay true to reality, but it's sort of odd once you realize that, hey, that mascot isn't wearing pants.
The Florida Gulf Coast Eagles mascot, Azul, is not only wearing clothes but green sneakers.
I'm somewhat concerned with how that's going to impact his ability to attack (as my conception of how this is going down relies on the Azul swooping down and grabbing Jack with his talons), but a mascot that can make this shot will probably be able enough to take off his shoes first. And I doubt he's prudish enough to be swayed by Jack's unconventional clothing choices.
Florida Gulf Coast advances.