Question of the Week: Which college football mascot is scariest?

Each week during the season, the USA TODAY Sports college staff (Jace Evans, Paul Myerberg, George Schroeder, Erick Smith and Eddie Timanus) will provide their answers to on an intriguing question from college football.

College football mascot inspire positive and negative reactions from fans. In the spirit of Halloween, which mascot is the scariest?

Jace Evans

We head to the Football Championship Subdivision for our scariest mascot: WebstUR, the terrifying arachnoid that serves as the mascot for the Richmond Spiders. How can it not be? Spiders are bad in all their contexts; make one human-sized and you’re just begging to scare children (and also this adult writer).

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Paul Myerberg

LSU’s Mike the Tiger will have you for dinner if you get too close, which is pretty frightening. In terms of costumed mascots, however, the title goes to Western Kentucky’s Big Red – a ghostly blob of character with a Humpty Dumpty shape, a chubby torso, dead and soulless eyes, and spindly legs carrying a mouth as wide as his body (into which he’ll stuff anything in sight). Big Red looks like a rejected McDonald’s character, and not in a good way. But what’s scariest of all is that he makes no sense: WKU are the Hilltoppers, and Big Red is just this thing from another planet who acts nice and cute but (in my opinion) hides deep and unsettling thoughts behind those googly eyes topped by his cartoonishly arched brows. That Big Red wears sneakers indicates to me that he’s attempting to assimilate into society, which is what keeps me awake at night.

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