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The West Virginia Mountaineer: Greatest Mascot Ever?

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ESPN listed the Mountaineer as the best mascot in the Big 12. How would the Mountaineer fare against other top mascots?

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN held a roundtable to discuss each of the Power 5 conferences mascots. The writers who handle each conference's blog chose a mascot and gave their opinion. Of course the Big 12 bloggers chose the Mountaineer as their favorite mascot. Who wouldn't? We already know he is the best in the Big 12, but how would he fare against the best of the best?

The Contenders

ACC: Otto the Orange (Syracuse)

Otto The Orange

But none of them can top Otto the Orange, the most unique mascot of them all. First of all, he is a fruit. How many other fruit mascots can you name in college football? Thought so. Second of all, he is cute and cuddly. - Andrea Adelson

Big Ten: Sparty (Michigan State)

Sparty

Sparty is 7 feet tall, yet even his rippling muscles and warrior garb can't mask his cartoon-like cuteness. - Jesse Temple

PAC-12: Stanford Tree (Stanford)

Stanford Tree

Technically, Stanford doesn't have an official mascot, but we'll let that unimportant distinction slide because the Stanford Tree is still one of the most recognizable mascots in college sports. Officially, the school designates the Tree simply as a member of its controversial band, but it's so much more than that. - Kyle Bonagura

SEC: Mike the Tiger (LSU)

Mike the Tiger

The SEC has some cool mascots, for sure. But does it get any cooler than a real, live tiger? Mike the Tiger, LSU's mascot, resides in a 15,000-square foot habitat on campus (which includes lush planting, a large live oak tree, a waterfall and a stream) and before home games, he is escorted in a trailer near the visitors' locker room to intimidate opponents as they enter. - Sam Khan Jr.

Now that we've gotten a look at the contenders, lets just see how they fare against our own Mountaineer.

The Mountaineer

Anytime video of your mascot shooting a bear in the woods can be found online, your mascot is going to be hard to beat. West Virginia's Mountaineer mascot was always an interesting representative as one of the few mascots in college football without a face-covering mask, and one of the best costumes in the nation. But the Mountaineers' early years in the Big 12 coincided with an online video of Johnathan Kimble, West Virginia's Mountaineer at the time, shooting a black bear with his school-issued musket. Quite the first impression for the most real -- and best -- mascot in the Big 12. -- Brandon Chatmon

A acid-trip Christmas tree, a giant Orange, a costume warrior and a caged tiger against a live student wearing real buckskin and shooting a real musket. It is hard to compete against that isn't it? More than that, the Mountaineer is a member of the student body, who can be seen throughout school. Mountaineers must learn how to actually fire a musket and a previous Mountaineer even took it hunting.

Did you know that two women have served as the Mountaineer? One of them is current Secretary of State Natalie Tennant.