Syracuse, N.Y. — The early weeks of August are filled with various college football lists that serve as filler reading material until the games begin.
Top players. Top coaches. Top citizens. Even top mascots.
Sports Illustrated rolled out its ranking of mascots on Monday night, and Syracuse’s lovable citrus Otto the Orange ranked even higher than Dino Babers’ talented team (Syracuse is No. 22 in the Amway USA Today Coaches’ Poll).
Otto was ranked No. 9 on the SI list, which went heavy on live animals and unique approaches, and low on ferocity. Otto was the only representative of the ACC on the list.
At No. 9, Otto was sandwiched between Tennessee’s bluetick coonhound Smokey and Western Kentucky’s big red blob, aptly named Big Red.
The University of Georgia’s bulldog, Uga, took the top spot. The Oregon Duck was No. 2 and the highest-ranked costumed mascot.
One edge that Otto has over the live animals? The androgynous Orange keeps looking better with age.