College Search – Mascot Bracket Round 2: Chief Osceola and Renegade versus The Stanford Tree

Mascot Bracket Round 2: Chief Osceola and Renegade versus The Stanford Tree

College Search Through A Mascot Challenge

As you conduct your college search, school pride, athletics, etc. often are influential factors in making your final decision.  What better way to complement your college search process than with a Mascot Challenge.

FSU’s Chief Osceola riding his horse Renegade.

Osceola and Renegade are the official mascots of the Florida State University Seminoles. Osceola, representing the historical Seminole leader Osceola, and his Appaloosa horse Renegade introduce home football games by riding to midfield with a burning spear and planting it in the turf. Osceola and Renegade debuted in 1978, and are the most recent of several mascots used by the school. FSU has tried to ensure a dignified depiction of Osceola. The portrayal is supported by leaders of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, but it remains controversial in some quarters. Florida State’s Osceola tradition is overseen by Allen Durham, whose father, Bill Durham, introduced it in 1978. Osceola wears a Native American-themed costume that the university says was “designed and approved by the Seminole Tribe of Florida,” consisting of leather clothing, moccasins, face paint, and a garnet bandana. He carries a feathered spear and is accompanied by Renegade, an appaloosa horse whom he rides bareback. Osceola performs at all home football games at Doak Campbell Stadium and related events like Homecoming. He initiates each game by charging Renegade to midfield and hurling a flaming spear into the ground.

College Search – Watch the FSU college video tour here!

College Search – Visit Florida State University Website





The Stanford Tree, in various versions, has been called one of America’s most bizarre and controversial college mascots.

The Stanford Tree is the Stanford Band’s mascot and the unofficial mascot of Stanford University. Stanford’s team name is “Cardinal”, referring to the vivid red color (not the common song bird as at several other schools), and the university has never been able to come up with an official mascot. The Tree, in various versions, has been called one of America’s most bizarre and controversial college mascots.  The Tree is a member of the Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band (LSJUMB) and appears at football games, basketball games, and other events where the band performs. The “Tree” is representative of El Palo Alto, the tree that appears on both the official seal of the University and the municipal seal of Palo Alto, Stanford’s nearby city. From 1930 until 1972, Stanford’s sports teams had been known as the Indians, and, during the period from 1951 to 1972, Prince Lightfoot (portrayed by Timm Williams, a member of the Yurok tribe) was the official mascot. But in 1972, Native American students and staff members successfully lobbied University President Richard Lyman to abolish the “Indian” name along with what they had come to perceive as an offensive and demeaning mascot. Stanford’s teams reverted unofficially to the name “Cardinal”, the color that had represented the school before 1930. From 1972 until 1981, Stanford’s official nickname was the Cardinal, but, during this time, there was debate among students and administrators concerning what the mascot and team name should be. A 1972 student referendum on the issue was in favor of restoring the Indian, while a second 1975 referendum was against. The 1975 vote included new suggestions, many alluding to the industry of the school’s founder, railroad tycoon Leland Stanford: the Robber Barons, the Sequoias, the Trees, the Cardinals, the Railroaders, the Spikes, and the Huns. The Robber Barons won, but the university’s administration refused to implement the vote. In 1978, 225 varsity athletes started a petition for the mascot to be the griffin, but this campaign also failed. Finally, in 1981, President Donald Kennedy declared that all Stanford athletic teams would be represented exclusively by the color cardinal. However, in 1975, the band had performed a series of halftime shows that facetiously suggested several other new mascot candidates it considered particularly appropriate for Stanford, including the Steaming Manhole, the French Fry, and the Tree. The Tree ended up receiving so much positive attention that the band decided to make it a permanent fixture, and thus began the process through which the Tree has gradually colonized the collective unconscious of Stanford’s student body.

College Search – Watch the Stanford college video tour here!

College Search -Visit Stanford University Website

We hope this article helps you with your college search.


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