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LOL, your logo is sooo scary!

American football is 30% preparation, 30% talent, and a full 40% intimidation. Little wonder that most college football logos feature wild animals snarling, charging, diving, swooping, thrusting, clawing, ramming or otherwise threatening all manner of bodily harm. Those logos that don't suggest patent hostility have such significant histories of dominating opponents that they can rely on a single letter and a single color to instill fear in their opponents.

Some schools, though, apparently didn’t get the memo and instead opted for, intentionally or otherwise, something more . . . approachable. Something cute, cuddly, or just downright comedic.

A few examples of how not to intimidate your rival with your logo:

Akron logo
Sure, they can kick, but kangaroos have built-in purses. Especially the ones that are over-populating the streets of Akron, Ohio, or so I hear. The "Zips" should have just gone with an actual zipper. Most guys I know have had more bad experiences with zippers than with kangaroos.
Arizona State logo
Arizona State’s little devil-man is carrying a salad fork and wearing a full-body maroon leotard. Yes, he has his angry eyes on, but like a disapproving glance from Brian Boitano or the growl of a Labradoodle or Cockerpoo, it doesn't really get the job done.
Connecticut logo
Awww. You know, most canine mascots are pictured in the act of growling. Or crouching. Something that suggests that it's ready to pounce and take a chunk of meat the size of Rhode Island out of your thigh. Not the Connecticut Husky. He only wants to get out of the hot sun so he can pant, drool, and lick your face. Your six-year-old daughter wants to cuddle with this dog because it is sooooo poofy and cute! Michael Vick’s punishment should be walking this dog through downtown Atlanta on a leash and picking up its poop, which I'm guessing is also adorable.
Washington logo
Ooh, la la. The University of Washington's husky is sleek and sexy. There’s danger in that, but not on the football field.
East Carolina logo
It's not that a pirate was a bad idea, it's that it looks more like your dad on his way to fry fish at the Captain D’s. As a matter of fact, I’m relatively certain that East Carolina's logo was cut out from a placemat colored by one of the customers’ kids. Hey, he stayed in the lines.
Fresno State logo
Popeye’s dog had some potential as well, but the execution . . . oy. I think it’s the sweatshirt with the block “F” on it. It does not stand for “fear.”
Kansas logo
It’s a bird! It’s a clown! It’s a Clown-Bird, complete with oversized puffy shoes and an abnormally-sized see-through beak. Sue Grafton says K is for Kill, but Kansas' Jayhawk is not intimidating. Frightening, in a Teletubbie in your garage kind of way, yes, but intimidating? No.
Louisiana-Lafayette logo
Do not trifle with the Fighting Notary Publics! Louisiana-Lafayette's commission expires in December, 2012.
Maryland logo

Come on. Maryland isn't fooling anyone by calling it a Terrapin. Not only is it a turtle, it's an embarrassingly stupid one. If you’re slow, you’d at least better lead with your shell, don't you think? The thing doesn’t even have teeth, making it look like your grandpa without his bathrobe. The thing probably dominates all comers in time of possession, though, so there's that.

New Mexico State logo
Watch out, he’s got a rope!
Western Kentucky logo
Watch out, he’s got a towel!
Stanford logo
Yeah. It's a tree. Stanford's mascot is difficult to tackle, but not too hard to keep out of the end zone.
Colorado State logo
You know that picture that’s both an old, wrinkly woman and a beautiful young lady? The one that supposedly tells you something about yourself depending on which you see first? Well, what do you see in Colorado State's logo, and what does it say about you? Is it a ram, or is it a mirror image of Droopy Mime Elvis? And sure, it could be a ram, but maybe it’s a bear rehearsing for Phantom of the Opera. Stare at that thing long enough, and you can pretty much see anything you like.
San Diego State logo
Um, just how did this one get past the NCAA Committee on Political Correctness? I mean, talk about bold. Dude’s skin color is exactly the same as the fire engine red Aztecs lettering, and he’s wearing a sundial on his ear. Sunscreen, people. Sunscreen.
San Jose State logo
My, isn’t my helmet shiny! It reflects light to ends of the atmosphere! As a matter of fact, San Jose's Spartan's exceedingly reflective helmet is probably responsible for San Diego State's Indian's impending melanoma.

Coming later this week: