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The 20 coolest college football logos

And now for the purely subjective 20 Coolest College Football Logos, brought to you by a guy with a just-recognized unnatural affinity for birds and the color green:

No. 20 Temple logo Rice logo I couldn't decide between the Temple and Rice owls, so they're tied for 20th. I think the edge goes to Temple, though, due to the fact that he at least looks like he's coming in for the kill. Rice's owl looks like he's coming to affix a hood ornament to your overpriced luxury car. On the other hand, the Rice owl nearly makes up the difference with those crazed, hypnotic eyes.
No. 19
Hawaii logo Okay, so Hawaii's logo is, at its essence, just an "H," but it's really, really pointy. I count 17 sharp edges, which nearly brings it into the snarling animal category. They're on the inside, on the outside, everywhere, really. I'm really not sure why, but this brave green and white "H" gives the impression of having just been run over by a Humvee but that it got its own licks in in the process.
No. 18
Iowa State logo Okay, confirmed. The Iowa State mascot is indeed the cyclone. Perfectly appropriate for a state with the topographical diversity of a band aid whose only defense against powerwind is a legion of corn stalks. But why the Cardinal? I'm guessing the poor thing just got swept up by the mighty cyclone. Whatever the case, it's so angry at its predicament that it's grown arms and teeth, so watch out.
No. 17
Florida Int'l logo

Note the oh so subtle darkening of the "I." We'll just leave it at that.

Extra points to FIU, though, for havings its dangerous, one-legged wild animal crawling out of its border. It's coming for you!

No. 16
Ohio logo Nice, clean font in something other than red or blue. The arc is a nice touch as well. The kitty cat, though, really doesn't look much different than Fluffy when you swing her around by her tail. Not that I've ever done that. Never mind. Um, green!
No. 15
South Carolina logo

Bonus points to South Carolina for producing a logo featuring a mascot that is both frightening and frightened, although I'm relatively certain that it is more the latter than the former. Subtract points for the gaudy giant "C," but the gamecock is squawking its little chicken heart out while molting, so yeehaw for angry, multitasking poultry. Plus, big, hairy, audacious bonus points to the administration for including the politically incorrect and likely illegal prosthetic razor spur on the thing.

No. 14
Louisiana-Monroe logo If you think the chicken is intimidating, check out the Louisiana-Monroe warhawk, the only avian known to man that can actually unleash an electrical storm from its dirty sphincter. Burger King for breakfast, Petros for lunch, and a tub of Olestra for dinner = = Ben Franklin's Perfect Storm At-Home Kit.
No. 13
UCF logo The UCF Knight would have ranked much higher, what with its nice complement of black and gold coloring and slanted, triangular pupils peering out from the darkness. Unfortunately, somebody had to go and add the pony tail, so they settle at No. 13.
No. 12
Western Michigan logo The Western Michigan bronco is galloping like the wind, its well-toned muscles rippling with effort. The fact that the stud is working a wad of Skoal at the same time just puts it over the edge.
No. 11
Marshall logo Yes, it's the Marshall Thundering Herd, but this poor guy has been separated from the pack and is thundering no more, as the taxidermist has carefully preserved his head for posterity by mounting it smack dab on the logo. Killer beard, though, dude.
No. 10
Pittsburgh logo

I once saw a house cat with its ears pinned back like that topple, tie, gut, and quarter a black angus bull in under 45 seconds. Add 100 pounds and call it a panther, and you have Pittsburgh.

No. 9
UTEP logo That there's one large, muscular man with a pick-axe. Those El-Paso mountain ranges in the background? There used to be three of 'em. When that miner fellow follows through, there will be one. He's efficient that way.
No. 8
Eastern Michigan logo

You really have to admire the sheer audacity of Eastern Michigan University. When someone observed that the school's initials were EMU and suggested that they choose an emu for their mascot, those in charge said, "Yeaaaaahh. Emus." They didn't even bother with adding a color to the thing. Black. White. Emu.

What? It's an eagle? Riiiight.

No. 7
Buffalo logo The nose-ringed, hump-backed Buffalo Bull is fierce, and he's challenging you to make fun of his baby blue hue. I suggest you refrain.
No. 6
Miami (Ohio) logo What is it with the birds? Swooping owls, bicepped Cardinals, unnaturally-endowed chickens, warhawks unleashing electrical storms from their bowels, and scowling, emu-ish eagles. This one, though, beats them all with its regal, stoic countenance. Red says power. Narrow, beady eyes scream malicious intent. Hooked beak denotes ability to achieve desired outcome. Football fans, do not cross the Miami Redhawk.
No. 5
Army logo

What do you think goes through somebody's mind after he spends an afternoon covering every non-bendable inch of fleshy vulnerability with solid plate armor and hefting a double-edged sword? How far down the list do you think "A cape. I need a cape." would be? Yeah, that's what I thought.

Still, Army's Knight in Shining Armor With Snazzy Flowing Robe just looks cool. The colors are fantastic, and the logo itself blends sharp points with luxurious curves well.

No. 4
Baylor logo The Baylor Bear would have ranked much higher if he didn't look like he was just saying hi. And not in a "Hello, I am here to slice your skull open with my razor sharp claws so I can dip my extraordinarily large paw into your brains" kind of way, either. No, this is more, "Hellooo! Yoo-hoo! Over here! Did you know that only you can prevent forest fires?"

What? It's up to me? How did that happen? Buh-bye, Mr. Baylor Bear!
No. 3
Purdue logo The Purdue Boilermaker is cool on so many levels. First: not an animal, so points for originality. Second: perspective, it's heading right straight at you, and it's been building steam all the way from the horizon. Third: black and gold. It's powerful, and it's fast, and you'd better get off the tracks, now, son.
No. 2
BYU logo That's either one extraordinarily large cougar or one very small mountain. Who knew the Mormons were so aggressively intimidating?
No. 1
Alabama logo

Look, we hate Alabama around these parts, and the soup is boiling what with the recent SEC Media Days fiasco, but you've got to admit that that's one kickin' logo. You don't have to be a hobbit to know that oliphants are dangerous, but they rarely look it. Even when they're crushing zookeepers' skulls, they appear sluggish and disinterested.

Not the Alabama elephant, though. The detail on its face says it's tired of the zoo, the faux African plain, and it's through working for peanuts and painting pictures for the kiddies. And look at that back leg -- he's fixing to jump the fence. Just because you've never seen an elephant hop doesn't mean that they can't. They've just never been ticked off enough to need to.

I will say, though, that the placement of the "A" makes it look a bit like it's doubling as a fig leaf, but whatever.


Still to come: