Fuzz and Fur Are Flying as Baylor's Bruiser Advances to Mascot Playoffs
Capital One Contact: Pam Girardo, (703) 720-2351
Baylor Contact: Lori Fogleman, (254) 710-6275
Six All-Americans Now One Furry Foot Closer to Mascot of the Year Title
Baylor University's Bruiser the Bear and five other top vote-getters in this year's Capital One Mascot of the Year contest have advanced to the playoffs. More than 15 million votes were cast to decide the final six, consisting of Nebraska's Herbie Husker, Massachusetts' Sam the Minuteman, Purdue's Purdue Pete, UCLA's Joe Bruin, Tennessee's Smokey, and Baylor's Bruiser. The playoffs take place over the next four weeks, with the winner being announced on Jan. 2, 2006, during the Capital One Bowl.
"It's been an extremely tight race so far," said Pam Girardo at Capital One. "We're proud of all of our All-Americans, who fought right up until the end."
Week One of the Playoffs (Nov. 21-28) pits Purdue Pete (#3) against Baylor's Bruiser (#6), and Joe Bruin (#4) against Tennessee's Smokey (#5). Herbie and Sam each get a bye. Week 2 (Nov. 28-Dec. 5) pits Herbie against the Purdue Pete/Baylor winner, and Sam the Minuteman against the Joe Bruin/Smokey winner. The final round (Dec. 5-16) determines who gets the ultimate title.
"With bragging rights on the line, we're expecting the gloves to come off now that we're in the playoffs" added Girardo. "Voter turn-out has been unprecedented this year, and we've still got almost four weeks to go."
Last summer, 12 lovable characters were named to the Fourth Annual Capital One All-America Mascot Team, and have been embroiled in a fierce competition to be named Capital One Mascot of the Year. Since Sept. 1, fans have come out in force casting their vote for best beast at www.capitalonebowl.com
or via text messaging.
The Final Regular Season Standings
(1) University of Nebraska - Herbie Husker
(2) Univ. of Massachusetts - Sam the Minuteman
(3) Purdue University - Purdue Pete
(4) UCLA - Joe Bruin
(5) University of Tennessee - Smokey
(6) Baylor University - Bruiser
(7) Georgia Tech - Buzz
(8) Auburn University - Aubie
(9) University of South Carolina - Cocky
(10) University of Miami - Sebastian
(11) University of Kansas - Big Jay
(12) Washington State - Butch T. Cougar
This year's fuzzy crew was chosen from Division IA and IAA athletic programs with college football teams. They made the squad after being ranked on mascot musts such as interaction with fans, originality and pedigree. The panel of judges included mascot guru and historian, Dr. Roy Yarbrough, and representatives from ESPN and Capital One.
Over the past three years, Capital One has helped thrust the spotlight on these unsung heroes of the gridiron. Team members star in a national advertising campaign, which this year features the mascots participating in the M Games, a series of unusual (and fictitious) competitions. In addition to the hoopla, each mascot receives $5,000 for its school's mascot program. Mascot of the Year receives an additional $5,000 scholarship to help fund its school's mascot program.
About Capital One
Capital One Financial Corporation (www.capitalone.com) is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank, Capital One FSB, Capital One Auto Finance, Inc., and Hibernia National Bank (www.hibernia.com), offer a variety of consumer lending and deposit products. Capital One, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in McLean, Va., is one of the largest providers of MasterCard and Visa credit cards in the world. Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "COF" and is included in the S&P 500 index. Capital One's affiliation with college football began with the sponsorship of the 2001 Capital One Florida Citrus Bowl (now the Capital One Bowl) and ESPN's Bowl Week. In addition, Capital One sponsors the ABC College Football Halftime Report and numerous other college football programs.