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Ranking the Pac-12 rivalries - by mascot

What would you rather see? A Duck fighting a Beaver or a Bruin against a Trojan. Let's make the Pac-12 mascots fight!

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

So here we are facing a new college football season. Fall camps will be getting into full swing in the next few weeks and fans of all teams are getting excited. Which rivalries do you think are the best in the Pac-12? Football players come and go every year, but the mascots always stay the same so let's look at what rivalries are the best - if the mascots fought it out.

6th Place: Oregon Ducks vs. Oregon State Beavers

Do we even need to mention this one? In last place we have a Duck fighting a Beaver. Really. I can't even judge that fight. Do Ducks and Beavers really duke it out over the pond? Could they even fight? This is just an abomination of nature. I can't pick a winner, it would upset the petting zoo.

5th Place: California Golden Bears vs. The Stanford Cardinal

First off, if you went to Cal you are very smart and if you went to Stanford you are very smart and rich, so please don't send me your emails filled with words I won't understand, because frankly I won't understand you.

Now down to the battle. A Golden Bear is a big-ass bear that is extinct. He originally lived in California before it was settled and he was wiped out by civilization. But what is "The" Cardinal and why do I have to say "The" before Cardinal. I literally spent 3 minutes on Wikepedia and they didn't even know what it was. Is it a bird? A religious leader like a reverend or a rabbi? There is a tree involved in their mysterious symbol but that doesn't help. I don't know so I'll say the extinct bear will eat "The" Cardinal.

4th Place: UCLA Bruins vs. USC Trojans

Well a Bruin is a bear, so I'm not sure why they aren't just the Bears. Maybe they didn't want to copy Cal. The NFL might be a copycat league but the Pac-12 sure isn't. I'm betting since it's a university some snooty old professor was looking down his nose saying "Bears -- By George that's a peasant name. We shall henceforth be known as the Bruins."

Then there are the Trojans of USC. I'm honestly torn on this one. I mean on the one hand you have the image of a muscular, ripped Greek warrior and on the other you have an image of a bear shredding its opponent. I was going to go with the Trojans, but I found a hole in my argument and now I'm stuck with the Bruins.

3rd Place: Arizona State Sun Devils vs. Arizona Wildcats

Finally some mascots that make sense! You literally have a Devil vs. a big cat. I know some of you are saying "Stop right there." Yes these are public (government) institutions and I do have a copy of the constitution in my wallet but I didn't bring religion into this by naming them the "Devils". Take that up with your priest and senator. Religion has nothing to do with football, unless it's the NFL because they play on Sundays.

So on to the battle. I'm tempted to go with Arizona here but they aren't specific as to what kind of wildcat they are. I mean are they a bobcat or Cecil the lion? I have to pick the Sun Devils over a generic cat.

2nd Place: Washington State Cougars vs. Washington Huskies

An instant classic! Cougars vs. Huskies. Cat vs. Dog. Both real animals and both tough. Not some generic, extinct, made up critter or some wimp from a petting zoo. Just mother nature baby!

Talk about blue collar. These mascots weren't picked by a bunch of latin speaking pansies sniffing their brandy and scrolling through their magical lore. I can just picture a bunch of farmers and lumberjacks sitting around a campfire drinking their beer from the can and trying to pick their mascots.

"Hey I hear something in the bushes," said the farmer. "It's a big, tough, threatening COUGAR."

"No fears," said the lumberjack. "I'll just send out my fearless, masculine HUSKY dog from Alaska to fight the COUGAR."

It's a simple as that. Salt of the  earth folk picking salt of the earth names for mascots. This is good old Washington US of A, not France or some country like that. I can't even pick a winner of this one. They should just team up and whip the rest of the Pac-12.

1st Place: Utah Utes vs. Colorado Buffaloes

I really liked the Cougars vs. Huskies matchup, but how can you pass up this historical masterpiece? I don't even know if they consider it a rivalry, but they are the last two teams left so we are just going with it.

This is the Pac-12. The best of the west. How much more western can you get then the Buffaloes (a western icon) vs. the Utes, an indian tribe? This is almost literally a cowboys vs. indians thing. Kind of. Let's not digress into a Redskins/logo/racism debate here. Yes the Utah Utes are named after an indian tribe that some say lived in the west. But let's just enjoy the wonderful synergy of this matchup. Indians and Buffaloes lived in the same territory in the old west. Indians killed and ate Buffaloes.

Now we have a team named after indians playing a team named the Buffaloes, a natural prey of the old-time indians.  Talk about history coming around full-circle! This is hands down the best mascot rivalry in the Pac-12 and maybe all of football.