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Tulsa has a dog ambassador now. That's adorable and everything because it is a dog, and a Golden Retriever at that. This means Tulsa football will run out of the tunnel led by a likable, bounding, drooling animal with endless love, bottomless affection, and little understanding of what is going on around them. The animal is not named Dan Hawkins, Rick Neuheisel, John L. Smith, or Ron Zook, because that would be redundant. (But it still would have been a nice gesture in one direction, Golden Hurricanes.)

The dog is the obvious choice, and one that's been done in variations before. (See: Boise State's Zee the Tee Dog.) No one has ever chosen a cat to represent the values and/or personality of a program, but perhaps they should. Football teams and cats share a lot of personality traits: long periods of inactivity, lack of personality, violent spasms of blind rage against random objects, frequent destruction of valuable objects motivated by boredom, and an irresistible, instinctive need to pee on things.

So before you think we just want cats to be used as program ambassadors just to see the tragicomedy of a cat, being led on a leash, terrified of 80,000 screaming people and clawing its way up a flailing mascot on national television...well, we can't. That is exactly what we want to see. There are similarities, sure, but what we want most is to watch something like the Virginia Cavalier riding at full speed across the field, saber rattling against the horse, screaming and batting at the cat glued to its visage like a determined facehugger.

But yanno, the cat as symbol works in a few ways, both for individual teams, and beyond:

  • Always poops in the same place (Pitt, and Birmingham)
  • Carries a disease that makes you nicer (Nebraska)
  • Doesn't care if you live or die (Georgia Tech, specifically their head coach)
  • No matter the situation, always prepared to show own ass in polite company (Arizona State)
  • May smother you in your sleep for sport (Arkansas)
  • Has weird glands that make a strange smell that sometimes require medical attention (Kansas)
  • Not a fan of Gene Chizik, just in general (Auburn)
  • Inexplicably popular animal with limited emotional capacity and inconsistent presence (Notre Dame)
  • Zero coachability (Tennessee, 2012)
  • Has never taken or attended a class at the University of North Carolina (UNC)
  • Prefers to bathe in dirt and and its own spit (Frank Beamer)
  • Mere appearance across path can spell misfortune and doom (Joe Tessitore)
  • Sleeps 22 hours a day wherever it likes outdoors, and usually without clothing (West Virginia)
  • May relieve themselves in a sand trap (Steve Spurrier)
  • Is terrible at feeding itself, and will wander into any home hoping for a meal (Maryland)
  • Cares about nothing, plays with its prey, desires only blood and the replication of its species (Alabama)
  • Prefers to perch atop furniture (Nick Saban)
  • Vomits up bones, feathers, and gristle without warning (Mike Patrick)
  • Descended from prehistoric tigers and easily distracted with laser pointers (Dabo Swinney)
  • Will eat an entire nest of baby birds in seconds (Will Muschamp)
  • Marks territory with urine, stares at you while doing this (Lane Kiffin)
  • Is petrified of water for no reason (Gary Patterson, don't ask)
  • Went to Hawai'i and ate all the native flora and fauna and left and now there are no flightless birds left in the damn place (June Jones)
  • Ripped physique and effective performance despite irregular diet of garbage-meat (Kansas State)
  • Not eligible for Puppy Bowl (Miami)
  • Evolved to eat woodland creatures (Jerry Kill)
  • Will tackle a Christmas Tree for no reason whatsoever (James Franklin, Vanderbilt)
  • Is rewarded richly for doing very little (Texas)
  • Loses eight times before it really counts (Alabama)
  • Has no idea what time it is, ever; occasionally eats grass for no reason (LSU)
  • Spiny tongue capable of abrading human skin (Nick Saban)
  • Goes feral in a matter of days (Florida)
  • Goes wild for certain plants (Florida)
  • Suspicious of vegetables (Michigan)
  • Lives in mortal fear of every moment of every day bringing a new threat, some new terror, some possible doom lurking in every twitch of the leaves in the trees, some beast waiting in the bushes with longer claws, and even sharper teeth, and faster legs to catch with stronger paws the prey you call yourself, meat on the bone, seconds from death at any instant, breathing oxygen in the mere hope something smaller and slower and sadder sees you as that rattle in the bushes, that for someone you are the reaper's blade clattering in the foyer as he takes off his raincoat, removes his galoshes, and makes himself at home waiting for you on the sofa. (Michigan State)
  • Seriously won't complain about having to eat rats (Bill Snyder)