KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Good ole Rocky Top! University of Tennessee Knoxville’s own Smokey has been named the top mascot in the semifinal round of UCA’s Division 1A College Mascot National Championship.

Smokey will now face off for the title in the finals in January at ESPN in Orlando, Fla. The three-time national champion (2000, 2001, 2008) will look to avenge a loss in 2020 where Smoky was just short of claiming the fourth title.

Twenty mascots submitted a highlight video to be judged based on various characteristics, and the Top 10 moved on to the final round and will perform a 90-second skit in person and in front of a live audience.


1. University of Tennessee – “Smokey”
T2. Auburn University – “Aubie” the Tiger
T2. University of Cincinnati – The Cincy Bearcat
4. University of Minnesota – “Goldy” the Gopher
5. University of Colorado – “Chip”
6. University of Wisconsin – “Bucky Badger”
7. University of Oklahoma – “Boomer”
8. University of Iowa – “Herky” the Hawk
9. Rutgers University – “Sir Henry” The Scarlet Knight
10. Pennsylvania State University – The Nittany Lion
T11. Liberty University – “Sparky”
T11. Louisiana State University – “Mike” the Tiger
T11. University of Washington – “Harry” The Husky
14. University of Kentucky – “Wildcat”
15. Louisiana Tech University – “Champ” the Bulldog
16. University of Texas – “Hook ‘Em”
17. University of Alabama Birmingham – “Blaze”
18. Texas State University – “Boko” the Bobcat
19. University of New Mexico – “Lobo Lucy”
20. University of New Mexico – “Lobo Louie”

“Our mascot team put in an incredible amount of work this year to bring the best possible experience to fans at all of our games, community service outreaches and campus events,” mascot coach Rodney Arnold said. “We began practicing and planning in May. The team’s countless hours of investment to be the best they could be for the fans they entertain was evident in our video entry.”

At the tryouts for Smokey in April, five students were selected as a team to bring Smokey to life for the 2021-22 year and will appear at more than 300 events on campus and in the community.

STAY INFORMED: Download: the WATE 6 On Your Side News and Weather Apps