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Capital One National Mascot of the Year Playoffs Begin

November 29, 2006 at 5:31 PM EST

Six All-Americans Claw Their Way Closer to Mascot of the Year Title

The top six vote-getters in this year's Capital One Mascot of the Year contest have advanced to the playoffs. More than 6 million votes were cast to decide the final six, consisting of North Carolina State's Mr. Wuf, Maryland's Testudo, Auburn's Aubie, Western Kentucky's Big Red, Tennessee's Smokey, and Washington State's Butch T. Cougar. The playoffs take place over the next three weeks, with the winner being announced on January 1, 2007 during the Capital One Bowl.

"It's been an extremely tight claw-to-paw race so far," said Steve Schooff at Capital One. "We're proud of all of our All-Americans, who campaigned and fought all the way up until the end."

Week One of the Playoffs (Nov. 27 - Dec. 4) pitts Auburn's Aubie (#3) against Washington State's Butch T. Cougar (#6), and Western Kentucky's Big Red (#4) against Tennessee's Smokey (#5). North Carolina State's Mr. Wuf and Maryland's Testudo each get a bye in the first round of the playoffs. Week 2 (Dec. 4 - Dec. 11) pitts Mr.Wuf against the Aubie/Butch T. Cougar winner, and Testudo against the Big Red/Smokey winner. The final round (Dec. 11 - 18) determines who gets the ultimate title.

"With the Capital One National Mascot of the Year title on the line, we're expecting the claws to come out and the battle to become fierce now that we're in the playoffs" added Schooff. "Once again the mascot fans have turned out in full force, and we've still got almost four weeks to go."

Last summer, 12 lovable characters were named to the Fifth 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 September 12th, fans have come out in force casting their vote for best beast at www.capitalonebowl.com.

                   The Final Regular Season Standings
(1)  North Carolina State - Mr. Wuf
(2)  University of Maryland - Testudo
(3)  Auburn University - Aubie
(4)  Western Kentucky University - Big Red
(5)  University of Tennessee - Smokey
(6)  Washington State - Butch T. Cougar
(7)  University of Wisconsin - Bucky Badger
(8)  University of Kentucky - Wildcat
(9)  Air Force Academy - The Bird
(10) Syracuse University - Otto
(11) Georgia Tech -  Buzz
(12) University of Oklahoma - Sooner

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 four years, Capital One has helped thrust the spotlight on these unsung champions of the gridiron. Team members star in a national advertising campaign, which this year features the mascots participating in 'Fur Factor', a series of gravity defying (and fictitious) competitions. In addition to the bragging rights, each mascot receives $5,000 for its school's mascot program. The Capital One National Mascot of the Year will receive an additional $5,000 scholarship to help fund its school's mascot program.

WRITE IN YOUR FAVORITE MASCOT

Didn't see your school's mascot in this year's Mascot Challenge? Capital One has added an additional fan component to this year's competition. Fans can log on to www.capitalonebowl.com and nominate your school's mascot for a chance to win $1000 toward their Mascot Program and an opportunity to compete in the 2007 Mascot Challenge! Each voter is allowed one vote per day, so show your school spirit and vote - vote - vote to see your favorite furry friend in next year's competition!

About Capital One

Capital One Financial Corporation (www.capitalone.com) is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank and Capital One FSB, offer consumer lending 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.

CONTACT: Capital One
Steve Schooff, 972-378-8105
stephen.schooff@capitalone.com
SOURCE: Capital One