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Eight Members of 2010 All-America Mascot Team Advance to Playoffs

November 23, 2010 at 3:31 PM EST
Baring fangs, swiping with paws, mascots from schools big and small ready to battle

MCLEAN, Va., Nov 23, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) --

After more than seven million votes by fans, students and alumni alike, and a knock-down, drag-out campaign that saw large, fuzzy characters competing at peak performance - the top eight competitors on the Capital One All-America Mascot Team (www.capitalonebowl.com) advanced to the playoffs in their quest to be named the Capital One Mascot of the Year, the winner of which will be named Jan. 1 at the Capital One Bowl in Orlando.

Unlike the BCS, this year's playoff field was less a matter of school or conference size, and more about university spirit, as the top three vote-getters included Old Dominion University's "Big Blue," "Paydirt Pete" from the Univ. of Texas-El Paso, and "Monte" from the Univ. of Montana.

Rounding out the final eight playoff teams were Ohio State's "Brutus," "Puddles the Duck" from the Univ. of Oregon, defending champion "Bearcat" of the Univ. of Cincinnati, "Joe Vandal" of the Univ. of Idaho, and Western Kentucky's "Big Red," who's mouth is always agape.

"Although I did not make the playoffs myself, I have been immensely proud of my fellow Capital One All-America Teammates," LSU's Mike the Tiger said through a mascot interpreter. "The Mascot of the Year competition brings out the best in all of us and allows the mascot world to remind college sports fans that we indeed work just as hard - both on the field and in the classroom - as the athletes we represent."

The final eight mascots competing for the Capital One Mascot of the Year will now face off in weekly, head-to-head elimination matches until voting for the final two mascots ends December 13. The winning mascot, whose school will receive an additional $15,000 scholarship to help fund its school's mascot program, will be pronounced Capital One National Mascot of the Year on January 1, 2011 during the Capital One Bowl.

Week One of the playoff match ups includes:

(1) Old Dominion's "Big Blue" vs. (8) Western Kentucky's "Big Red"

(2) UTEP's "Paydirt Pete" vs. (7) Idaho's "Joe Vandal"

(3) Montana's "Monte" vs. (6) Cincinnati's "Bearcat"

(4) Ohio State's "Brutus" vs. (5) Oregon's "Puddles"

Fans can vote at www.CapitalOneBowl.com.


The entire 2010 Capital One All-America Mascot Team included:

Joe Bruin of the University of California Los Angeles

Bearcat of the University of Cincinnati

Joe Vandal of the University of Idaho

Mike the Tiger of Louisiana State University

Testudo of the University of Maryland

Sebastian the Ibis of the University of Miami

Goldy Gopher of the University of Minnesota

Monte of the University of Montana

Brutus Buckeye of The Ohio State University

Big Blue of Old Dominion University

Duck of the University of Oregon

Smokey of the University of Tennessee

Paydirt Pete of the University of Texas El Paso

The Bird of the U.S. Air Force Academy

Mr. C of Vanderbilt University

Big Red of Western Kentucky University

Since 2002, Capital One has helped shine the spotlight on these unsung heroes of the college gridiron. Each participating school's mascot receives $5,000 for its university mascot program, and the Capital One National Mascot of the Year receives an additional $15,000 scholarship to help fund its school's mascot program. The winner will be announced at halftime of the Capital One Bowl game, airing on ESPN at 1 pm EST from Orlando, Fla., on Jan. 1, 2011.

The Capital One National Mascot of the Year is determined through fan voting. Throughout the college football season fans visit capitalonebowl.comto vote for their favorite All-American Mascot. Voting consists of 12 weekly head-to-furry-head match ups between the All-Americans. The mascots with the best win/loss records face off in online playoffs starting November 22, and the winner will be pronounced Capital One National Mascot of the Year on January 1, 2011 during the Capital One Bowl.

"We're proud of all our All-Americans who have campaigned hard throughout the regular season in a very tight race," said Pam Girardo of Capital One. "Now that the playoffs have begun, we expect the battle to become fierce and the claws to come out as the Capital One National Mascot of the Year title is on the line."

Fans of school mascots that were not included in this year's Capital One Mascot Challenge can log on to capitalonebowl.com and, after voting on this year's match ups, can nominate their own school's mascot for a chance to win $1,000 toward their Mascot Program and an opportunity to compete in the 2011 Capital One Mascot Challenge.

Fans can also follow this year's Capital One National Mascot of the Year competition on Facebook (Facebook.com/MascotChallenge), Twitter (Twitter.com/CapitalOneBowl) or on the Mascot Football Challenge iPhone application.

About Capital One

Capital One Financial Corporation (www.capitalone.com) is a financial holding company whose subsidiaries, which include Capital One, N.A. and Capital One Bank (USA), N. A., had $119.2 billion in deposits and $196.9 billion in total assets outstanding as of September 30, 2010. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One offers a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients. Capital One, N.A. has approximately 1,000 branch locations primarily in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. A Fortune 500 company, Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "COF" and is included in the S&P 100 index.

Capital One, an NCAA corporate champion, began its affiliation with college sports with the sponsorship of the 2001 Capital One Florida Citrus Bowl (now the Capital One Bowl) and ESPN's Capital One Bowl Week. In addition, Capital One sponsors the ABC College Football Halftime Report, all 88 NCAA Championships including the Division I Men's and Women's Basketball Championships, and numerous other collegiate athletics programs.

SOURCE: Capital One Financial Corporation

Capital One Financial Corporation
Pam Girardo, 703-720-2351
pam.girardo@capitalone.com