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The Fans Have Spoken as the Capital One Mascot of the Year Competition Moves to the Championship Round; Two Confident Contenders Now Battle for Mascot of the Year Title

December 6, 2005 at 10:14 AM EST

MCLEAN, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 6, 2005--The top two vote-getters in this year's Capital One Mascot of the Year contest have advanced to the championship round. Almost 16 million votes were cast to decide the final round match up, which features University of Nebraska's Herbie Husker versus Massachusetts' Sam the Minuteman. The winner will be announced on January 2, 2006 during the Capital One Bowl. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. ET on ABC.

"If the playoff round is any indication, we're in for a fierce competition in the championship round," said Pam Girardo at Capital One. "We're proud of all of our All-American playoff contenders, who fought tooth and paw for their great fans and schools."

Last summer, 12 eye-catching characters were named to the Fourth Annual Capital One All-America Mascot Team, and have been embroiled in an intense competition to be named Capital One Mascot of the Year. Since September 1st, fans have come out in force casting their vote for best beast at or via text messaging. Unlike the previous rounds during which fans could see how their favorite mascot was doing while voting, the final round voting results will not be revealed until the winner is announced at the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, FL on Jan. 2nd.

This year's talented 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 three years, Capital One has helped thrust the spotlight on these unsung heroes of the gridiron. Team members star in a national advertising campaign, which this year features the mascots participating in the "M Games," a series of unusual (and fictitious) competitions. In addition to the hoopla, each participating mascot receives $5,000 for its school's mascot program. The winning mascot receives an additional $5,000 scholarship to help fund its school's mascot program.

"With the championship crown on the line, the inner beast has been awakened in these battle-tested gridiron warriors," added Girardo. "Voting and school pride is more important than ever as these adversaries lay everything on the line. They are counting on all of you for support to help them achieve glory and a place in the mascot history books."

2005 Competition Update

During week one of the playoffs (Nov. 21 - Nov. 28) Purdue Pete (#3) knocked off Baylor's Bruiser (#6) with the help of his hammer, as Joe Bruin (#4) couldn't withstand the ferocious bite of Tennessee's Smokey (#5) being eliminated in an upset. Week two (Nov. 28 - Dec. 5) featured Herbie Husker and Sam the Minuteman against the Purdue Pete and Smokey, respectively. Herbie (#1) took Purdue Pete to school while Smokey bit off a little more than he could chew, being eliminated by Massachusetts' Sam the Minuteman (#2). The final round (Dec. 5 - 19), featuring Herbie and Sam, determines who has the best set of "chompers" as well as the ultimate title.

About Capital One

Capital One Financial Corporation ( is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank, Capital One FSB, Capital One Auto Finance, Inc., and Hibernia National Bank (, offer a variety of consumer lending and deposit 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 Financial Corporation
Pam Girardo, 703-720-2351
Peter Collins, 212-601-8304

SOURCE: Capital One Financial Corporation