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Nebraska's Herbie the Husker Named Capital One Mascot of The Year; More than 17 million votes cast in Head-to-Furry Head Competition

January 2, 2006 at 3:00 PM EST

MCLEAN, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 2, 2006--After months of fierce competition, University of Nebraska's Herbie the Husker proved he's top of the heap, having raked in the most votes to earn the coveted title of Capital One Mascot of the Year. Herbie edged out the ever-stylin' Sam the Minuteman from UMass in the championship round. The highly anticipated announcement was made on air during halftime of the nationally televised Capital One Bowl. Herbie bested 11 deeply talented (and oddly-proportioned) All-American mascots to bring glory (and $10,000) to the University of Nebraska.

"This was our largest voter turnout yet. The fans have spoken, and named Herbie as king," said Pam Girardo at Capital One. "This contest was designed to recognize to the unsung heroes of college football, so we're thrilled to see so many fans get behind their mascots."

Last summer, 12 eye-catching characters were named to the Fourth Annual Capital One All-America Mascot Team, and have since 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 www.capitalonebowl.com or via text messaging.

                           The All Americans
                           -----------------

Auburn University - Aubie
Baylor University - Bruiser
UCLA - Joe Bruin
Georgia Tech - Buzz
University of Kansas - Big Jay
Univ. of Massachusetts - Sam the Minuteman
University of Miami - Sebastian
University of Nebraska - Herbie Husker
Purdue University - Purdue Pete
University of South Carolina - Cocky
University of Tennessee - Smokey
Washington State - Butch T. Cougar

"We're proud of all of our All-Americans, who work their fur off to support their schools," added Girardo.

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 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.

"Herbie joins a prestigious list of winners, which now consists of both man and beasts," added Girardo. Prior winners are a grizzly bear (Univ. of Montana's Monte, 2002 and 2004) and a gamecock (Univ. of South Carolina's Cocky, 2003).

2005 Competition Recap

We said farewell to six of the mascots as we entered the playoffs. 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), featured Herbie and Sam duking it out to determine who has the best set of "chompers" as well as the ultimate title.

About Capital One

Capital One Financial Corporation (www.capitalone.com) is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank, Capital One FSB, Capital One Auto Finance, Inc., and Hibernia National Bank (www.hibernia.com), 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.

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http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=5047688

CONTACT: Capital One, McLean
Pam Girardo, 703-720-2351
pam.girardo@capitalone.com

SOURCE: Capital One