Goldy going for Capital One gold

The Gophers mascot has been selected to represent the Big Ten and is one of 13 candidates to be named the Mascot of the Year.

As the campaign for the West Wing marches on, 12 other candidates have put their best foot – or wing or paw or claw – forward in a very different election; the honor of being named to the Capital One All-America Mascot Team. From this battle, the University of Minnesota's Goldy Gopher has emerged as one of the 12 members of the prestigious All-America Mascot Team.

"Mascots are the heart and soul of every team," said Diana Don Colby at Capital One. "We are thrilled to give Goldy Gopher the recognition he deserves as a member of the 2004 Capital One All-America Team. Not only does Goldy have bragging rights as the only Big Ten Conference representative, but he will also be featured in a national TV ad campaign."

Now the competition really heats up as Goldy embarks on an 11-week campaign to be named the 2004 Capital One Mascot of the Year. Goldy will compete in 11 weekly head-to-head matchups with the other finalists. From Oct. 11 to Dec. 26, fans can vote for Goldy at The mascot with the best win/loss record will win the online portion of the contest. The online "popular" vote will be combined with a judges' ranking (50/50 weighting) to determine who gets the ultimate title. Goldy could be pronounced National Mascot of the Year on Jan.1, 2005, during the nationally televised Capital One Bowl on ABC.

The 2004 Capital One All-America Mascot Team was chosen from Division I-A and I-AA athletic programs with college football teams. A panel of judges, including representatives from ESPN and Capital One, carefully analyzed each contender and scored them based on interaction with fans, sportsmanship and community service.

Below is a look at the 2004 Capital One All-America Mascot Team.

The 2004 Capital One All-America Mascot Team
Air Force Academy – The Bird
Auburn University – Aubie
James Madison University – Duke Dog
University of Georgia – Hairy Dawg
University of Kentucky – Scratch
University of Maryland – Testudo
University of Minnesota – Goldy Gopher
University of Montana – Monte
University of Nevada-Las Vegas – Hey Reb
University of South Carolina – Cocky
Virginia Tech – Hokie Bird
Western Kentucky University – Big Red

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