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It's Playoff Time: Raider Red Steps Closer to Defending Title

Texas Tech goes head-to-head with University of Tennessee in National Mascot Voting Contest.

Written by Leslie Cranford

Capital One 2013

Raider Red, Texas Tech University’s costumed public relations mascot and reigning National Mascot of the Year, has made it to the elite eight for the playoff rounds of the Capital One 2013 Mascot Challenge. With a 9-3 record, Red took third place out of 16 mascots to contend for the most votes nationwide. The playoffs are a single-elimination vote over a three-week period.

Week one of the playoffs finds Red seeded No. 3 and competing against sixth-seed Smokey from the University of Tennessee. Red’s three regular-season losses came in week one against East Carolina’s PeeDee the Pirate, week three versus South Florida’s Rocky the Bull and week 10 against Wisconsin’s Bucky Badger.

“We are excited to be entering the playoffs again,” said Bruce Bills, mascot coach for Texas Tech. “This is a great opportunity for us to continue promoting Texas Tech and the Spirit Program to fans all across the country. Thank you to all the Red Raider fans out there that have been voting and getting Raider Red to this level.”

The Capital One National Mascot of the Year is determined by Internet voting. Fans can vote unlimited times at capitalonebowl.com/vote. Twitter voters must use the hashtag #CapitalOneRaiderRed. This voting season also incorporates 25- and 100-point challenges, involving weekly themes, photos and videos to be posted on social media.

This week’s 25-point challenge is “If your mascot started a country, what would it be called?” For 100 points, design a flag for the new country and upload a photo or video of it. Each upload also must use the #CapitalOneRaiderRed hashtag.

Fans also can follow Raider Red on Facebook.com/TTURaiderRed and Twitter @TTURaiderRed.

“Since the playoffs are single-elimination, we need everyone to vote as many times as they can, all week long,” Bills said.

The playoff voting will be conducted in three rounds over a three-week period today (Nov. 25) through Dec. 15. Based on the mascot rankings at the end of the regular season, each mascot was given a playoff seeding ranging from No. 1 to No. 8.

The mascot with the most votes at the end of the championship round will be the Capital One National Mascot of the Year and will be announced during the 2014 Capital One Bowl on Jan. 1, 2014. The winner will be awarded a $20,000 scholarship to help fund its school’s mascot program. Each of the 2013 participants also will receive $5,000 for their university mascot program.

The original 16 contestants were selected by a panel of judges from Capital One from among the mascot entries received from all eligible NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision and Football Championship Subdivision schools.

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Saddle Tramps

The Saddle Tramps was organized in the Fall of 1936 by Head Cheerleader Arch Lamb. The group was conceived to help channel the student body's sometimes overly exuberant and unruly nature into more positive and productive activities.

Saddle Tramps attend all men’s home football, basketball and baseball games. The primary focus remains to further the spirit and uphold the traditions of Texas Tech University. Some of the traditions that maintain are: Raider Red, wrapping of Will Rogers and Midnight Raiders, Homecoming Bonfire and Parade, bell circles, Victory Bells, shotguns, UT/A&M Watch, Carol of Lights, Bangin’ Bertha and many more.

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