Raider Red Advances to Championship of Mascot Contest

He needs your votes to defeat Cocky the Gamecock and win the $20,000 grand prize.

When the dust and gun smoke settled at 11 a.m. today (Dec. 10), Raider Red, Texas Tech University’s costumed mascot, was still standing – with his guns up – to make it to the final round in the Capital One 2012 Mascot Challenge.

Red took second place out of 16 mascots in regular-season voting to contend for the most votes nationwide and will now face the first-place Cocky the Gamecock from the University of South Carolina, who was undefeated in regular-season voting.

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 2013 Capital One Bowl on Jan. 1, 2013. The winner will be awarded a $20,000 scholarship to help fund its school’s mascot program. Each of the 2012 participants also will receive $5,000 for their university mascot program.

Raider Red’s only regular-season loss came in week one against the University of Delaware’s YoUDee, who was eliminated in the quarter-finals.

“First, we want to thank everyone who has voted; the individuals, groups, and the media for helping us get the word out,” said Stephanie Rhode, director for Texas Tech’s spirit squads. “Since the final round comes during academic finals and graduation week, we need everyone – students, staff, alumni and community members to continue to vote as many times as they can, all week long. We will have voting power hours each night, but fans must vote any time they have free time.”

The Capital One National Mascot of the Year is determined by Internet voting. Fans can vote unlimited times at Twitter voters must use the hashtag #CapitalOneRaiderRed.

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

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.