Athletics News
Time's Running Out; Scratch Needs Your Help


MCLEAN, VA., ? Like all great sports rivalries, the Capital One National Mascot of the Year competition is coming down to the wire. Does defending champ Monte the Grizzly have enough juice for a repeat? Is some brash, young upstart primed for an upset? Can a big gun from the Big Ten fend off six challengers from the SEC? Perhaps a big blob for the Sun Belt is ready to shine.

While the BCS can?t seem to offer one undisputed national football champion this year, Capital One is at least offering one true BMOC (Big Mascot On Campus) on Jan. 1, 2004. That?s when the Capital One National Mascot of the Year will be revealed during the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Fla., which is expected to be another classic New Year?s Day college football battle between two of the nation?s toughest conferences ? Georgia (SEC) and Purdue (Big Ten).

In the mascot competition, more than 3.5 million votes have been cast by sports fans and mascot lovers at . With only two weeks remaining for online voting, every click of the mouse increases the suspense. Live online polling will continue until 5 p.m. (EST) on Friday, Dec. 22, 2003.

The Capital One National Mascot of the Year will be selected based on a combination of the online popular vote (50 percent) and an expert panel of judges? previous rankings (50 percent), which were used to select the 12 members of the Capital One All-America Mascot Team.

Judging criteria included fan interaction, demonstration of good sportsmanship and community service. In the event of a tie, the judges will cast a final vote for the one mascot among those tied that best embodies the spirit of the competition.

?The year?s contest is really getting fierce, and several mascots are making hard charges for the finish,? said Pam Girardo, mascot spokesperson at Capital One. ?Like Yoga Berra once said, ?It ain?t over till it?s over.??

After the judges selected the Capital One All-America Mascot Team this summer, the 12 members of the team began competing for the title of Capital One National Mascot of the Year via online voting, which began Sept. 4, 2003.

Current Online Polling Standings

1. Brutus Buckeye ? Ohio State
2. Aubie ? Auburn University
3. Cocky ? University of South Carolina
4. Hairy Dawg ? University of Georgia
5. Monte ? University of Montana
6. Albert ? University of Florida
7. YoUDee ? University of Delaware
8. Smokey ? University of Tennessee
9. Big Red ? Western Kentucky University
10. Scratch ? University of Kentucky - He needs your help!!
11. Chip ? University of Colorado
12. Harry the Husky ? University of Washington

About Capital One
Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One Financial Corporation (www.capitalone.com) is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank and Capital One, F.S.B., offer consumer lending products and Capital One Auto Finance, Inc., which offers auto loan products. Capital One?s subsidiaries collectively had 46.4 million managed accounts and $67.3 billion in managed loans outstanding as of September 2003. Capital One, a Fortune 500 company, 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.

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