Good morning and Happy Hump Day, Cougs! The dog days are almost here, my friends. My Capitals bowed out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs surprisingly gracefully which has limited my interest in the rest of that season. I'll keep up with the NBA playoffs, but I have no real vested interest in that. We're almost to the point where we are only left with -gulp- baseball for a couple months until football season finally rolls back around. I'm sure many among you are clamoring for an in depth Euro 2012 preview, but I'll spare you (maybe) and at the very least try to keep things Pac-12 related. One of the easiest ways to do that is to start ranking things. If you're like me, you see an article that is some sort of ranking and you are 86% more likely to read the article. They're easy to devour, they make for excellent conversation starters and most importantly, they're easy for me to write. It can never be overstated just how lazy I am. We're going to kick off what will potentially be weeks of me arbitrarily assigning rankings to the Pac 12 with the logos. We all know who has the best logo in the conference, but where do the other 11 fall after that? I'm sure you're absolutely dying to know so get your jump on and let's do this.
1. Washington State
Am I biased? Of course I am. That said, we really do have a great logo. It's distinct, creative, stylish and basically any other good adjective you'd want to use. Need further prove that it's the best logo in college sports? My mom says so and she's always right. So there. OK, she might be a little bit biased to, but whatever. The only downside to Randall Johnson's masterpiece is that I cannot draw this sucker to save my life. I happen to be the worst artist on the planet so that's not saying much, but it still bugs me and severely cramps my doodling style. Other than that, best logo in the country.
You know what's cool? Buffaloes. Buffaloes are cool.
I'm not sure how exactly you make a buffalo with no face look mean, but whoever created this design did just that. I thought that perhaps buffaloes always looked mean no matter what, but then I remembered the ill-fated "Buffa-slug"and was reminded that this design could have really gone sideways. Regardless, that's a cool logo so congrats, Colorado. Having the second best logo in the Pac 12 is really quite an accomplishment. Keep that in mind once football season starts.
Simple, yet different. Kinda like Huddy
I assume that elementary school teachers have a fine appreciation for Cal's logo because of its effective use of cursive being that they're the only people on the planet who give a crap about cursive. Is that still a thing, by the way? I haven't been in elementary school for a while. Man, cursive was stupid, but I digress. I don't know what it is I even really like about Cal's logo. It isn't spectacular by any means, but the colors are nice and is just unique enough to stand out. They do some other things with bears and paw prints, but for me, just stick with the "Cal". You're good there.
"The block U isn't quite enough. You know what this thing needs? Feathers!"
I get that a simple block letter is a big part of brand recognition for colleges, but aesthetically speaking, it's not the most exciting concept ever so I appreciate that Utah spruced it up a bit and made a nice nod to the region's history at the same time. Good job by you, Utah. Now if you could just do something about this whole Utes thing.
I wonder if they had they red A first, then put the other stuff around it or if it was the other way around.
As long as they stay away from using this thing, Arizona is doing pretty well in the logo game. There's also this thing lurking with a glorious 1980's vibe. I wish I could have been party to the discussion when someone said, "Let's use a cactus for the I." and someone else decided, "No, people won't be able to figure that out. Let's leave the I, but put a cactus on top of it so that it looks stupid." I'm not sure how you win an argument by saying that it will look stupid and I also am not sure why I think logos are created in meetings like the one I picture in my head. I also really need to work on this digressing problem I have. Long story short, nice logo, 'Zona. A for effort. Hey-ooooooooo!!
Again with the cursive!
This is just a classic look and for me really fits as very So-Cal. We need to talk, though, UCLA. You've got to sort out your blue. Are you powder blue or dark blue? I mean, take a look here. You're all over the place. I prefer the light blue so you should probably go with that. Also, you should probably do away with the creepily happy bear that looks like he's squinting all the time.
I don't like to give Oregon credit for much, but their branding game is on point. It's hard to make an O distinct, but they've done exactly that. Now stop making the O with your hands please. It's annoying. Thanks!
8. Arizona State
Just bring back Sparky. Nobody fears forks. In fact, I quite like forks. They've been helping me eat for about 30 years and I appreciate them for that. If you're not going to bring back Sparky as a primary logo, I have another option for you. Just make this your logo and put it on everything.
9. Oregon State
Grrrrr! I'm a beaver!
I'll give OSU props for trying to create something modern and cool, but all that effort was wasted when the design turned out to be awful looking. There are plenty of animals in the world that I find menacing, but a beaver just isn't one of them so to try to make one look badass ends up just being silly. If the critter has to be in it, it should be this guy.
While scoring high marks in the "stuff I can actually draw" category, block letters as logos do next to nothing for me. USC rates slightly higher than Stanford even though they use the exact same S because it has an interlocking C. This isn't actually a function of creative design, though. It's just an initial thing. You'll also regularly see Trojans haphazardly scribbled above the SC or a tree in front of the Stanford S, but in both of those instances, it makes a boring, but fine looking design an ugly design. If I were USC, I'd put the trojan head on everything. I'd also move to a nicer part of town.
Last and most definitely least...
I've made my stance on the block letter pretty clear, but to take one and use purple? Yeah, that's bad. UW has distanced itself from the ferret logo which is good, I guess. Realistically, Washington could have the most stylish and cutting edge logo in the history of logos and it would still come in 12th on my list. Have I mentioned I'm biased?