Stanford University
Stanford has won an astounding 105 NCAA Championships in its storied history. Not bad for a school with one of the most misunderstood nicknames in all of college sports: the Stanford Cardinal. No, it’s not named after the bird. Nor is it a reference to a Catholic priest. The Stanford Cardinal refers to the rich red color that has represented Stanford teams since 1892. That was the year the football team beat Cal in the very first “Big Game,” a heated rivalry that continues to this day, with the winner taking home the Stanford Axe trophy.
Nickname:
Cardinal
Top Rivals:
University of California, Berkeley
Style Facts:
Stanford has no official mascot. It does, however, have an unofficial one: the iconic Stanford Tree, based on “El Palo Alto,” a redwood tree in neighboring Palo Alto and represented in the University seal. Each spring, Stanford students audition to become the Tree. Since the Tree is not an official university mascot, there is no mandated Tree uniform. The newly appointed Tree is responsible for designing and making their own costume.