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Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Which Big 12 school will be the first with its own fragrance?

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

I've seen colleges emblazon their names on windbreakers and Snuggies, toilet seats and ice cream.

Heck, once at a party I was stunned when I wandered into an empty room and saw a friend had a lifelike 6-foot cutout figure of former Iowa coach Hayden Fry. He looked like he was about ready to roar at an official.

But unquestionably the weirdest sponsorship deal I've ever seen has been the introduction of Masik Fragrances for school-specific perfume products for Penn State, North Carolina and LSU.

The company also plans to introduce products for Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Auburn later this year. A percentage of each bottle sold will go to the university's scholarship and athletic fund.

The development of a school-specific scent is a lot more complicated than I would have thought.

After campus visits, discussion with students and alumni and additional research, a school perfume is developed, the company reports. Among the characteristics considered include school colors, mascot spirit, traditions and history, landmarks and architectural style, campus trees and flowers, mission statements, college town character and themes in the school's alma mater and fight songs. 

The Big 12 is missing out with this as each school and stadium has a specific scent that I could pick out if I closed my eyes and tried to imagine them.

Nothing, of course, matches the distinctive odor of a Texas-Oklahoma football game at the Cotton Bowl. The mixture of spilled beer, farm animals from the nearby State Fair of Texas and grease from the corny dog fryers waft to me as soon as I leave my car. It's hard to categorize, but something I instantly recognize each year.

Which Big 12 school will be the first to have its own fragrance? 

I can't wait to see which one joins up first. I'd love to take a blind "smell test" to describe what the scent reminds me of.