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Why your mascot sucks: Ohio State University

Quite possibly THE lamest mascot in the B1G.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Iowa State vs Ohio State Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State, in all of its infinite wisdom, in a conference of Wildcats, Illini, Wolverines, Hoosiers, Badgers and hell, even Gophers…chose to be a nut.

Yes, that’s right. A nut.

A buckeye is a popular tree in Ohio, the state tree in fact, and it produces buckeye nuts.

Ohio’s state official animal is the deer, their state bird is the cardinal and their state reptile is the black racer, which is a snake and their state amphibian is a salamander.

Needless to say, there is potential there. They could have been the Bucks (like a deer), after all the nut is called the buckeye, because it resembles a buck’s eye.

They could have been named after their official amphibian and been the Slippery Salamanders…well, maybe not that or they could have been named after their official reptile and been the…

Looks at state reptile’s name

Nope, not touching that.

Literally they could have been anything else... They didn’t need to (pick something that would) crack under the pressure.


For quite some time, Ohio State had a hard time settling on a design for Brutus.

Brutus made his debut in 1965 when students Ray Bourhis and Sally Huber, suggested a buckeye as the school’s mascot.

While some schools were using wild animals on their sidelines, which turned out to be problematic, the school decided to go with a nut.

Again, a nut...

The original Brutus did not last long, in fact it only lasted two weeks. The original Brutus was crafted out of papier-mâché and was quickly replaced with a 22-pound fiberglass model.

Brutus got yet another remodel in 1975, with a smaller head that rested on the wearer’s shoulders.

However, the new Brutus was not a fan-favorite. His squinting eye and his angry smirk were well disliked by students and his predecessor was brought back.

Even though he didn’t look much like a nut, he did look an awful lot like a nut sack…

I am guessing that played a part in his discharge. However, I found no reference of the word ‘scrotum,’ in my research. So we’ll never know.

In 1977, another new Brutus debuted, who looked similar to the original version, but he had gained about 60 pounds and a hat. However the new added weight turned out to be too heavy for the wearer.

The heavier version of the Buckeye lasted only four years and was replaced with a Brutus whose head was worn on the performer’s shoulders.

A year later, Brutus traded in his football jersey, for a scarlet and gray striped shirt, with his name on the front and ‘00’ on the back.

Brutus’ current design took shape in 2001, when fans complained he looked tired.

Brutus was also inducted into the Mascot Hall of Fame in 2007.


Brutus, according to his official profile stands “6-0 – 6-9 Depending on if it rains.” He still wears his scarlet and gray striped shirt, with his name on it. He also still wears his hat, with the Ohio State O on it.

One particular piece of his uniform that I don’t understand is the towel he keeps around his waist…maybe it’s for when he “busts?”

Brutus used to even be customizable as he was able to turn his smile into a frown and likewise, if OSU was not playing well.

Brutus, also has a pet squirrel named Eleanor, but squirrels eat nuts so…keep your friends close and your enemies closer?

Aww Nuts

Aesculus glabra, more commonly known as the Ohio buckeye, American buckeye, or fetid buckeye is the namesake for Ohio State’s mascot. It is a tree native to the Midwest and lower Great Plains that produces the buckeye nut. And it’s not even a true nut; it’s a nut-like seed.


Eating a buckeye nut is actually quite difficult – the nut is mildly toxic, but can be eaten once you remove them from their shell AND after roasting them. Seems like an awful lot of work to eat a nut…

Geeze buckeyes nuts, try being like a peanut.

However, word is that is that Native Americans would mash the nuts into a fairly nutritious paste that they would eat, once they had peeled and roasted the nuts sufficiently.

Now, you may be wondering what happens if you don’t roast it enough? Well, it could still be toxic and cause weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, paralysis and death.

Not worth the risk.

The arduous task of eating them aside and it’s not even on a top-nine list of nuts to eat for better health produced by Healthline.

Not to mention, Ohio must hate dogs, because buckeye nuts are poisonous to our four-legged companions. They had to have known this, prior to making the tree their state tree.

September 18, 2010

Of course, this was one of the greatest days ever. The day that Rufus attacked Brutus and well…kicked his nut-shaped-head ass.

Brandon Hanning, who portrayed Rufus, the Ohio University mascot took off on a dead run from the 15-yard-line on a dead sprint and tackled Brutus at the 35.

Moments later, Hanning attacked Brutus again in the end zone, as some Ohio State players kneeled in prayer.

”It was the whole reason I tried out [to be Rufus] last year,” Hanning said. “I knew we were going back to OSU this year, and I wanted to tackle Brutus.”

Best part of the story is that Hanning wasn’t even a student at Ohio U. He was enrolled at a local two-year college.

Now, let’s enjoy some video footage…

You can tell the players don’t even like Brutus and who can blame them? They’re all in the peak physical shape of their lives and they could not care less that a bobcat is curb-stomping their mascot. They even started kneeling after the fight was underway.

That was some MACtion that Brutus could have done without.

It’s safe to say that when you’re a mascot named after a nut, that is difficult as all hell to eat and your biggest fears are squirrels and Rufus, you hate the holidays (Nutcrackers, duh) and you have a hard time making friends with anyone with a nut allergy, you suck, pretty hard.

Mascot Suck Index

Suck Ranking University Mascot Mascot Suck Index
Suck Ranking University Mascot Mascot Suck Index
1 University of Minnesota Goldy Gopher 100
2 Ohio State University Brutus 94
3 Purdue University Purdue Pete 92
4 Kent State University Flash the Golden Eagle 90
5 University of Illinois Chief Illiniwek 89
6 University of Nebraska Herbie Husker & Lil' Red 86
7 University of Iowa Herkey The Hawk 85
8 Michigan State University Sparty 63
9 Northwestern University Willy the Wildcat 62
10 University of Michigan N/A 60
10 Central Michigan University N/A 60
10 University of Southern Florida Rocky the Bull 60
13 Purdue University The Boilermaker Special 10
14 University of Wisconsin - Madison Buckingham U. Badger 0