Tomorrow marks the 108th edition of The Game. And, even after the The Dark Period we just endured and The Streak which we're still suffering through, Michigan holds a 57-44-6 advantage. But that you know, what you didn't know about the angry mob of f-bomb aficionados from that school in Ohio is found below in the final regular season edition of Know Your Foe.
Ed Note: After Thanksgiving and family, I started and finished KYF waaaaay too late. Please forgive any typos. I'm too tired to re-read before passing out of exhaustion.
But that wasn't the only battle for OSU, because the school was also under fire from other schools within the state of Ohio. Both Miami University and Ohio University were considered more prestigious institutions at the time -- and they were justifiably upset to not be selected as THE state university and the recipient of government allocations. Former U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes lobbied hard for monies for Tosu, mocked the other schools, and basically browbeat the state legislature to give the new institution a prominent position above Miami and OU. In the end, the state legislature settled the issue by declaring Ohio State as the only school that would be allowed to offer doctoral degrees. Miami and Ohio would be limited to Bachelor and Masters Programs. This also established the proud Tosu trend of bullies named Hayes bringing their school glory.
Nickname - The Buckeye is the official state tree and a creative term of endearment for the pioneers on the Ohio frontier. Apparently, one of the first acts of the original settlers was to cut one of these stinky trees down and somehow this led to calling themselves buckeyes since. The leaves appear in a five-leaf cluster, and the fruit (nut) resembles the eye of a deer, thus the name: buck-eye. It’s poisonous to humans, horses, cattle, and coaches as it apparently causes them to punch opposing players and lie to the NCAA.
Coincidentally, there is a city in the U.S. named Buckeye, though it's in Arizona, not Ohio.
Mascot - In 1965, Ohio State students Ray Bourhis and Sally Huber decided Ohio State needed a “game day” mascot and persuaded the athletic council to study the matter. At the time, mascots were commonly live animals brought into the stadium or arena. A buck deer was contemplated but that idea was eventually rejected given the impossible logistics of keeping a deer calm in a large crowd (even a deer can only hear so many f-bombs before losing its shit).
Instead, they went with a 40-pound paper-maché buckeye nut which was worn over the head and torso, with legs sticking out. They named him Brutus Buckeye. He made its initial appearance at the 1965 homecoming football game against Minnesota. The heavy costume did not last long and it was soon replaced by a more permanent and durable fiberglass shell. Sometime during the 1970’s they added a baseball cap to the bucknut with limbs. Today Brutus looks like something out of a muppet nightmare, frightens anyone he comes in contact with, angers other mascots into an uncontrollable rage and causes still others to do this on YouTube.
|Thing Atop A Fast Foot Restaurant Brutus...Lonely Brutus...Asshole Frat Guy Brutus|
Colors - Scarlet and Gray. The official colors were selected by three students in 1878. The reasoning for the combination was that they were a “pleasing combination” and weren’t being used by any other college. The original selection of orange and black was shot down when the students discovered that Princeton used those colors. This was the closest Ohio State has ever come to being confused with Princeton.
Logo/Helmet - The primary athletic Ohio State logo from 1957 to 1987 was a simple, yet enduring block “O”. Since 1987 they have added a more modern “Ohio State” arched through the middle. They have a ton of secondary logos, the most common combining the classic “O” with a buckeye leaf and nut.
One should be careful, however, not to confuse the official school logo with their now-more-well-know logo, The Buckstache.
Normally, the Buckeye's have their distinctive silver bullet helmet design. It had been unchanged since 1968 until Nike got involved and OSU whored-out The Game with "special" and "Pro-Combat" uniforms the last couple years. Thankfully, they'll be returning to tradition tomorrow. They also love to award their
Fight Song - In 1915, OSU student William A. Dougherty, Jr., set out to write the perfect fight song for his school. Dougherty felt that something more exciting was needed for pep rallies and football games than the sad melancholy Carmen Ohio (which sounds like something the students would sing in Dead Poets Society). Thus, Across the Field was born. It debuted on October 16, 1915 against Illinois and has not stopped playing since (although it is important to note that they had to wait another 4 years before they could play it during a win against Michigan).
While this is the main fight song, Buckeye Battle Cry is played after touchdowns (meaning Tosu fans haven't heard it a lot this season). Fan favorite Hang on Sloopy (NOT Snoopy) is played every home game and no mention of anything to do with the Ohio State music would be complete without a mention of Script
As much as it pains me to say it, I think OSU's fight song and Battle Cry are top notch. And if you've ever been in the 'Shoe when Hang on Sloopy plays, it's pretty darn cool. Okay, enough compliments. Let's take a look at OSU academics.
|So there's that|
Athletics - Few schools have the athletic tradition of Ohio State. They currently field 36 varsity teams and are one of only three universities (Michigan and Cal-Berkeley being the others) to have won national championships in the big three sports (football, men's basketball, and baseball).
In 2007, Sports Illustrated nicknamed Ohio State's athletic program as being "The Program" due to the unsurpassed facilities, unparalleled amount of men's and women's sport teams, their success, and the financial support of an impressive fan base." Gee, after The Downfall, I wonder if they'd still say today?
Exceptional former athletes at Ohio State include Olympic Gold Medalist and Dude Who Made Hitler Eat Crow Jesse Owens, NBA greats John Havlicek and Jerry Lucas, college basketball coaching legend and chair-thrower Bobby Knight, and golf superstar Jack Nicklaus (attended, did not graduate).
Football - It is in football that most people recognize and associate Ohio State. They’ve won five recognized national championships, including most recently the 2002 crown. They’ve won 34 Big Ten titles (a number I didn't have to update after last years KYF due to their season being wiped away). They have a combined seven Heisman Trophies including the only two-time winner: Archie Griffin in 1974 and 1975. They have produced many NFL stars and college and pro football Hall of Famers. Famous names you might recognize include Jim Otis, Jack Tatum, Eddie George, Chris Spielman, Orlando Pace, and Cris Carter. Recent NFL first round draft picks include Chris "Beanie" Wells, Malcom Jenkins, Vernon Gholston, Anthony Gonzales, and Teddy Ginn Jr.
However, Ohio State is football probably most well known as a place that once-great coaches eventually are forced out in disgrace. The two most iconic coaches in the school's history met such a fate: Woody Hayes for punching a Clemson football player after he intercepted Art Schlichter; and Jim Tressel who "forgot" to tell his bosses, oh, 642 times about his players associating with shady characters, selling merchandise and lying to the NCAA.
Famous Alums - As you would expect, Ohio State has a long and somewhat impressive list of famous alums. They have many successful CEOs and political leaders. They have produced two Nobel Peace prize winners and have accumulated 10 Pulitzers. Recognizable names include former UofM President Harlan Hatcher, Tuskegee Airmen Squadron Commander Harold Brown, WWII Medal of Honor winner Robert Scott, Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center co-founder Charles Kettering, Goosebumps author RL Stine, Windex inventor Harry Drackett, Shoney’s founder Alex Schoenbaum, ESPN SportsCenter director Vince Doria, Actress Patricia Heaton, annoying comedian Richard Lewis, Rascal Flatts lead singer Gary LeVox, Ric Ocasek from The Cars, country singer Dwight Yoakim, Baseball Hall of Fame sportscaster Jack Buck, and the co-founder of Wikipedia Larry Sanger. They also provided an education to serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. By far the most humorous and ironic name I find on this list is Teflon inventor Roy Plunkett which is probably why it took so long for folks to finally realize the truth about Tressel.
As much as Michigan fans don't want to admit it, Bo Schembechler has a graduate degree from Ohio State. From his coaching days under Woody, he also has a pair of those little gold-pants charms they give out for beating Michigan but never tried to sell his on eBay.
KYF counted at least four NASA astronauts, there may be more. And although the state of Ohio has produced eight US Presidents (William Henry Harrison, Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William Howard Taft, and Warren Harding) -- none of them attended or graduated from Ohio State. But they are an "Up and Coming" school. So who knows what the future holds.
The Game - The stakes in this game are huge...for Michigan. The pressure is all on U-M since they haven't beaten OSU since 2003* and this year's Buckeye squad is, frankly, not that good. The feeling by many is, if not now, when? Ohio State's offense is currently ranked 108th in the country. Basically, their offense is where Michigan's defense was last year. They're starting a freshman QB and are led by a soon-to-be-replaced coach. The odds couldn't be any more in Michigan's favor...which scares the hell out of me. Pre-The Dark Period, I wouldn't be that worried. But the albatross of The Streak makes the biggest obstacle to victory, I believe, mental. Plus, it's The Game. Anything can happen.
But not tomorrow. Not in The Big House. Not with Team 132. I think it'll be close - closer than we'd like, hope for or expect - but they have nothing to lose. Yet lose they will.
Michigan - 24
Ohio State - 17