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That’s Nuts! New study says that Brutus is the most popular college mascot in the country!

Duh! Have you seen that lovable, moderately poisonous nut?

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

When your name is on the masthead of a website next to the word “Editor,” and you make the mistake of including your email address, you get a lot of unsolicited emails. For some reason, there are tons of people who are suddenly really concerned about your Google rankings and willing to help you fix them and even more people who want to actually pay you to publish a sponsored post that they write. I’ve never actually taken any of these “people” up on their offers, so I don’t exactly know what their angle is, but I have been on the internet long enough to know that it is some sort of scam that probably involves a Nigerian prince of some sort.

There is one other category of random email that you get when you’re the editor of a website, random press releases that have a very slight connection to the content you cover. In the case of Land-Grant Holy Land, I get a lot of emails about things like “The Most Popular Off-Brand Candy in the State of Ohio,” “The Most Deadly Intersection in the State of Ohio,” and “The Most Viewed TikToks Involving Children Under the Age of Five and Live Animals in the State of Ohio.” Again, generally I ignore these types of press releases, because all they usually are are other websites trying to use LGHL’s Google standing to boost their own algorithmic stature with linkbacks.

Again, in 99.9% of the cases, I ignore these emails because 1) they generally have nothing to do with Ohio State sports, 2) they are usually from super shady websites that I’m afraid will end up giving my computer a virus if I simply read the email, and 3) I don’t care.

However, you wanna know how to hook me? Send me a study that says that Brutus Buckeye is the bestest, most popular mascot in all of college sports. That I 100% care about and will publish pretty much every time, and so I am.

A website I was heretofore unfamiliar with called Betway (which I am sure has nothing to do with sports gambling and is therefore in no way in competition with SB Nation’s official sports betting partner DraftKings) crunched the numbers on social media interactions for college mascots and, unsurprisingly to all of us in Buckeye Nation, the beloved, moderately poisonous, nut ranks at the top of the list.

In terms of positive sentiment, Brutus has a 3.5% advantage over second-place Billiken from Saint Louis University (coincidentally, my aunt is a professor at SLU). Brutus also had the second highest views on TikTok per year, behind only Michigan State’s Sparty. However, by the looks of the latter’s numbers, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was juicing those, just like he was juicing his biceps.

2023 Mascot Rankings

Rank College Mascot Positive sentiment score (%) TikTok Yearly views
Rank College Mascot Positive sentiment score (%) TikTok Yearly views
1 Ohio State Brutus Buckeye 32.80% 4,000,000
2 Saint Louis University Billiken 29.30% 2,000,000
3 Furman University Furman Paladin 22.20% 108,000
4 University of North Carolina at Charlotte Norm the Niner 18.80% 5,917
5 University of Iowa Herky 18.50% 2,000
6 Wichita State University WuShock 17.00% 133,000
7 Saint Joseph’s University Saint Joseph’s Hawk 15.80% 1593
8 North Carolina State University Mr. Wuf 15.60% 4496
9 Florida State University Cimarron 15.30% n/a
10 Butler University Butler Blue 15.30% 1,000,000
11 University of Central Florida Knightro 14.50% 2,000
12 LSU Mike the Tiger 12.20% 680
13 Creighton University Billy Bluejay 12.10% n/a
14 University of Wisconsin–Madison Bucky the Badger 11.50% 10,000
15 Utah State University Big Blue 11.30% 24,000
16 University of Tennessee Tennessee’s Smokey 11.30% 2,000
17 Duke University Duke Blue Devil 11.00% 849,000
18 University of Colorado Chip 10.80% 369,700
19 Saint Joseph’s University St. Joseph’s Hawk 10.70% 1593
20 University of Maryland, College Park Testudo 10.60% 53,500
21 Michigan State Sparty 10.60% 15,000,000
22 University of Arkansas Big Red, the Arkansas Razor Back 10.10% 3,000
23 Miami Sebastian the Ibis 10.00% 86,400
24 University of California, Santa Cruz Sammy the Slug 9.90% 678,400
25 Drexel University Mario the Magnificent 9.40% n/a
26 University of Kansas Big Jay 9.10% 4,000,000
27 Stanford University Stanford’s Tree 8.80% 191,000
28 Minnesota Goldy Gopher 8.40% 1,000,000
29 Arizona State University Sparky the Sun Devil 7.90% n/a
30 UNC Rameses 7.80% n/a
31 University of Texas at El Paso Paydırt Pete 7.60% 43,400
32 Stephen F. Austin State University Stephen F. Austin’s Lumberjack 6.80% n/a
33 Syracuse University Otto the Orange 6.70% 480,900
34 University at Albany, SUNY Damien 6.30% 30,300
35 Tulsa University Captain Cane 6.10% n/a
36 Saint Mary’s Athletics Gideon 5.80% 90,000
37 University of Kentucky The Kentucky Wildcat 5.40% 758,000
38 Florida Albert Gator 4.70% 1,000
39 Morehead State University Beaker 4.60% n/a
40 Portland State University Victor E. Viking 4.20% 2,000,000
41 Baylor University Bruiser the Bear 2.80% 2125

I’m a little surprised that Iowa’s Herky was the next Big Ten school on the list in fifth, followed by Wisconsin’s Bucky the Badger in 14th, Maryland’s Testudo in 20th, and the aforementioned Sparty in 21st.

Minnesota’s Goldy Gopher ranks 28th, and is the last B1G mascot on the list. Notice there was no mention of TTUN in the top 41 presented by Betway (which is a really weird number to finish a list with). That’s because those pretentious Michigan Men believe that having a mascot is beneath them.

As I have spent way too much time discussing in the hallowed pages of Land-Grant Holy Land over the years, Brutus is the best mascot in all of college sports, but beyond him, the Stanford Tree is unquestionably at the top of the list.

So, to have it down at No. 27 puts Betway’s list in an unbecoming light. But also, how is the Oregon Duck not on this list at all? And UC Santa Cruz’s Sammy the Slug is No. 24? Alabama’s adorable elephant Big Al isn’t included? Let alone the inflatable Lil’ Red from Nebraska?

Look, I’m not one to call out others’ scientific endeavors, because I got through the bare minimum of math and science classes in high school and college thanks to sheer charm and luck, but besides Brutus, this list is absurd.

Anyway, stick with LGHL for all of your absolutely correct mascot hot takes and DraftKings for your sports betting needs.