Ranking the Renditions of Brutus Throughout the Years

By DJ Byrnes on July 23, 2014 at 11:59a

In yesterday's Skull Session, I ruminated on the swagger of 1979 Brutus. Even though he could likely get your (or my) girlfriend pregnant by making eye contact with her, I think I would prefer him to the current day rendition.

So that got me wondering, just where does today's (or 1979's) Brutus stack up against the pantheon of Bruti? A quick search led to me to this 2013 Buckshot, which in turn led me to Ohio State's interactive Brutus timeline.

*puts on the Macarena* LET'S LISTICLE, BABY.

1975 Brutus


Bringing up the caboose is 1975 Brutus, for horrifically obvious reasons.

I imagine the directions to the artist were to "make Brutus look like he's trying to lure a gang of children into his windowless 1962 Astrovan. Bonus points if you can make it look like he's having a stroke."

How did this get past multiple people and into the public realm? I assume it was because it was 1975 and everybody thought PCP was healthy. That is the only logical explanation.

1981 Brutus

1981 Brutus

Like most things made in the 1980s — and I say this as a man created in 1986 — 1981 Brutus is hot garbage. The only thing positive I can say about this rendition — the first to feature the Buckeye head sitting on the shoulders of the performer — is it doesn't look like a stroked-out pedophile on the prowl.

Some questions I have: Why is he holding giant cotton balls? What's with the clown shoes? Why did they affix his hat at that stupid, stupid angle? Are those horrific white pants? I thought white pants were only worn in the 1980s by cocaine dealers and people who hadn't yet accepted the death of disco. 

But you know what? A college mascot would be the perfect cover for a 1980s cocaine don dada... let's move on before I get myself shot.

1982 BRUTus


They were still working through the kinks in 1982, apparently. At least the cotton balls, pants, shoes and hat were fixed, but I still have no idea what's going on with the mouth or why Brutus has a homicidal glint in his eyes.



Marcus Junius Brutus the Younger — the OG Brutus — put a knife into the back of Julius Caesar during a Senate meeting on the Ides of March. (44 BC was a wild, wild time.) 

While 85 BC Brutus gets mad points for putting an end to the reign of autocrat Julius Caesar, and thus the Roman Empire, he loses mad points for never publicly rooting for The Ohio State University or its athletic teams.


1965 Brutus

Did you know, Brutus the mascot didn't appear until 1965? It's true.

According to legend, during an era where teams prominently had live mascots, students Ray Bourhis and Sally Huber suggested a buckeye as Ohio State's mascot.  

This led to the paper-mâché Brutus pictured above. While Ohio State notes it was "well received" by the public, I can't get past the giant tampons used for Brutus' eyebrows.

1968 Brutus

1968 Brutus

Somebody must've caught the tampon eyebrows by this point, because they were eliminated. 

What I like about this rendition of Brutus is his smile was rotatable into a frown for when the Buckeyes were playing bad (which in 1968 wasn't very often).

I also like how this Brutus is wearing slacks and dress shoes. To hell with that bum Don Draper, I'm all about church'd up Brutus.


2007 Brutus 

It only took a little over two decades, but Ohio State worked out the kinks to anthropomorphic Brutus, and in 2007, Brutus was inducted into the Mascot Hall of Fame. (I assume he's the only member.)

While there's a lot to like about 2007 Brutus, I am forced to deduct points for allowing Rufus the Bobcat to get the drop on him in 2010. I also don't think our champion Brutus would have almost literally been decapitated by David Perkins while toting the rock across the middle of a practice. 


1979 Brutus

I knew it in my gut when I discovered 1979 Brutus on Tuesday: He must've been what Mark Pantoni had in mind when he coined the term, Swaggernaut.

To me, 1979 Brutus is the perfect balance between old and new school. While the lack of a mouth might be seen as a hindrance, I think 1979 Brutus would be able to communicate by just using his eyes and eyebrows.

(Ol' girl on the right is obviously enticed by the smooth shell of this battle-tested warrior, the best Brutus Ohio State has ever produced.)

1979 Brutus is dead. Long live 1979 Brutus.

Image source: The Ohio State University Archives


Comments Show All Comments

AndyVance's picture

Best. Listicle. Ever. Viva Brutus, a poisonous nut with legs!

+2 HS
ULuvLucy's picture

"Bruti." I can't breathe. *laughing-crying emoji*

I was present at the game for the 2010 Rufus the Bobcat tackle, saw it with my own eyes. It is my absolute favorite mascot moment of all time.

BrutusBlock O Proponent of the ladies XS v-neck tee.

+5 HS
buckeyedude's picture

The 1975 Brutus looks like a very well tanned Popeye. Fail.



+3 HS
The Rill Dill's picture

-------a constipated Popeye, maybe.

-1 HS
BroJim's picture

Is the 1975 Brutus a rendition of Popeye in black face? it's awful.

Good read, thanks. 

Edit: Beat me to it. 

I season my simple food with hunger

+3 HS
TMac's picture

Thankfully in '75 fans were watching Archie win a second Heisman, rather than that edition of Brutus !

ONE Not Done!

+2 HS
1MechEng's picture

I knew it in my gut when I discovered 1979 Brutus on Tuesday: He must've been what Mark Pantoni had in mind when he coined the term, Swaggernaut.

Should that be "SwaggerNut"?!

+4 HS
1MechEng's picture

Also, doesn't 1975 Brutus look like Orlas King (Neutron Man) a little bit?

Long Live Orlas King! (Neutron Man!)
+3 HS
Denny's picture

I just want to know how Johnny Ginter went back to 1970 to take that picture with Brutus


+1 HS
Wilkins78's picture

I can't shake the feeling that 1979 Brutus' parents just got divorced or his dog died.  He's just got that sad, self-blaming, what-do-I-do-now look.

Also, looking at them side by side, they aren't that similar, but this was the first thing I thought of after seeing 1975 Brutus:

+2 HS
VintonCountyBuck's picture

I prefer the current rendition of Crowd Surfing Brutus:

Edit:  As an Ohio University Alum, I found the tackle by Rufus hilarious.  Brutus still scored on the play so all is good.

“Right now, Michigan is not at the pinnacle of college football, and that’s all Urban Meyer cares about...He’s been there and knows what it takes to get there.” 

+5 HS
chemicalwaste's picture

As an Ohio State student, I still find the tackle hilarious. Classless, yes, but I also like Jackass, the CKY movies, and other garbage like that as well.

+2 HS
419BuckI's picture

Greatest buckeye ever is Brutus' younger brother Cletus circa 1989. 25 years later, and  Potshots is still the greatest thing the Lantern  ever printed.

+4 HS
VintonCountyBuck's picture

I had nearly forgotten about Cletus.  Those were great

“Right now, Michigan is not at the pinnacle of college football, and that’s all Urban Meyer cares about...He’s been there and knows what it takes to get there.” 

+1 HS
shadybuck's picture

cheerleader be like

+4 HS
builderofcoalitions's picture

Howdy Ho, 1965 Brutus.

Because we couldn't go for three.

+3 HS
CALPOPPY's picture

The '65 Brutus went away because Ohio State ran out of chocolate, salty balls.

I'm a hurtin' buckaroo.

gm3jones's picture

Aww DJ, you had me crying with this. Thank you for that on a hump day!

There is nothing more remarkable as learning to think better.

chemicalwaste's picture

Another interesting bit documented in these pictures is advancement of brassier technology or usage from 1968 to the subsequent naming of the 80's pop group The Pointer Sisters, and the present day augmentation apparatus implemented by Victoria's Secret and the Wonder Bra. I'm all for change.

Also, I like the fact that, in 1968, they took into account that the person inside that giant nut helmet is going to need to see where he or she is going. However, unless the occupant has some MAJOR side effects from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, or is somehow cross-eyed to the point the the right eye looks through the left hole and vice versa and always looking down, those eye cutouts are completely worthless. Good thing they are there to guide him along with their finger tips on it.
OSUStu's picture

Another interesting bit documented in these pictures is advancement of brassier technology

Did ya mean fake boobie technology?

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

+3 HS
hetuck's picture

I am forever grateful the 1964 Athletic Council decided against a buck deer as mascot. The "deer in the headlights" comments after losses would have been unbearable.

Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

Vince Lombardi

+4 HS
VintonCountyBuck's picture

Brett Favre would approve.

“Right now, Michigan is not at the pinnacle of college football, and that’s all Urban Meyer cares about...He’s been there and knows what it takes to get there.” 

+1 HS
JLBNYC's picture

My recollection is that 1975 Brutus did not last long at all. The Giant Brutus Head re-appeared to a standing ovation shortly after the introduction of that abomination!

+1 HS
Burritos Noches's picture

1975 Brutus kinda looks like today's Big Nut...

"3 yards and a cloud of dust" - Woody "Pow Right In The Kisser" Hayes

+3 HS
KML's picture

I'd just like to point out that 85/44BC Brutus did not bring an end to the Roman Empire.  In fact, his actions are what created it (and ended the Republic).  

On a side note, is that cheerleader in the '79 picture wearing a pointed bra, or is she just happy to see him?  Eitherway, it looks like Brutus is happy to see her...

+4 HS
vitaminB's picture

1975 Brutus looks like a shit who is taking a shit.

+2 HS
apack614's picture

There is certain things in life you wish to unsee '75 Brutus is one of those

I can't wait to poop in the PL bathroom.

+1 HS
johnarmitage's picture

Is Clark Kent a buckeye as in the 1968 picture?

Hard-shell brutus was dropped because he could not fit on planes to away games.

AirAssaultBuckeye's picture

When they moved to the current Brutus the nut and it's features went all symmetrical which I think took away from its fun quirkiness.

Rendezvous With Destiny

SaudiBuckeye's picture

I am so grateful for not recalling ever seeing the 1975 Brutus. I guess, as a sophomore, my sights were elsewhere.

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

Jesus - how many kids did 75 Brutus make cry and run away!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

1962 Astrovan

You're not a car guy are you DJ?

DJ Byrnes's picture

i am a car guy in the sense i have a license but other than that........ no

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

Hovenaut's picture

1975 Brutus looks as though he represented The Lollipop Guild at one point.

+4 HS
ElGato69's picture

Is it just me, or does anyone else think that with the young, perky assistant at his side, 1979 Brutus is awfully glad about the strategic positioning and shape of his nose?

+1 HS
ScarletGray43157's picture

1975 Brutus looks like he is sporting an expression that is similar to one of  W. W. Hayes' expressions.  It is also similar to one of Neutron Man's expressions.  

Just sayin'....

In old Ohio there's a team that's known throughout the land...

THEOSUfan's picture

'79 Brutus doesn't have a mouth... which disturbs me for some reason.