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January 5, 2010

If Big Ten nicknames really went at it

What if Big Ten nicknames, or what they represent, fought in real life? Which Big Ten nicknames would have the upper hand?

Some of the rules/caveats: Since all of these nicknames are referred to in the plural, could a swarm of one nickname beat a swarm of another? And if I don't know what one is, it probably couldn't beat those nicknames that a person can actually visualize. So ...

  1. Illinois Fighting Illini -- I give the nod to Native Americans as the most unbeatable for 2 reasons: 1) they are "people" and we all know people are more intelligent and crafty than animal-based mascots and 2) we are in the Native Americans' home turf.
  2. Michigan State Spartans -- A very, very close second. We all know the Spartans were great warriors, but I think the Illini would make mincemeat out of them, especially if the battle was fought in Big Ten country.
  3. Purdue Boilermakers -- Again, a Boilermaker is a person and as such would probably be smart enough to beat any animal.
  4. Penn State Nittany Lions -- No one is exactly sure what a "Nittany" Lion is, but I'm pretty sure a pride of lions could take down any animal listed below.
  5. Michigan Wolverines -- Commonly known as a rather tenacious animal, a group of wolverines would probably be pretty difficult to fight against.
  6. Wisconsin Badgers -- I am of the opinion that badgers are a lot like wolverines in terms of tenacity, but you usually hear that wolverines are more vicious.
  7. Northwestern Wildcats -- A group of wildcats could probably take down a group of gophers, but not a group of badgers.
  8. Minnesota Golden Gophers -- The weakest animal nickname in the Big Ten. However, a group of gophers would most definitely enjoy a meal of buckeye nuts.
  9. Ohio State Buckeyes -- A mascot named after a nut. Unless the nuts could throw themselves at a group of gophers I think it is save to assume that the gophers would come out on top.
  10. Indiana Hoosiers -- I don't know what a Hoosier is. You could argue that a Hoosier is a person, but for the most part it is a made up word. However, whatever it is, it could most likely beat ...
  11. Iowa Hawkeyes -- A Hoosier could probably beat a hawk eye, or a group of hawk eyes. I'm pretty sure an eyeball can't beat anything and that is why the Hawkeyes are the weakest nickname, overall, in the Big Ten.
So, there you have it. You can try to argue, but you would be wrong. Until next time.

Posted by snackeru at January 5, 2010 6:49 AM


Minor quibble: I think the Illini mascot carried a ceremonial spear - this is not going to do the trick vs. the Spartan, who wields a short sword, nor the Boilermaker, who prefers the sledgehammer. So I rank them Spartan, Boilermaker, Illini, Hoosier (a generic, unarmed Indianan), then your animal/vegetable mascots.

Posted by: chapman at January 6, 2010 11:18 AM

Well, again, I was thinking of this in terms of swarms of these mascots. "[C]ould a swarm of one nickname beat a swarm of another?" I think the Illini's guerrilla tactics would win the day. It would be close, though, against the Spartans. I'll give you that.

Posted by: Shane at January 6, 2010 12:57 PM

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