Ohio University and Rufus the Bobcat
A cozy campus nestled in the foothills of Wayne National Forest has a historic reputation as one of the foremost party schools in the nation. It started in 1804 as the first legislated public university in the Northwest Territory. The Ohio University Bobcats have produced some pretty special moments in sports as well. When fans don the Bobcat colors, they show their avid support for this Mid-American Conference (MAC) School located in Athens, Ohio. Ohio's football squad finished off a successful 2017 season by earning a trip to the Bahamas. There they dismantled The University of Alabama at Birmingham 41-6. However, success in sports goes back decades at Ohio University.
Ohio U. is a charter member of the MAC, joining the small conference during its inaugural season in 1946. The football team actually played their first game more than 100 years ago. The Bobcats dropped a defensive battle, 8 to 0 to tiny Marietta College from just down the Muskingum River. Peden Stadium, built in 1928, is the oldest football stadium in the MAC and one of the oldest in the country. In 2010, it was designated as an official historical landmark in the state of Ohio. It is nicknamed, "the Wrigley Field of College Football" in reference to the famed baseball stadium of the Chicago Cubs. The Athens campus is one of only two MAC schools to have their own golf course. The Bobcats have won dozens of conference titles across both men's and women' sports. However, Ohio University's biggest sport of fame is their baseball team. The Bobcats have laid claim to 14 MAC titles, including an appearance in the NCAA College World Series in 1970. Hall of Fame baseball great Mike Schmidt was an OU alumnus before starting a championship career with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Students can wear their Bobcat colors and hike to the top of a small hill adjacent to campus. There they can tour the old Ridges Lunatic Asylum. Legend has it this once notorious place where some of the craziest people were housed is still haunted by ghosts to this day. Mentioning Ohio University and failing to pay notice to The Ohio University Marching 110 would be remiss. The Bobcat band was the first university marching band to ever play at the famed Carnegie Hall. So, sports enthusiasts from southeastern Ohio, or anywhere else where fans love good sports, haunted places and great marching bands, will be honored to wear the green and white colors of Rufus the Bobcat.