If you’re a college football fan or a fan of college sports, in general, it’s safe to say that you’ve probably heard someone refer to Ohio State as “THE Ohio State University”. Why is this? It’s not like we say “THE Florida State University” or “THE University Of North Carolina” or “THE” anything else for that matter. Some think that it’s just Buckeye fans being obnoxious, but there are actual reasons as to why fans of the scarlet and gray refer to the school in full fashion as “The Ohio State University”.
The Ohio State University was initially known as Ohio Agricultural And Mechanical College.
The University was renamed in 1878 because the board of trustees thought Ohio Agricultural And Mechanical College didn’t live up to the school’s prestige. The president of the university thought that the new name would further separate the institution from other schools in Ohio. Some also believe that the “THE” was added on to show other colleges in the state who the top dog was.
While the school was renamed to The Ohio State University in 1878 it wasn’t until 1986 that the nickname became known by the masses.
In 1986 the school rebranded itself by making a change to its logo.
The motivation behind the new logo was for the school to shed the nickname of OSU. Obviously, there are other OSUs out there (Oklahoma State and Oregon State) and university officials wanted to avoid confusion. The “THE” (which was already in the official name of the school) was added to the logo to “reflect the national stature of the institution.”
— Geirean (@GeireanHatchett) July 26, 2018
So to answer your question, no, Buckeye fans are not just being obnoxious. The Ohio State University is the correct and official name of the school. For those of you who think the name is a little pretentious, you’re not exactly wrong, but Buckeye fans and officials think that the university is prominent enough to carry such a name.