But an undergraduate from Motherwell has won praise for almost single-handedly leading his team to victory on University Challenge in a dramatic episode broadcast this week.
Alasdair Logan, a mechanical engineering student at the University of Strathclyde, answered 16 questions correctly on a range of subjects including literature, botany and art criticism.
The 110-point haul was enough for the Scots team to defeat Imperial College by 145-125, despite the team from London leading by more than 60 points at one stage.
The victory was rounded off by Logan correctly answering three bonus questions on the 2016 football European Championships.
The thrilling comeback led host Jeremy Paxman to joke: “Strathclyde, you left it pretty late I thought. You seemed to be asleep in the first half.”
Social media was quick to react to the student’s performance, with one viewer claiming Logan had produced the best individual performance they had ever witnessed.
Another twitter user said: “Logan, wherever you are, you are an absolute machine. Well done tonight to both teams.”
The student is the latest University Challenge contestant to prove a hit on social media. The last series of the quiz made brief stars of Eric Monkman and Bobby Seagull, two fiercely intelligent contestants with memorable names from opposing Oxbridge teams who propelled their teams through the series.
Mr Logan and his teammates James Flannigan, Paul Dijkmanm and Ian Brown will return for a second round match against an as yet unnamed opponent in the coming weeks.
If Strathclyde can maintain their winning run all the way to the final they could become only the third Scottish-based institution to win University Challenge, matching the achievements of St Andrews in 1982 and Dundee the following year.
Edinburgh’s best finish was a runners-up spot in 1981, while Aberdeen, Strathclyde and Glasgow have never made the final.
Could you match Alasdair by answering these questions?
Q: Born in 1822, which Austrian botanist formulated laws of segregation and independent assortment?
Q: Knights, birds, frogs, wasps and clouds all feature in titles of plays by which ancient playwright?
Q: Which English Premier League referee took charge of the Euro 2016 final?
Q: Which Australian did an online reviewer describe as surely the least pretentious and most stylish of art critics?
- Gregor Mendel
- Mark Clattenburg
- Robert Hughes