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Is Penn State-Ohio State a two-way rivalry?

56% (922 votes)
44% (731 votes)
Total Votes: 1653


Oyster's picture

Of course it's a two way rivalry.  There was no other team that was designated to play PSU every year when they joined the B1G.  Look how many times they play each other in prime time, it's usually a close game and it's always a clean game.  To me, that is a rivalry.

FitzBuck is clearly the winner.  Not even close.

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Sparty was PSU's designated rival & played them every year until the B1G went to two divisions.

Oyster's picture

My point was that PSU and OSU have played annually since they joined the B1G, no other team had that designation except for a concocted 'rivalry' game.  It was part of the deal, which has been a good thing for both programs.  Also, it must not have been that much of a rivalry since the first split designated Indiana as the MSU rivalry game, which I thought was a bunch of crap for MSU.    

FitzBuck is clearly the winner.  Not even close.

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

You left off the 'except for....' part. When the Big Ten went to eleven teams each school was given two designated rivals. Ohio State was given to Penn State as a concession to their demands (that's also the same reason the Buckeyes played at Happy Valley consecutively in 94 & 95). Sparty was the other designated rival for a number of reasons, primarily due to being the previous new kid on the block while everyone else already had long developed rivalries. The Ohio State 'rivalry' was every bit as contrived as the one with Sparty.
After the split into divisions Sparty went west because they demanded to stay with TSUN. If push came to shove Ohio State would have made the same choice.

lamplighter's picture

yes, but it pales against the one

TMac's picture

NO - I may be old school, but you have one rival, and we all know that is for the Buckeyes.  It seems to me that Rivalry, like so many other things, is added to a story to increase the hype.  It's been a good competitive series, and it's both a conference & division game so that elevates it's importance over some others, but we have only one true rival. 

ONE Not Done!


^^^I agree with TMAC^^^
I live in a part of the country that has folks from all over the country, Ohio, meatchicken and Pennsylvania are well represented down here. Over the years I have made friends with Penn State grads but never anyone from Scum! Penn state fans take the Game between our schools as a rivalry and get worked up for the yearly series, where I look at it as just another good game.  It is a much bigger deal to the Penn state fans than it is for OSU so I can’t call it a true rivalry, YET.

As Ohio State fans, we grew up with a true dislike for “the whole state of Michigan” that has been a part of being a buckeye since our states almost fought a border war when they were formed. Our hate for each other is passed from generation to generation. We know what a true rivalry feels and looks like, PSU is not it. It might become a “rivalry” as time goes on, but it is not THE GAME that we know is one of the best rivalries in history.

"Woody is a God-fearing man. It's good to know that he's afraid of somebody." --Archie Griffin

J.Mo's picture

4. Wisconsin 
5. Penn State

buckifishr's picture

Couldn't agree more.
In my lifetime, it has not been much of a rivalry, but Illinois must have been a rival at some point.  Otherwise, we wouldn't have the Illibuck.

HighBallAce's picture

Juice Williams made it a rivalry in 2007! Lil bastard

luckynutz's picture

You mean the game where they fumbled on their first drive, we recovered it and the refs blew it dead and called the runner down? I still remember how pissed I was after that play. And wondered how much he bet on illinois before the game. Wasn't that official actually investigated for a string of questionable calls in big games following that?

Haybucks's picture

We play every year, PSU has the advantage at their home and their fans are ga ga nuts. Everyone knows how loud our fans are at the 'Shoe, where we hold the advantage in wins.
Excluding scandal vacancies, the Buckeyes hold a 15-13 advantage over the Nittany Lions.  The series meetings were was sporadic with PSU holding a 6-2 advantage before they joined the Big10.
Tight overall records, meeting every year, close contests, the two teams are national powers in the same conference and now the same division.  Although the Conference bigwigs have tried to influence a natural rivalry for Penn St. with MSU and then Nebraska, and probably Rutgers or Maryland in the future, we still gear up for this night game.
We're rivals.

If the world comes to an end, I want to be in Cincinnati. Everything comes there ten years later. -  Mark Twain


CC's picture

I totally agree.  They are the only team hold UM (and UNL to some degree) where we don't hold a lopsided record.  In my eyes they are the 2nd biggest rivalry.

AndyVance's picture

I've said more than once that Penn State is a rivalry, but that we only have one true rival. If you look at our recent history with both Penn State and Wisconsin, you can count those as rivalries of a sort, for many of the reasons outlined by other members above. There have been periods over the years where USC has been a compelling out-of-conference, big-game-type rival.
But regardless of all of that, over the course of 100+ years, Ohio State only has one true rival. Call TTUN our archrival, if you will. Everything else pales in comparison.

HighBallAce's picture

I consider any team that's ever beat Ohio State as a rivalry. Look at how many times we've had a chance at going to the National Championship and some team ruined it for us. Illinois, Purdue, those bastard Badgers, Piss and Blue, Michigan State....they are all rivals as far as I'm concerned! 
There is NO other rivalry besides Michigan however. Let me add that. However, consider the 90's when the piss and blue would beat us and they would say they don't consider Ohio State a rivalry. Funny how Ohio State doesn't do that considering how much we've beat the shit out of them bastards!

buckeyedude's picture

I think the PSU has turned into a great rivalry, second only to TTUN, obviously.
Unlike games vs. PU, IU, Illinois, etc., the games vs. PSU are always competitive and that makes it a good rivalry. Plus the fact that Ohio/Pencilveinya have a common border, and the teams steal each other's recruits...I love the rivalry with PSU, even more than Wisconsin.



hodge's picture

Penn State is our Sparty.
And they hate that because we're their biggest rival.

cronimi's picture

Great analogy, Hodge. You nailed it on the head.

OSU_ALUM_05's picture

Yeti's have feelings too.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

And they hate that because we're their biggest rival.

Spot on, but I also suspect that PSU fans tend to be hateful because so many of them hail from the Philly/NJ bitteropolis.

BED's picture

Philly fans have to hammer people.

The Ohio State University, College of Arts & Sciences, Class of 2006
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Class of 2009

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Penn State is our Sparty.
And they hate that because we're their biggest rival.

Don't forget the persecution complex & paranoid conspiracy theories that both also share.

CC's picture

Hodge - I think on some level you are correct, but where Sparty gets PO'ed about being called "Little Brother" etc, PSU doesn't have an inferiority complex.

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

PSU doesn't have an inferiority complex.

You're kidding right? PSU fans are living embodiments of the term.

Hovenaut's picture

Biased, as I lived and went to undergrad school (not PSU) in PA. Penn State was new to the conference, and their fans were initially (key word here) more than eager to measure their football program against tOSU.

Fortunate to have things tilt in the Buckeyes favor for the most part while I lived up there. Now, in Maryland where my father in law is a PSU alum, the rivalry is still there for me but it's cooled somewhat.

I've probably put 'sconsin ahead (thanks Bar, thanks Bert) of PSU, with we all know who forever is holding down the top spot.

We have filled the Braxton Miller position.

ScarletGray43157's picture

I have family in Pennsylvania and it is a rivalry to them.  It has always been a rivalry to me.  So, yeah, at least from my point of view. 

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

4thandinches's picture

competition for the same objective or for superiority in the same field.
That's the definition for rivalry. Unless one team is not trying to win the game, then every team we play is a rivalry.

I wasn't born a Buckeye but I became one as fast as I could. 

BED's picture

Nope.  We only care about PSU one week a year.  Hate for TTUN is 24/7/365.  That's a rivalry.

The Ohio State University, College of Arts & Sciences, Class of 2006
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Class of 2009

NYC Buckeye's picture

Its obvious TTUN is our rival, and our primary rival, and the best rivalry in college football, but Penn State is certainly our secondary rival, especially for us alums here in the north east...

sivaDavis's picture

We all have one rival. And that is the NCAA. 

"I've had smarter people around me all my life, but I haven't run into one yet that can outwork me. And if they can't outwork you, then smarts aren't going to do them much good." - Woody Hayes

Alice in Aggieland's picture

OSU v. TTUN is a gentlemanly rivalry, incredibly deep-seated and founded on mutual fear of and respect for each other. England v. France, if you will. We hate them all the time, but - save for one week a year - politely.
OSU v. PSU (and I'll throw Wisky in here, too) is more of a South Korea v. North Korea situation. Penn State's fanbase is illogical, insular, and hates us unconditionally, but we generally ignore them until they do something batshit. 

Denny's picture

I tried picturing B.O.B. hanging out with Dennis Rodman and that's when your analogy to North Korea fell short :(


Run_Fido_Run's picture

Your points are absolutely spot on. I'm just not sure about the supporting analogies. How about . . .
From the movie Once Upon a Time in the West: Harmonica (Ohio State) v. Frank (Michigan).
From the movie Cape Fear: Sam Bowden  (Ohio State) v. Max Cady (Penn State).

CC's picture

I like to think I'm good with analogies, but you just went to a new level.
Well done.

dja.ohio's picture

PSU is not a 2-way rivalry for me. PSU's 2 way rivalry was with Pitt, and that evaporated when PSU joined the B1G in the early 90's. PSU needs this to be viewed as a 2-way rivalry since they abandoned nearly all of their old independent schedule. The B1G Conference anointed Sparty as PSU's rival with the Land Grant Trophy, and I don't think Sparty wants to claim them as a rival either. Students in college now have never known a B1G without PSU, so I can see how they may want to claim PSU as a rival.
There is only one rivalry in the B1G that matters to anyone who knows about the conference - TTUN & tOSU. I hate losing to TTUN, and lived through the Cooper-era hell of 2-10-1 with the long dark winters that followed the game. TTUN now gets to enjoy those long winters with a big loss to their rival hanging over their head. If your emotions playing PSU rise to the same level as the Michigan game, then call it a rivalry if it makes you feel better. I respect TTUN; PSU is just another game on the schedule.

cplunk's picture

It's more of a pick six rivalry

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

When the B1G went to 12 teams I argued from the beginning that Ohio State & TSUN need to be in the same division. The two football programs are inexorably linked.
Yes there is hate, but at it's center is a tacit acknowledgement of a worthy foe.
PSU is not a worthy foe. There is nothing there that deserves respect. The proper response by the NCAA for their crimes would have been to revoke it's membership.
Let them glom onto Maryland or Rutgers and pretend those are their true rivals because they have memories of hammering both schools regularly when they were the only strong FB in the north east.

BED's picture


The Ohio State University, College of Arts & Sciences, Class of 2006
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Class of 2009

yrro's picture

Nope. I like beating Penn State, but I only care about losing to Penn State in the same way I care about losing to Illinois - it's something that shouldn't happen.
I care much more about beating Wisconsin, and even Purdue, than I do Penn State. Even our games with Iowa have been more exciting.

JLP36's picture

Does your third biggest rival qualify as a big rival.  It is much bigger from the other side.  Its a big game because it is one of the better teams faced each year, but the history is short.  You can't expect it to rival Ohio State Michigan (sorry Delaney) and the intensity doesn't match Wiscy.  Wiscy is a rival naturally, which is how it has to happen.  It will get there and Wiscy will fade a little unless we seem them in the title game every year (likely).


thirtytrap's picture

I voted no here but I am still not over that 63-14 ass whoopin that they gave us in 1994.  For all of you who are to young to remember that it was bad!!!!!!!!!!!!

PA Buckeye's picture

I've spent 40 years in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, mostly within 40 miles of Beaver Stadium. The only other two years I've spent on this Earth were in Columbus, earning a Masters at America's finest land grant university. I am an expert on this question.
(Ahem...) Hodge nailed it. We are their TTUN. They will never be ours. They despise this. So I find ways of bringing it up all the time. They are our Sparty at best, if even that. Wisky is our second rival. Deal, Nits. You killed your own rivalry with Pitt.

Hell with the lid off

jfunk's picture

When I look at the schedule and I see the Michigan game, I feel a sense of hatred, loathing, and anticipation. When I look and see we're playing Penn State or Wisconsin all I'm thinking is "that's going to be a tough game". There are no emotions attached, and I think that's the major difference.

Scotch: It may be too early to drink it, yes; but people it is never to early to think about it.

ScarletNGrey01's picture

Penn State fans thought they would come into the Big Ten and dominate, that did not turn out to be the case, there seems to be a cult-like, somewhat delusional perspective of what their program is by the denizens of Happy Valley, all the way up to the disgusting lack of contrition by a lot of their students and fans when the horrific details regarding their scandal came to light.  Nebraska fans had a bit of the same delusions they were going to own the B1G, they ended up getting a reality check pretty quickly (both have great histories and are good programs, don't get me wrong, and the conference NEEDS them to be elite programs again).   I do respect what O'Brien has done and the hang-in-there toughness of their current team.  Agree with the majority of people here: 1) TTUN is our true rival, The Game is considered by us and most sports outlets as the most heated rivalry in all of college sports, 2) Wisconsin has become our distant second rival, and 3) beating Penn State is always satisfying ... the "little brother" phenomena as nicely posted earlier.

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Nebraska fans had a bit of the same delusions they were going to own the B1G, they ended up getting a reality check pretty quickly

When Nebraska's membership was announced I spent a lot of time on Nebraska boards (watching how people react when faced with change is fascinating), there was no overwhelming feeling that they would come in and dominate the B1G. Nebraska fans were actually pretty realistic in their expectations. If you want to expose the crazy in Nebraska fans, you have to shift the topic to Texas.
PSU fans on the other were definitely very vocal about how they were going to dominate the Big Ten. On a hard drive somewhere I still have copies of the discussions from newsgroups (precursors to message boards)  at the time where 'Nit fans were very bombastic regarding their future. I occasionally drag out those discussions when PSU fans wax especially strong in their delusion that such things were never said and are just a creation of haters from the Big Ten who want to keep them down.

dja.ohio's picture

By Brian Bennett:

Penn State has no natural rivals in the Big Ten. At least until Maryland and Rutgers join the league next year, Ohio State remains the nearest school geographically, and of course, the Buckeyes have often presented the biggest road block for a conference or division title. While the two programs might not exactly fit the mold as rivals, this is about as close as it gets for Penn State.