Ohio State Is the Big Ten's Villain, And That's Okay

By Nicholas Jervey on August 2, 2014 at 8:30a

There's no easy way to put this: everybody in the Big Ten hates Ohio State, and they pretty much always have.

Years ago, everyone united in hatred of Bret Bielema, a loudmouthed git whose Wisconsin teams were never quite good enough to justify his boorishness. He's gone now, driven off by a cocktail of greed and ego, and the Buckeyes are public enemy No. 1 once again.

It shouldn't be a surprise that Ohio State is so despised. The last 15 years have bred privilege, and every team has a reason to hate the Buckeyes.

The unpopular teams in the Big Ten hate the Buckeyes because of their media exposure. Urban Meyer has been on ESPN – two years in a row – to use its "car wash" platform as free publicity for the Buckeyes. Inane as questions about LeBron James and Tim Tebow may be, Minnesota or Maryland would do just about anything for that kind of national attention.

Michigan State hates Ohio State because the Buckeyes are the media's preseason favorite to win the Big Ten. The Spartans beat every Big Ten opponent by double digits and strangled Stanford in the Rose Bowl; they return most of their offense and some defensive stars. In most years they'd be the prohibitive preseason favorites. Not this year.

Penn State hates Ohio State because familiarity breeds contempt, and the James Franklin hire is a copy of the Urban Meyer hire. Both came from the SEC; both are high-energy, cutthroat recruiters; both left their last school with bad blood. The difference is that OSU hired Meyer first, and the PSU inferiority complex can't handle that.

U mad?
The best response to other fans' anger.

Iowa hates Ohio State because they get better bang for the buck from Meyer than they do with Kirk Ferentz, who is being paid $4 million a year to go 7-6. Indiana, Purdue and Illinois hate Ohio State because they'd kill to reach Iowa's level.

The poorest schools (Rutgers) hate Ohio State because they have the most revenue, and the richest schools (Northwestern) hate Ohio State because they would never be so ostentatious as to put a waterfall in the locker room. Never mind that Rutgers' $60 million annual budget is enough to compete on, or that Northwestern has a quarter-billion dollar building project. Ohio State's locker room waterfall might as well be a secret volcano lair.

Nebraska hates Ohio State because our fans aren't as civilized as theirs, which they will point out in their polite, passive aggressive way. And Michigan hates Ohio State for the best reason of all: 110 years of beautiful tradition.

The entire Big Ten hates Ohio State because the Buckeyes challenge their complacency. When Urban Meyer came to the Big Ten, he challenged the other schools to improve their recruiting. Meyer ended the facade of the gentleman's agreement and pulled in top-5 recruiting classes. It's the kick in the pants the Big Ten desperately needed, and it's something they have never forgiven him for.

In short, everyone hates Ohio State. And that's okay! Hatred can actually make both sides feel better. Haters do it by finding an outlet for their anger, and the hated-on do it by laughing at their feckless rage.

If Buckeye fans want the power that accompanies being the one who knocks, they have to accept scorn as well. Don't just accept Ohio State's villainy; revel in it.


Comments Show All Comments

ITWASME's picture

Best reason to wear my Buckeye stuff around is for people to try to tell me how bad we are and then I get to "educate" them about how they're wrong

+2 HS
Prickly_Pete's picture

I get hate for my Buckeye gear out here in Utah. Utah ute fans still aren't over urban leaving. I do get a good laugh when they tell me the Utah/BYU rivalry is similar to The Game.

+1 HS
ITWASME's picture

Having lived in New Jersey for a little bit I predominantly ran into PSU fans who were just bastards about their hate. I mean I had no problem with PSU until I moved to Jersey

+1 HS
ATLBuckeye09's picture

I had no problems with PSU until Sandusky was outed for the sick degenerate he is!!

Because they wouldn't let me go for 3!
Woody Hayes 1913-1987

airbuckeye's picture

Nicolas very well and thought out written out articleand i would give an UV to start this thread out only problem is i not yet figured out to do that UV yet. I know how the UV's work just not that one unless someone here can tell me how which would be greatly appreciated.

+1 HS
robobuck's picture

I believe they disabled votes on articles and forum posts. Also I don't believe the staff have helmets stickers, they get real helmets and a cheese tray when they write something good.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.  1 Corinthians 9:24

+4 HS
airbuckeye's picture

I wear my Buckeye things around 24/7 365 days a year. It is the only clothing in my closet's.

+3 HS
TheAFBuckeye's picture

Same for me.  All my friends ask me if I have any other clothes.  I usually just smirk and say that I think I have some somewhere...  Live in Georgia now so it's even better being down here in sec country.

Let's Go BUCKEYES!!!!!

ATLBuckeye09's picture

Yes I lived I TX during the VY years and wore my gear across the state. I just relocated from GA back to my home state of ttun after several yeRs living in SEC country. I grew up in Detroit and have worn my Buckeye gear everywhere! Heck I went to Bama games and wore my tOSU gear there and would run into many many tOSU fans!!! I reveled wearing my gear and being hated in the south! 

Because they wouldn't let me go for 3!
Woody Hayes 1913-1987

gumtape's picture

Airbuckeye: You can only upvote comments. Forum topics, blog posts, and articles cannot be upvoted. This article is written by an 11w staff member, as such, he doesn't need upvotes. Staff members automatically have premium lounge membership.

I kept think about this guy when reading this article:

High and tight boo boo

+8 HS
CC's picture

If you ask people what the remember about the XFL - I bet "He Hate Me" is #1.  Other notables, trash hot cheerleaders and cameramen actually on the field.

+1 HS
Hovenaut's picture

I've often gotten an "oh great, a Buckeye fan" living in the mid-Atlantic the past couple decades. I dislike some teams more than others, but ultimately just place my focus on who I really care about. The universe tends to unfold as it should...

I am a great Buckeye fan. Stand aside, I have a team to root for.

+8 HS
StrandedinIndiana's picture

Hovenaut, we hear that as we travel around the country proudly wearing Buckeye gear - but we get plenty of O-H- greetings, too - most recently in New Orleans!

Debbie - Buckeye stranded in Indiana :-(

+6 HS
Hovenaut's picture

I'd be remiss if I didn't share the positive stories as well...Buckeyes are everywhere.

+5 HS
tressel12's picture

I got a O-H during my week long vacation in the Dominican Republic this week while wearing my "Urban Legend" Buckeye shirt..........you can find Buckeye fans even when you are out of the country. So excited for this season!

Because I couldn't go for three. -- Woody Hayes

StrandedinIndiana's picture

Haters gonna hate - and we give them plenty of reasons to do so. Living in Indiana, we have not only B1G haters but contend with Notre Dame wannabes, too.It is always a great day to be an Ohio State fan!

Debbie - Buckeye stranded in Indiana :-(

+3 HS
Fort Seneca Steve's picture

Hate is such a terrible word.  How about a deep boiling admiration for such a successful program when ever it is coached by true homegrown Buckeyes.  You can have Texas, California, and Florida....give me Ohio Football any day of the week.  Don't hate B1G...just stand back and admire, wish and dream.  OSU Football - over 100 years and still going STRONG.  I have a feeling that 2014 will be fun to watch in Columbus.

Before there was Larry Bird, there was "Hondo" John Havilcek! The Pride of Martins Ferry, Ohio!

+1 HS
woodcocklives@osu's picture

"The entire Big Ten hates Ohio State because the Buckeyes challenge their complacency."

While we can all get the gist of this piece, I sometimes wonder if the pomposity of our fanbase skews reality. Ohio State hasn't won a B1G championship in 5 years. Perhaps that "hate" is a reaction to the false sense of accomplishment.

+2 HS
Poison nuts's picture

I mean, I hear you, but is there another program in the B1G with as many wins as OSU in the past 5 years? You have to count the 2010 season btw...it happened. Even with the awful 2011 season, Ohio State has won more games than any other program in the conference in that 5 year time span - and BTW - the last B1G championship OSU won was within the last 5 years if we can get technical about it. Then there's 2012. While it wasn't a conference championship - they did finish as the highest ranked team in the B1G. So I don't see it as much as pomposity, but as a simple fact that even with out the very recent success (2013 was the only real letdown in my mind & 11-2 is a damn fine letdown) that we'd all like, the author is spot on & OSU is hated for all the right reasons. 

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

+2 HS
robobuck's picture

But Mace Windu is our running backs coach!

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.  1 Corinthians 9:24

+1 HS
bakerjon's picture

"You do what I cannot do. I do what you cannot do. Together we do great things"

+4 HS
THEOSUfan's picture

In 1974 my friend Brian asked me to watch the Ohio State - TSUN game with him at his house. I was 10 years old.  My dad was a pretty low key fan.  He'd say, "I hope we beat those Wolverines." That's pretty much how I felt at the time.

Brian's brother Bob was a walk on who had played for Woody. Everything was pretty quiet at Brian's house until they started introducing the Wolverine players on TV with their hometowns in caption.  The first guy who was from Ohio popped up with his picture, and Bob got in front of the TV, pointed violently at the player, and screamed, "You F'ing traitor!  I hate your guts!"

I had never seen anything like that.  I never, ever heard the F word at home, and I wasn't aware that someone could get that emotional about a football game.

I looked over at Brian with a perplexed look, and he said, "Bob gets a little excited for this game."  That was my introduction to real sports hate.

Funny thing is that if some disaster struck AA and TSUN, I think Bob would have been one of the first people to go to help. So, hate and sports hate are two different things.  As long as the latter doesn't turn into the former, I think we are OK.

+10 HS
I_Run_The_Dave's picture

There are 4 actors that actually played Darth Vader (or Anakin) in live action (5 if you include stunts).  None of them graduated from Michigan.  But you can have his voice, I guess.  

On a side note, being a UM fan is kind of like having faith in an ancient religion.  And you would probably find our lack of faith disturbing.

bucksfan92's picture

I love the fact that all the other B1G schools hate us.  As I always say, I don't ever want to be someones "second favorite" team (personally I don't understand having more than 1 favorite team, but a lot of people do).  This hatred is on display everywhere you go.  I have been to about half of the B1G stadiums for OSU away games and they all  hate us, well their ADs love us since we sell out places they can't fill.  Every year I go to the B1G basketball tourney and we are clearly the most hated there too.  I remember one year when they showed fans of every school during halftime or between games or something, and the second an OSU fan appears, and this was a girl, probably under 5 in a cute little cheerleader outfit - the BOOS cam raining down.  I mean seriously, who boos a cute little girl?  B1G fans, that's who. I say keep it coming, we eat your hate for breakfast and shit out more B1G titles at lunch than your school will ever win :)

+3 HS
osu407's picture

With great power comes great... hatred?

Sounds about right

dsbgobux's picture

I love the reactions I get for my license plate in PA. There are tons of Buckeye fans here who give me an O H. The rest of the people remind me that we are #1. So what if it is the wrong finger!

Buckeye in PA purgatory

+2 HS
CC's picture

I live in MD and get much more positive responses, I often wear a red Ohio State sweatshirt and I often get a subtle "Go Bucks" or "OH".

+1 HS
THEOSUfan's picture

I would argue that the "hate"is part of the essence of being a fan.  I see it in pee wee sports up through high school.  It gets more intense with colleges and pros.

The good guys vs. the bad guys fits right into being a fan and lends itself to going a little farther into good vs. evil. Winning and losing affects us emotionally and takes us into irrational thinking - but that's also why it's so fun.

I've enjoyed hating and being hated - but when you see it directed toward an 8 year old, a high school kid, or when trees get poisoned, it's pretty disgusting.

sharks's picture

I think a lot of the ooc hate comes from following national media narratives, which would have you believe the team is comprised of felons and that Urban Meyer rips the heads of kittens.  Think about it the next time you're about to click an article written by Bianchi, Travis, and the like.  Ohio State has the largest fanbase in the country, and those hacks know it.

A man got to have a code...

+1 HS
Mookie331's picture

Everything you said is correct. I think Clay Travis is pretty good, but man does he hate tOSU. It's easy to just pile on more hate. 

buckeyeradar's picture

I love the hate in Texas.  I wear my Ohio State gear and always get a quip from some Texas or Texas A&M fans.  Even the Oklahoma and Oklahoma State fans show the hate. But the best for me is my golf league has a smuck who wears a scum hat. I tell him to take off his hat every week.  My golf friends say you're going to get into trouble old man and I say it's about respect and he needs to take the hat off because it offends me. O H!

I may not be the sharpest crayon in the box but I'm one of the most colorful.

+2 HS
Adambob's picture

The whole country hates Ohio State. Just means they're relevant. Who hates the U anymore?

+4 HS
Myc24's picture

Their hate makes us strong. Come to the dark side of the nut. Embrace the hate. 

"Because I couldn't go for three!"  - Wayne Woodrow Hayes

+2 HS
makearuckus's picture

Wait . Brutus is Lukes Father?

"Woody's style was strength-on-strength, will-on-will, toughness-on-toughness." Woody's philosophy was, "I will pound you and pound you until you quit."

lamplighter's picture

Luke Fickell?  Then how can we fire him?

BuckeyeStrong2's picture

Embrace the Hate! It means we're doing something right...


Davep160's picture

Embrace the hate.

The Butler's picture

Iowa hates Ohio State because they get better bang for the buck from Meyer than they do with Kirk Ferentz, who is being paid $4 million a year to go 7-6. Indiana, Purdue and Illinois hate Ohio State because they'd kill to reach Iowa's level.

Quite possibly the funniest paragraph in literary history.

4 birds - 1 stone.

I've trained Canaries in the sport of falconry.


BeijingBucks's picture

Silky Johnson approves this message. 

None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license. ~ John Milton

+3 HS
bleedscarlet's picture

They can hate all they want, but I shudder to think where the B1G would have fallen to over the last decade and a half without the Buckeyes. I look back on OSU's last NC game and wonder how in the hell that team got there with only 7 returning starters, the answer is an easy one, of course.... no one stepped up to stop them. I was very irritated to here B1G coaches talk about being proud of B1G ball during media days. Just what in the hell are they so proud of, the BTN payday? Graduating the players is always a goal but if that's all they have to hang their hats on they've left the job half done. Hopefully UMs ticket problems will be a wake up call to those around the conference who have been sitting around not worrying about the perception because the money and the fans have still been rolling in.

Slingin' swag since 1970


+1 HS
OH1O State's picture

M*chigan fans be like, "I don't like you".

+3 HS
The Butler's picture

Best.Movie.Ever. I don't know how I ever missed it, but I just found this movie about a month ago and every time I watch it, it gets funnier. 

I've trained Canaries in the sport of falconry.


+1 HS
ScarletNGrey01's picture

I agree that MSU has the right to be a little miffed after the excellent season they had, unfortunately they clearly were the best team in the B1G and "out smashmouthing" Stanford was impressive.  I know the bucks are pre-ranked #6 and Sparty #8.  I don't keep up with personnel on other teams that much, perhaps they are losing enough impact players to cause this perception by the voters.  It's going to be tough even for a well coached team like MSU to keep up with the bucks if Meyer stays at the helm for a number of years and keeps recruiting the way he has been, so that may be a factor.  Having to play those guys in East Lansing is going to be a challenge to say the least.  The bucks have a pretty tough schedule this year, if they run the table they're in the playoffs obviously.

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

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

they clearly were the best team in the B1G and "out smashmouthing" Stanford was impressive.

Clearly? Ohio State was a 4th and 2 away from winning a game they played awful in.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

BuckeyeGrownFloridaLiving's picture

They're just jealous. Let's be real here.

+1 HS
wilkins0802's picture

I read the article about NU's sports facilities and what not, and Fitzgerald said they want to do training facilities because its more important than a big stadium...he forgets they can barely fill the stadium they have now...i think thats why there is no new stadium coming..

Truth & Courage, 1-17IN, 5/2 SBCT


+1 HS
Eph97's picture

OSU is like the Yankees. Biggest fanbase, most revenue (along with Texas), consistent history of winning. You either love the team or hate the team.

Crumb's picture

The villain always wins when the heroes away

"The only good thing about it is winning the d*** thing" - Urban Meyer on The Game The War

GreatLakesMike's picture

Better than being irrelevant. 

+3 HS
bakerjon's picture

I often get great response for wearing my OSU gear in SoCal.  Almost always an OH. I've even been hugged!

I think we need to add Mark May to the Haters list. Though he's not in the B1G, we all know how much he hates the good guys

"You do what I cannot do. I do what you cannot do. Together we do great things"


Wouldn't have it any other way. If we become Iowa it is indeed a sad day. Let the hate flow through you, B1G.

"Sherman ran an option play right through the south" - Greatest Civil War analogy EVER.

IGotAWoody's picture
Tell em, Snow!

“The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination.” ~Carl Rogers

Buckloving's picture

I got a "Go Bucks" on road 9 in Maadi Cairo lol.........We're everywhere


+1 HS
Buckeye_Pride's picture

All I can say about the MSU game is that in my humble opinion if Carlos Hyde ran it on 3rd and 1 first down because he moves the whole pile and we win that game so they escaped with a win they did not dominate us by any fashion. It was what I expected our offense vs. Their defense to win the game.

nuke's picture

Hate is Good!

ghalephoto's picture

Living in Indiana the only time I feel the hate is when Ohio State loses, then these Hoosiers feel its a good time to pile on.  I have an Ohio State flag flying from my porch, been there for 16 years.  A ichigan wipe moved in 3 doors down and now fly's his ichigan flag....out of the back of house on his patio.  where nobody but a few of us can see.  He knows!!

ArizonaBuckeye's picture

I love the fact that so many people hate-on The Ohio State University. I live out here in Phoenix in PAC 12 country. From Washington to AZ it's littered with fans of teams from all over the U.S; a lot from the BIG 10 to be exact. I run into fellow Buckeyes out here all the time. It's great. We have that one thing to connect on even if we might disagree on every other aspect of life. It's that unspoken thing. The last guy I ran into at a local sports bar was wearing a Shazier jersey. I walked up to him and go: "Ryan Damn Shazier. I love me some RDS, go Bucks." He goes: "Damn straight, O-H." I obviously replied: "I-O." Then he goes: "I just love how everyone hates on us. Makes me love my Buckeys more." I replied: "Hell yeah, man. Hell, yeah."

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you." -Woody Hayes-

+1 HS

Let them all drink their haterade, because we are just too busy with winning to be bothered.

"I don't apologize for anything.  When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes

+1 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Don't be afraid to make enemies; if you don’t have any, it’s because you haven’t done anything.
---George Clemenceau

+2 HS
LouGroza's picture

Just think of how it would suck to be a fan of any of the other B1G teams. Now hate that.

+1 HS
patriot-missile's picture

Envy breeds hatred. We are hated because we are the premier team in the Big Ten and in the hunt for a national championship every year even though our conference is relatively weak. I say F'em.  I wear my colors all the time and randomly scream out O-H at airports and other crowded places around the country. Most times, I get an I-O proving Buckeye Nation is alive and well. I got a feeling we'll be even more hated this season as our boys punish every team that lines up against them. Go Bucks!

Kellen Winslow - Where can I get a sweater vest like yours?
Jim Tressel - Hit the weight room and you can borrow one of mine.

NuttyBuckeye's picture

Yeah, funny how so many hate us... The reason is simple: they are jealous that their school is not as successful as The Ohio State University.

I'll take that as a compliment.

What's round on the ends and high in the middle? Tell me if you know!

YoDuh's picture

I live in FL, my profile picture is my tattoo on my leg.  I am always sporting my Buckeye love!  I love the challenge of discussions with Gators, Noles and Hurricanes. Let them all hate us.

"You're not going to be recognized for too much success. We've had 11-1 and 10-1 football teams that lost to Michigan and they're not even mentioned in the second breath."

-- coach Earle Bruce on what losing to Michigan meant to Ohio State

Buckeye BadDog's picture

I was born on the OSU campus (University Hospital) and grew up in Columbus, but I too now live in Florida. I have gone so far with my Ohio State fandom that I have a dog named (AKC Registered) Brutus Buckeye, a 2 1/2 foot statue of Brutus in my front room, and a full "Buckeye Room" in my house - where my now 19 year old God son would sleep whenever he came over (at least one a month). He is now almost as big a Buckeye fan as I am - to the point where he cried when we lost to Urban and UF in the NC game. I sport an OSU watch, an OSU wallet, and an OSU lanyard for my work badge. I make a point to wear an Ohio State shirt on all FB and BB game days, and most especially on the rare occasions when we are not victorious - just to point out that I love Ohio State no matter what. I relish in the hate that the UF, UM and FSU fans direct my way because I know it is just jealousy - jealous that Ohio State has greater traditions, more alumni, a better marching band and ... well, the list is too long. Let's just say those haters are always gonna be haters of those that are greater.

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
- Albert Einstein

"Nothing that comes easy is worth a dime." - Woody Hayes