Doc, I understand what you are saying and to answer your question, I’m pissed off when we lose no matter WHO we lose to. PSU fans look at it as one of the biggest games they play all year, that’s no different than any other B1G team, beating OSU can make a season for any B1G team. For me it’s just another game.
My point is that no other rivalry, not just in college football but all sports, is as great or has the history as the one we have with that dammed hunk of land up to the north. As states we have hated each other since the 1835-6 Toledo war, once we started playing football against each other in the late 1800’s that hate we have naturally manifested itself as the rivalry we have today. Sure, we can call other games like Penn State a ”rivalry” but I cannot fathom it being even close to level that THE GAME is at, and to me that is the Gold standard of what a rivalry is. I HATE us losing to anyone equally except for those (insert explicative here) up north, that ruins a season for me like no other loss and why Cooper drove me nuts.
For me, for it to be a true rivalry it takes a few decades, a lot of pain inflicted on both sides and the dashing of national title hopes after a game. Now, some of this is taking shape with PSU but I think it needs more time.