Each season we reiterate this when the Penn State game rolls around due to reactions from their fans in the week leading up to our game. I have experienced the one-sidedness of our "rivalry" firsthand when I spent a summer in Pittsburgh and interacted with many PSU fans, who surprised me with their hatred for OSU. However, they may have been more surprised when they were met with my total indifference towards Penn State in response.
I was inspired to look into this more by an article from BuckeyeExtra that examined survey results from knowrivalry.com and stated:
The Buckeyes’ long-standing rival consumes much of their fans’ attention.
Ohio State fans allocated 90.71 points toward the Wolverines. No other college fan base assigned more points toward one team, according to the research, though Army vs. Navy was not included due to insufficient responses.
“I hate a lot of teams,” wrote an Ohio State fan in response,” but I couldn’t justify taking points from Michigan. It felt wrong.”
The way the survey works is that in addition to typical survey questions with the usual scale of strong disagreement to strong agreement, you are also asked to allocate 100 total points towards any teams of your choosing that you consider a rival of your favorite team. According to knowrivalry.com, we have four listed rivals in That Team, Wisconsin, Penn State, and Illinois. However, PSU lags behind even Wisconsin in the meager scraps of points left over after what our fellow OSU fans assigned to That Team:
According to the study, Penn State even trailed Wisconsin among Ohio State fans, who assigned 3.61 points to the Badgers.
For those uninterested in following the links and were wondering, fans of That Team assigned 68.84 points on us. Penn State fans had us listed as their main rival with 37.43 points and Wisconsin fans had us as their second biggest rival after Minnesota, with 20.17 points.
This all checked out for me, but it was interesting nonetheless. I would encourage you to read the article from BuckeyeExtra, look at the results of other team fanbases (across sports) at knowrivalry.com and to take the survey yourself here.
Go Bucks, beat Penn State!