Here's a take, and it won't suck....
My wife grew up in the Toledo area and, as such, is a part of the local community that divides pretty evenly between OSU/UM fandom. AA is less than an hour from her parents house and she actually considered attending for her undergrad (God bless my MIL who convinced her to go to Miami(OH) instead). She was attracted to the campus and the academics and had the added benefit of many of her friends who would attend UM as well. If/when Michigan plays Miami, she's a die hard Redskin all the way but, any other day, she's proud to show off her UM gear.
Now that she's settled in Columbus and started a family, I think she clings to her fandom because it bucks the norm in town. She hates that she can't wear a UM hoodie around town without someone commenting, but I think she enjoys riling OSU fans up a little bit. For me, as the winner of the last 7 'special bets' on The Game, I can't really complain.