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Unpopular Opinion You’re Nuts: Which one of Ohio State’s rivals would you root for if OSU didn’t exist?

Ohio State v Michigan Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images

All this week, LGHL writers will be bring you articles with their most unpopular opinions. Check out all of our Unpopular Opinions throughout the week HERE. Whether you disagree, let us know what you think in the comments below and on Twitter @Landgrant33.

Everybody knows that one of the best parts of being a sports fan is debating and dissecting the most (and least) important questions in the sporting world with your friends. So, we’re bringing that to the pages of LGHL with our favorite head-to-head column: You’re Nuts.

In You’re Nuts, two LGHL staff members will take differing sides of one question and argue their opinions passionately. Then, in the end, it’s up to you to determine who’s right and who’s nuts.

Today’s Question: Which one of Ohio State’s rivals would you root for if OSU didn’t exist?

Jami’s Take: Wisconsin

Let’s get this out of the way — in absolutely no way are Matt or I claiming that we actually like any of the teams being discussed in this article. For the love of God, we are begging you to spare us your angry tweets about how we should hate these teams.

In a hypothetical world where the Buckeyes are no longer a team, choosing a rival to root for was actually an easier decision than I thought it would be. How is this possible, you say? It’s simple — process of elimination.

OSU’s obvious rival is Michigan, but under no circumstances will I say something complimentary about TTUN. If forced to choose between death or wearing a Wolverines jersey, I’m walking into the light and going with God with both middle fingers aimed in the direction of Ann Arbor. That pretty much leaves me with Penn State, Wisconsin, Clemson, and Alabama.

There’s no chance in hell I’m jumping ship to root for an SEC team. To be honest with you, Matt should probably be fired and exiled immediately for the mere suggestion. I’m pretty sure we’re legally prohibited from writing anything complimentary about Nick Saban. I will be examining our contracts with a fine-tooth comb and pursuing legal action immediately after publishing this piece.

Our remaining Big Ten teams are Penn State and Wisconsin. Given that I’d like to see Happy Valley exist in a state of perpetual sadness, the only logical choice here is Wisconsin.

And so, if the Buckeyes were no longer a team, off to Camp Randall I go.

No, I am not a Badgers fan. Yes, I deeply, deeply enjoy any opportunity to steamroll the Badgers. I took great pleasure in watching the Buckeyes wallop them 59-0 in the Big Ten Championship with a third-string quarterback in 2014.

But, I also have a certain level of respect for the program. I love meeting them in the Big Ten Championship for a high-stakes game. I’m happy to root for them in bowl games under the guise of “cheering for the Big Ten.”

In 2012, when Ohio State was banned from playing in the Big Ten Championship and any subsequent bowl games thanks to Tattoogate, I attended the conference championship game in Indianapolis (decked out in Buckeye gear). Though the third-place Badgers got into the game on a technicality (both first-place OSU and second-place Penn State were ineligible), I was actively rooting for Wisconsin to beat Nebraska — which they did, 70-31.

Sure, their fans can be a bit … um … aggressive. Are Buckeye fans in any position to judge though? Any OSU fan who has watched a car get flipped or a couch set on fire already knows the answer to that.

In fact, I see a lot of similarities between the football culture at Ohio State and Wisconsin. And so, while it is — and will always be — “Ohio til I die-o” for me, in a scenario where I am forced against my will to choose a new team, the only place I could see myself feeling at home outside of Columbus is Madison, making the Badgers the only Ohio State rival I’m willing to admit I secretly like.

Matt’s Take: Alabama

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not an Alabama fan. I don’t have a hidden compartment in my dresser where I store my Crimson Tide gear. I don’t have a hat with Big Al on it that I wear when suffering through watching a game with Gary Danielson on color commentary. So, I don’t want this to get confused, since people don’t actually read articles, but I am not an Alabama fan.

But if Ohio State was no longer a thing, and I had to pick a program to root for other than the Buckeyes, of OSU’s “rivals,” it would probably be the Tide. Given my druthers, I might go with Indiana, Hawaii, Coastal, Iowa State, or a dozen of other teams, but if I’m picking from the teams that have some sort of feud with the Buckeyes, I’m taking Nick Saban’s squad.

And this isn’t a frontrunner thing, this is a process of elimination thing. I’ve made my feelings on Penn State, Clemson, and TTUN very well known on the virtual pages of LGHL over the years, so there is no chance in Ann Arbor that I would go with any of those teams.

So what other “rivals” are there?

Notre Dame? I don’t want to be associated with those dorks.

Wisconsin? After the quarters in marshmallows bit, no thanks.

Northwestern? Are they really a rival just because of a few Big Ten title games?

Maybe I’m forgetting someone else, but I don’t know what other options we really have. So, Alabama is the default choice. And look, picking the Tide isn’t that bad. Saban went to college in Ohio (Kent St.), he was the Ohio State defensive backs coach during the very first season that I was alive, and he’s 69 years old (nice).

And beyond that, they are the only program in the country that routinely recruits better and has more players drafted into the NFL than the Buckeyes, so you know that the talent is going to be impressive. Also, Saban — somewhat begrudgingly — adapts with the times, so the style of football on display is always entertaining. And Nick’s not a complete and utter sociopath like Dabo, so that’s points in ‘Bama’s column, in my opinion.

So, while no one will ever hold a candle to the Buckeyes for me, if I had to choose, Alabama is the only one of OSU’s rivals that I could legitimately feel ok with admitting publicly that I like.


Who has the right answer to today’s question?

This poll is closed

  • 78%
    Jami: Wisconsin
    (55 votes)
  • 21%
    Matt: Alabama
    (15 votes)
70 votes total Vote Now