Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

The Tension Between UC and OSU Fans

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There has been a lot of internet chatter between UC and OSU fans in the past few years and it really flared up this weekend on my newsfeed and twitter feed after OSU jumped to #2 in the BCS rankings.  UC fans think OSU fans are annoying, entitled and arrogant.  OSU fans think UC fans are mid-major, bitter little brothers.  There is a lot of trash talking but all in all I feel OSU deserves the spot they got.  Ask any coach, it’s hard to win a game.  It’s incredible difficult to win 12 in a row without losing any, we know that from 2009.  Any team that wins out in college football deserves a shot at the national title, especially a team in a BCS conference.

The reason so many UC fans are miffed (I think) is that UC got snubbed from the national title game in 2009 despite the same record and a similar circumstance.  Just look at this little comparison I made the 2009 Bearcats and the 2012 Buckeyes:

2009 Cincinnati 2012 Ohio State
Regular Season Record: 12-0 Regular Season Record: 12-0
Beat 3 top 25 teams Beat 2 top 25 teams
(one more coming against MSU)
Pac 12 Road Game (Oregon State) Pac 12 Road Game (California)
Mountain West team at home
(Fresno State)
Mountain West team at home
(San Diego State)
Score of Final Game: 45-44 Score of Final Game: 42-41

*Not to split hairs but I’d argue that Oregon State is currently a better program than California and Fresno State better than San Diego State.

This year all my Big 10 friends have been griping about getting disrespected from ESPN.  Join the club.  That sounds familiar to fans of the conference formerly known as the Big East.  I wouldn’t argue that the Big East was ever the best of the BCS conferences but they had the best bowl record of any conference in the BCS era.  They performed well out of conference, each member of the conference (except maybe Syracuse) was ranked in the short-lived New Big East era (2005-2012).  With all of that the conference never got the respect we felt it deserved.  I remember a lot of Big 10 fans hating on the city schools of the Big East for not drawing the crowds of schools in the other conferences.  The theory as I understand it is that Big 10 fans think because they have bigger stadiums that makes their teams inherently better.  The Big 10 has great football legacy, tradition and creates some of the best atmospheres for college football in the country but they just aren’t that good right now.

All that said, I don’t find myself feeling bitter towards OSU this year.  Maybe it’s because they have a former Bearcat player as a head coach.  Maybe it’s because I’m completely sick of the SEC and all it’s hype.  Maybe I like seeing a lot of Ohio high school athletes performing on the big stage representing the state of Ohio than going to an SEC school.  Maybe it’s because UC has a good chance of yet another 10 win season and I don’t feel insecure about our program like I did in 2009.  Partially, I feel for them.  As a fan, student-athlete or really even as a coach or university you have no control over how strong your conference will or won’t be on any given year.  You can only play the games on your schedule.  Cincinnati fans ought to empathize in that regard with our rivals in Columbus.

The important thing to keep in mind is that the vicious trash-talking between the two fan bases is usually done by the lowest common denominator.  Every sports team on the planet has a handful of classless trash talkers.  Most of them have a lot of good fans and the good ones usually outweigh the bad ones but the internet has given a megaphone to the rowdy minority of fans out there.  I’m not pleading with you to love OSU or their fans but pay them their respect and as for me I’d rather see them go to the BCS national title than yet another SEC team.

I’d encourage my fellow Bearcats to let it go.  I’m not suggesting you become a Buckeye fan but let’s stop spewing hate.  Let’s keep building our program and our fan base and we’ll settle it on the field starting next season.  Meanwhile we’ve got bigger fish to fry as we’re taking on our biggest rival this week while trying to claim the traveling trophy of yet another team to abandon us in our conference and potentially fighting for a BCS bowl.  We’ve got a lot more to do as fans than shoot arrows at our Ohio brethren.  Let’s pack Nippert for it’s last pre-renovation game and get back the Keg of Nails until Louisville is willing to schedule us for out of conference games to get it back!

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Tags: Bearcats Bearcats Football Buckeyes Cincinnati

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