College football fans are the most passionate in all of American sports. Students who aren't even sports fans learn to hate their biggest rivals. The passion is what makes college football great.
One of the biggest rivalries in all of sports, Michigan vs. Ohio State, is the Big Ten's flagship matchup. Fans and alumni of both schools would rate beating the other as important as actually winning the conference. The schools and their fans hate one another.
Success often breeds contempt, and fans often hate players from the best schools because they are successful. Some players are hated because of their on-field success, while some are disliked for off-the-field reasons.
Here is a look at four players who are the most disliked in the Big Ten.
By all accounts, Braxton Miller is a good guy. He is a model teammate and avoids trouble away from the gridiron. Oh, and he happens to be a terrific football player. Simply put, Miller is the Big Ten's top player and a serious contender for the 2013 Heisman Trophy.
With that talent and success, however, comes the scorn of opposing teams and their fans. Miller is the type of player who can change a game in one play.
Would it surprise anyone if an opposing defensive end hit Miller late after a play? Miller will be a target each and every week, and while that's not something Buckeye fans want to hear, the best chance to defeat the Buckeyes comes with Miller out of the game.
Taylor Martinez has been a fixture at quarterback for the Cornhuskers since his freshman season. While Martinez has experienced plenty of success on the field, he's never been fully embraced by the Nebraska faithful.
Martinez has had issues with the media, teammates, coaches and fans. Whether it's been the transfer rumors, refusing to cooperate with the media or too many turnovers, Martinez has faced a litany of issues as a college player.
It isn't just Nebraska fans who haven't embraced Martinez. Opposing fans berate Martinez every week, and that's unlikely to change in 2013. He is one of the cockiest players in the nation.
Michigan State linebacker Max Bullough enters 2013 as a third-year starter at middle linebacker for the Spartans. Bullough was a 2012 first-team All-Big Ten performer finishing with 111 tackles, including 12.5 for loss.
Needless to say, if you're a Michigan State fan or alumnus, Bullough is undoubtedly your favorite player. He is a throwback and the quarterback of the defense. And to beat it all, Bullough is a third-generation Spartan.
All the reasons Michigan State fans love Bullough are exactly why opposing fans can't fully appreciate him. He is an intense player and the hardest hitter on the field. That combination often gets players tagged as being dirty. Bullough is anything but a dirty player.
While Bullough may be one of the more likable players in the conference by the media, fans of Michigan and Ohio State hardly share that opinion.
Ohio State junior cornerback Bradley Roby was a first-team All-American in 2012. He is the next player in a long line of talented Buckeye DBs to be a future NFL first-round selection. In addition to his outstanding work on defense, Roby is a terrific return man.
Just like many of the great cornerbacks in recent history, Roby also knows he's good and doesn't mind letting everyone else know, too.
Roby's trash-talking doesn't bother Ohio State fans because more often than not, he will back it up. However, it does get under the skin of opposing teams and their fans.
Roby's lack of popularity among the opposition doesn't faze him, nor should it. He will continue piling up interceptions while riling up the opposition's fans.