Buckeye Hate Not A Bad Thing

Justin HearnContributor IAugust 23, 2008

It’s that time of year again.

You know—that time of year where Buckeye fans forget everything outside of football exists. It’s that special time where Buckeye fans fall in love with the colors scarlet and gray.

If you still haven’t figured it out, I’m talking about Buckeye football season. While Buckeye fans may fall head over heels for Ohio State, there’s just one unfortunate fact—the rest of the country does not love Ohio State.

In fact, a recent ESPN poll shows that Ohio State is the most hated college football team in America. Depending on the SEC fan you ask, Ohio State ranks somewhere between Hitler and The Joker as one of history’s greatest villains.

Officially, Ohio State is ranked second and third in the AP and USA Today polls respectively.

Though this season has spawned another wave of Ohio State hatred, Ohio State offensive tackle Alex Boone told the Columbus Dispatch he has no problem with the “Most Hated“ label. “You know what? Good,” he said.

Boone is right—the hatred for Ohio State may be the best fuel for its championship fire. Hatred has a tendency to make the hated work harder and increases the desire for success.

Take for instance, NASCAR’s Kyle Busch, who became a villain when he spun the popular Dale Earnhardt, Jr. at Richmond earlier this year. He used the boos from the crowd to propel himself to a series-high eight wins.

The same can happen for Ohio State. The team can and should feed off the negativity that everyone outside Ohio (and even inside if you count Carson Palmer) sends its way and use that as a catalyst for a another potential title run.

After all, whether they cheer or boo, at least they care enough about Ohio State to make a little noise in response.

So, in essence, Trev Alberts can continue to discredit Ohio State, and the SEC can continue to say that the Buckeyes couldn’t survive in that league—but that’s just fine. The more they hate Ohio State, the more it will sting the haters if Ohio State runs the table and makes it back to the BCS Championship Game.

If you don’t want Ohio State in the title game again, then cheer your heart out for the Buckeyes. If you still choose to boo and hate Ohio State, then don’t be surprised to see your nightmare of a third straight Buckeye BCS Championship appearance in January.