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From the outside it may appear that everyone in Ohio is a Buckeyes fan.  Ohio State probably gets more publicity than all the other institutions in Ohio combined, and for a long time it was the only Ohio school in a BCS conference, so it’s easy to see why some may believe this.

Anyone who knows me knows I’ve been an Ohio Bobcats diehard since the day I stepped on campus in September 2008.  Coincidentally, my hatred for Ohio State, which had laid dormant during my grade school years, has awoken while on the campus of another university.  This is partially due to the fact that on game day I see more scarlet and grey jerseys in campus bars than green and white ones in the stands of Peden Stadium.  This article in Ohio University’s student newspaper pretty much sums up my opinion on the Ohio State issue.

It’s hard to be a fan of a non-BCS school (unless that school is a perennial power like Boise State, TCU or Utah).  The mainstream media only reports on our team if something really amazing or really terrible happens, and you won’t see Lee Corso putting on a Bobcat head anytime soon.  The only times our games are shown are early in the season when we pick up our paycheck to play one of the BCS schools or during the conference season on a Tuesday night on ESPN U.

I decided to document my experiences this past Saturday as my beloved Bobcats opened Mid-American Conference play against the Toledo Rockets in an attempt to describe what it’s like to root for a school big enough to play at the same level as the big boys, but small enough to remain off the mainstream radar.

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Penn State travels to Tuscaloosa to battle Alabama in the nightcap of an excellent second Saturday of college football.  Penn State enters the game ranked 18th in the AP poll and 14th in the Coaches after a 44-14 win over Youngstown State.  Defending National Champions Alabama sit atop both polls after their 48-3 thrashing of San Jose State.

This game is yet another National Championship rematch, the 1979 Sugar Bowl, when #2 Alabama stopped #1 Penn State on the goal line to give Bear Bryant his fifth National Championship.

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None of us have forgotten the last time these teams clashed in the 2003 National Championship game. You would think after seven years these players wouldn’t look to that game as a source of inspiration, but the ‘U’ is out for vengeance. None of the 2010 Hurricanes were even out of high school yet, being somewhere between 10-14 years old when the Buckeyes took down the favored Miami team in a double-overtime 31-24 upset that prevented the ‘U’ from back-to-back titles. Even still, the Miami Hurricanes of today haven’t forgotten about the loss.

still hurts after all these years

Defensive end Olivier Vernon told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel: “It’s revenge time. Nobody’s forgotten about that. I feel like I was playing in that game.”

For the Buckeyes what happened in 2003 simply happened in 2003. Even Jim Tressel claimed to be puzzled by the idea that this game holds a sense of revenge for Miami. As for the superstar quarterback of the Buckeyes, the game wasn’t even important enough at the time for him to watch.

Terrelle Pryor, originally from Jeannette, Pa., said, “I’d be lying if I said I watched that game”.

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Usually the only time I see my hometown in the news is when the latest most dangerous or most miserable cities list is released, so I was surprised to see this gem while browsing Deadspin.

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Yesterday the Princeton Review released its annual rankings of American colleges and universities, featuring very important lists like Birkenstock-Wearing, Tree-Hugging, Clove-Smoking Vegetarians and Scotch and Soda, Hold the Scotch.  Like countless other students, I checked out the rankings to see where my school placed.  Throughout the day my Facebook news feed was full of links and updates celebrating our rise to the #2 party school, up three spots from last year.

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Are you in college?  Do you enjoy the convenience of online shopping?  Hate paying expensive shipping costs?  Today Amazon.com announced the Amazon Student program.  All you need is a valid .edu email address to sign up and receive one free year of Amazon Prime, a $79.99 service that gives you free two-day shipping from the online superstore.  Signup here.

Tyler

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