Nothing gets an Ohio State fan worked up faster than one of the talking heads (insert Mark May, Jesse Palmer, Collin Cowherd, etc.) on television spewing hate about the Buckeyes.
As a fan myself, I get it. Nobody likes people taking shots at their team. Especially when it feels like there is no basis for the harsh opinion.
But there is a method to the madness, and once that is understood, fans can get a better grasp why “ESPN hates (their) team.”
Talk shows, both of the radio and TV variety, are built on loud talkers and brash ideas. The louder and more over the top, the higher the ratings normally are. The same goes for national columnists who are gunning for mouse clicks.
Ohio State has become a popular target for the fast talkers because the Buckeyes win, and they have one of the most successful coaches in the country in Urban Meyer. Jealousy drives criticism, and there are a lot of people out there that are envious of Meyer and the Buckeyes’ current success.
It also does not hurt that Ohio State possesses one of the most passionate fan bases in college football. They are an easy target, and television and radio personalities eat up the opportunity to ruffle the feathers of Buckeye nation.
The Big 10 conference is responsible for some of the animosity as well. The national perception is that the league stinks. The thought of a team from the Big 10 playing for the national title is enough to make many of the national college football experts burst with venom.
To help the Buckeye fan that is struggling to fight this madness, I suggest considering the alternative.
Instead of being 24-0 over the last two seasons and on the verge of playing for a Big Ten championship and perhaps a national championship, let’s say the Buckeyes were mired in mediocrity. Imagine for a moment they are 6-6 or 7-5, and preparing to play in a mid-level bowl game.
The national media would not have the time to talk or write about a team with nothing to play for. Instead of screeching about the Buckeyes, they would chide Michigan State, Wisconsin, or some other Midwest team that is perceived to be too slow and not powerful enough to hang with the big boys from the SEC, Big 12 or Pac 12.
So, I say embrace the critics. It may get old to have your team thrashed and bashed on a daily basis, but the alternative would be much worse to stomach. Just ask Michigan. O