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Know thy enemy, Rutgers: Why they love THE Ohio State

Yes, this week they’re the “enemy”. But they are also fans - nay, people - who love their school. And as we’re doing all season, we’re telling you why. Today: O-H....I-O

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Oklahoma Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

We love Rutgers. Why? Lots of reasons, personal, professional, emotional. But the people we play, their fans, love their schools, too. Why? Each week we’ll tell their story. Today we go with this week’s opponent, THE Ohio State University. And we look to 2007 Ohio State alum and a friend of a friend, Nathan, to do the honors.

Nathan: There’s a lot to love. Like Rutgers, it has a large campus, and it has one of the largest student enrollments of any university. This means there’s something for everyone – Democrats, Republicans, and even people who prefer to settle disputes with (what I presume are fake) lightsabers. If you’re into it, Ohio State probably has it. Also, for those who’ve never been, Ohio State has a beautiful, tree-lined campus in a great location – on the Olentangy River just a few miles North of downtown Columbus, the State Capital of Ohio.

OTB: Why did you decide to go to Ohio State?

Nathan: In-state tuition! Truthfully, had money been no object, I probably wouldn’t have gone to Ohio State. And in retrospect, that would have been a terrible choice. At Ohio State I received an outstanding education, made lifelong friends, became an eternal Buckeyes fan, jumped in Mirror Lake, watched other people jump in Mirror Lake and had an all-around great time. If I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t go anywhere else.

OTB: Do you love Ohio State now and why?

Nathan: I do love it, and I’m not alone. Most students and alumni are deeply fond of their time at Ohio State and are proud to be Buckeyes. I also expect this is how most people feel about their undergraduate schools, at least when those schools are fun places – I’ve been to Rutgers a half-dozen times for football games and have seen the same thing. Even today, when I hear Carmen, Ohio, I turn into this guy. Also, if you’ve never seen our marching band (TBDBITL) do Script Ohio, it’s quite a sight.

OTB: Were you a sports fan while at Ohio State?

Nathan: An Ohio State football fan, yes. Other sports, not really. In my experience, Ohio State fans care about football first, second and third. TBDBITL is probably fourth. Unless the opponent is The Team Up North, in which case we care about everything, including who donates the most blood. (Rumor is the Red Cross dumps the Wolverine blood as it has no useful properties.) I think I once watched the end of an Ohio State lacrosse game because it was played in Ohio Stadium just before a football game. Can’t recall who won, or if Ohio State ever played lacrosse again. I’ll assume we did and were awesome at it.

OTB: What was the best thing to happen to you while you were at Ohio State?

Nathan: This. Or maybe this. A lot of people are still salty about that pass-interference call. I’m not, though.

OTB: Tell me one or two really cool or important things about the city of Columbus?

Nathan: Cincinnati and Cleveland may be the better-known major Ohio cities, owing to their professional (if mostly disappointing) sports teams, [FOOTNOTE—Columbus has an NHL team, the Blue Jackets, and an MLS team, the Crew.] but Columbus is by population the largest city in Ohio and the 15th largest city in the United States. Although people on the East Coast, where I live now, sometimes refer derisively to places like Ohio as “flyover country”, the truth is that Columbus is an exciting and wonderful place to live – it’s full of good restaurants and bars, has a great music and art scene, and offers more than plenty to do. It’s also home to the Columbus Zoo, which is world-class, is home to Jack Hanna (the guy you see on television with all the animals) and didn’t kill Harambe. Fun facts about Columbus include that it was named after – you guessed it – Christopher Columbus (who, contrary to what I learned in school, was not a good dude and did not discover that the Earth is round), and that a full 50% of the population of the United States lives within a 500-mile radius of Columbus (this might not be true, but it’s on the internet).

OTB: How did Ohio State make you feel a part of the school as an undergraduate? How about now as an alum?

Nathan: For students there is Kool Aid, and everyone is obligated to drink. Once you graduate, Ohio State periodically asks you for money, presumably so the school can refill the aforementioned Kool Aid.

OTB: How important is it to you personally being a graduate of Ohio State?

Nathan: It’s important. The Ohio State Alumni Association claims more than half a million alumni, and one runs into fellow Buckeyes almost everywhere. You’ve probably noticed some in your area. (Buckeye fans are known for traveling to away games; you should not take it personally. Instead, consider doing what Indiana is rumored to do and use the Ohio State home game as an opportunity to take pictures of a sellout crowd wearing scarlet.) You’ve probably also noticed that Buckeyes really enjoy spelling “Ohio”. This commonly takes one of two forms – aural and visual – and warms my heart whenever I hear or see it.

OTB: Why THE Ohio State University?

Nathan: That’s easy – it’s the law: Ohio Revised Code § 3335.01 provides that “[t]he educational institution ... shall be known as ‘The Ohio State University’”. We Ohioans are a good and law-abiding people.

Moreover, rigidly following this nomenclature reduces the risk someone will think you’re referring to one of Ohio’s dozen or so other state universities (each an Ohio state university, but none The Ohio State University). See also: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; The Boss; and trips “down the shore”.

Go Bucks!

Ohio State at a glance

Founding: OSU was founded in 1870, originally known as the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College, with its first graduating class in 1878

Location: OSU’s main campus is in Columbus with regional campuses in Lima, Mansfield, Marion and Newark, and the Ohio Agricultural Technical Institute (ATI) in Wooster. Columbus is the largest and fastest-growing city in Ohio.

Enrollment: 58,663 in Columbus, which has a population of 822,553

Academics: Ohio State has 18 colleges and schools and more than 200 academic centers and institutes. It is a land-grant, sea-grant and space-grant university

Athletics: 19 men and 20 women varsity teams