Why Does America Hate Ohio State?

>> Saturday, December 05, 2009

So I find this interesting (no link, but you can find state by state data here):

Setting aside the utterly unscientific nature of such polls, I'm mildly surprised by the Ducks' nationwide dominance. I would expect the Ducks to be favored because a) the Ducks are higher ranked, and b) they just won an exciting game on ESPN, while Ohio State hasn't played since November 21. The extent of the dominance (68-32) is higher than I would have expected, but I'm especially surprised by its geographic extent. Ohio State unsurprisingly wins Ohio, and it does better in the Midwest states of the Big 10, but it gets crushed in border states that don't have Big 10 teams (71-29 in Kentucky, 70-30 in West Virginia). Even in the other Big 10 states Ohio State doesn't do particularly well; apart from the 50-50 tie in Iowa, the closest it comes to winning a state is taking 45% in Illinois (and it takes only 35% in Michigan). Are there perhaps two dynamics operating here, with general Big 10 sympathy on one level contradicted by local resentment of Ohio State on another? If so, it's interesting that the pattern doesn't appear to be replicated in Pac 10 states, all of which support the Ducks at a pretty high clip (including 82% in Washington, where I'd expect the most resentment).

I suspect the answer may be thus: Ohio State graduates are simply more objectively loathsome than Oregon graduates. Thoughts?


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