Clash of the Titans’

Scarlet and gray. Maize and blue. Orange and brown? That’s right, BG students actually play an important role in an important football game, and this year may be the biggest. The rivalry heats up as Lloyd Carr tries to catch up with Jim Tressel and his series lead.

A recent survey of 28 students gave their preferences for their team. Sixty-four percent are cheering for Ohio State and a measly 29 percent think that the Wolverines will pull it off in Columbus, as well as a whopping two people staying true to the Falcons. But make no mistake, even though the numbers say Ohio State, BG is as divided between red and blue as Congress.

You can walk through pretty much any student housing area on a Friday or Saturday night and hear the O-H-I-O chant coming from any number of garages and basements, so why do BG students even care what happens in a game between two teams for schools which they don’t attend?

According to Kyle Duncan, family tradition is the answer.

“People have grown up cheering for either OSU or Michigan,” Duncan said. “No one grows up saying ‘I love the Falcons.'”

Other people have just become so fed up with fans, namely OSU fans, that they decide to join the other ranks.

“I was a little offended with the O-H-I-O chant at the BG game the other night,” said Megan Parish.

“I find it sad when people wear OSU T-shirts all year round,” said men’s chorus member Daniel Weber.

Brandy O’Connell has even had her parenting brought into question over this rivalry because her infant son’s bedroom is covered in maize and blue.

“My friends who are OSU fans always tell me I’m already bringing him up the wrong way,” O’Connell said.

Most people just believe that it is BG’s proximity to Michigan while still being in Ohio.

“It’s a good ratio of fans because we’re so close to Michigan,” said Katie Esbenchade.

“I think it’s because we’re half way between Columbus and Ann Arbor,” said Laura Van Liere.

Along with all these reasons, ‘The Game’ is a good excuse to get together and have a party, since going to Columbus is a risk for any civilian, win or lose.

“I can’t see why you would pay big bucks for that game and get so drunk you don’t even remember it,” according to Ernie Reid.

Surprisingly, no one surveyed even knew why they hated the other team beyond their dad telling them that’s the way things are.

There were some good guesses. Some thought it stemmed from the era of Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler. Others thought it started when Michigan dominated OSU and the rest of the country until OSU finally got a win in 1919. Some thought the game didn’t get big until television and newspaper coverage started exploiting in the late 1960’s.

“The marketing for the game in Central Ohio is probably bigger than the Super Bowl,” Reid said.

In reality the game is actually due to a land dispute over Toledo as to who it belonged to, making it the biggest land dispute since the Israel-Palestine conflict.

So whether you’re scarlet and gray or maize and blue, come Monday, you’ll be back to being orange and brown.