College football is a big deal to lots of universities. At schools like Ohio State, it is a really big deal. Although I personally don't care about football, I think that it is a great way to build a sense of community and camaraderie among students. It is fun, gives many schools a worldwide presence, and allows us students to have a sense of overwhelming pride in our school.
I just don't want that pride to outweigh the pride in the education itself. Unless you're a football player, you go to college primarily to learn and build your future. Football is fun, but sometimes I wish that society associates my school with an education rather than a single sport.
I cannot count the number of times that I told people that I go to OSU, and they responded by saying something along the lines of "Oh no, I'm a Michigan fan!" If they're referring to how The University of Michigan has some academic programs that are usually ranked higher than those at Ohio State, then I wouldn't blame them. Heck, it is ignorant not to acknowledge the truth in that-- if Michigan hadn't cost a thousand times more than what I'm paying now, I honestly might have chosen to be a student there.
Back to the point, though. I'm proud to go to OSU. At this time in life, I wouldn't want to be going anywhere else. Attending a school known for football was ultimately my decision, but that factor itself wasn't the reason. Admittedly, since I started college, I came to realize that all students aren't as football-crazy as I anticipated. One game day when I was studying in the library, a handful of guys came in yelling "OH" and expecting an "IO" back. They were met with silence until someone studying a few floors above them shouted back "F*** off!"
That story always reminds me that big schools like Ohio State really are for everyone. OSU excels in its education and wide variety of extracurricular opportunities. I don't love my school because of football-- I love my school because of the challenging academics, amazing faculty, and strong community. I think that it is time for the general public to see it that way too.