The Hater’s Guide To The Big Ten For Terps Fans (GUEST POST)

Here to educate Maryland fans on the Big Ten is Robert from Illinois blog A Lion Eye. Follow him on Twitter (@alioneye), because this is really good.

Being an Illinois fan is a bit, I don’t know – schizophrenic. We can reach unspeakable highs and unbelievable lows, all in a short span of time. In football that means two BCS bowls in the last twelve years… and also five seasons with a 1-7 or 0-8 conference finish. In those same 12 years, Illini Basketball went 74-22 in conference the first six years, including a title game appearance in 2005… and then 50-56 the last six years.

So as an Illinois fan, I feel uniquely qualified to write this. We’ve received invites to the Christmas party at Ohio State’s house (Nebraska got crazy drunk), but we also found ourselves stuck at an office party with Minnesota, wearing a short sleeve shirt and a tie, talking to Purdue about the fiscal cliff.

Having gotten to know each fanbase up close and personal for the last decade or so, I present to you The Hater’s Guide To The Big Ten For Terps Fans. Insider knowledge with just the right amount of Illini insecurity.


I start with Nebraska because they’re the latest entrant, having joined the B1G only two years ago. Wait, sorry, you’ll have to learn that. We don’t type “Big Ten” or “Big 10”. Once the logo changed with Nebraska’s addition, we just say “B1G” now, or “Bee One Gee”. OK, we don’t actually say “Bee One Gee”. I just wanted to see if you’d bite so I can snicker in the corner when you say “Bee One Gee” to Penn State at Ohio State’s Christmas party.

The only thing you need to hate about Nebraska fans is how well they travel. This is not an exaggeration – at the first Marlyand/Nebraska football game at Byrd Stadium, there will be 20,000 Nebraska fans there. Nobody knows where they come from. They’re like the 17-year locusts.

TV/Movie Character that best describes a Nebraska Fan: Hans Gruber, Die Hard. You hate him, but you kind of have a soft spot for him. And you struggle to understand what he’s saying when he’s angry.


I have a friend who got divorced 17 months after he met his ex-wife. Met, engaged, married, divorced, all within the gestation period of a sperm whale. I remember him telling me how he couldn’t believe how much he fought with someone he didn’t even know 15 months prior.

That’s how you’ll feel about Michigan. You’ll barely get into the introductory period before you hate them. But deep down, in places you never talk to your friends about, you know you hate them because they’re better than you.

TV/Movie Character: Derek from Step Brothers. A word of advice. Never, ever ask a Michigan fan “are bonito fish big?”


Nerds! Seriously, that’s all anyone ever says. It’s been 28 years since Revenge Of The Nerds came out (it’s been 28 years since Revenge Of The Nerds came out?) and it’s still the only thing we say. NERDS!

Northwestern is supposed to be our rival, but it’s never really been a rivalry. In hoops, they’ve never been to the NCAA Tournament, and in football, we destroyed them for a long time, and now they regularly destroy us. Including this coming Saturday (which will be their last win of the season because they haven’t won a bowl game since the 1940’s).

TV/Movie Character: Ben Linus, Lost. Be careful having compassion for them initially. Because they’re really awful underneath.

Penn State

It’s hard to crack Penn State jokes. Because, you know, Penn State. But their fanbase has taken a wicked turn. It used the be the best place to watch an away game in the Big Ten – a very nice (and empty) basketball arena, and over-the-top polite fans in the football stadium.

But since the Pleasantville curtain fell, it’s completely different. They’re now conspiracy theorists. Everyone – EVERYONE – is out to get them. Including the Big Ten. Go find some random Penn State message board right now – I guarantee you’ll find a thread about taking Maryland’s place in the ACC.

TV/Movie Character: Earl Milford, Arrested Development. Because Penn State fans should neither be seen nor heard.


You’re a Maryland fan and you’re thinking “but I LIKED making fun of Duke fans”. Maryland fans, meet Indiana basketball fans. Duke fans, minus the popped collar, minus some teeth. But still all of the overarching arrogance and banner pointing you’ve come to love to hate.

Indiana fans really don’t care about football. Neither does the administration. They actually sold a home game to Penn State a few years ago and played them in Washington DC. Seriously – call them up and offer to play their home game at FedEx Field. Pay them enough and they’ll go for it.

TV/Movie Character: Sack Lodge, Wedding Crashers. Bad clothes, bad manners, and you have to put up with their stories about scallops and otters.


{cheese joke here}

Seriously, just make cheese jokes. “The last time Wisconsin won an NCAA tournament game of significance this Capricho de Cabra hadn’t even started aging yet.” Wisconsin fans hate cheese jokes.

That’s really all I have about Wisconsin. Cheese.

TV/Movie Character: The White Witch, Chronicles of Narnia. Skin that has never seen the sun, frightening eyes, and chunks of ice in their hair.

Michigan State

In the ACC, did you have a fanbase that self-referentially said the word “classy” a lot? That’s Michigan State. “Tom Izzo just did the classiest thing I’ve ever seen classed.” “Mark Dantonio just oozes class from his pores.” “I’ve never seen an AD with more class and dignity than Mark “Classy” Hollis. They love their class.

As an Illini fan who just lived through the last six years of Ron Zook and Bruce Weber, it’s startling to talk to a Michigan State fan. They LOVE their football coach. They LOVE their basketball coach. Who does that?

TV/Movie Character: Sideshow Bob, The Simpsons. They’re the Bob to Michigan’s Krusty – constantly trying to frame Michigan so they can teach the state the finer parts of high culture.


Their last great basketball team was in 1997. Their last great football team was, I believe, 1941. So really, it’s hard to hate on Minnesota. It’s bitterly cold. There’s lots of flannel. I believe the entire campus closes for two months to ice fish. There’s really not much there. So there’s not much to hate.

Wait – I have something: I’ve always had this theory that 85% of all TV Infomercial hosts went to the University of Minnesota. So, there’s that.

TV/Movie Character: Janice from Friends. In the end, you feel really bad that nobody likes her simply because of her accent.


Who was Maryland’s “just kind of there” opponent in the ACC? That’s Purdue in the B1G. I guess I should hate Purdue? But I don’t. They’re just kind of there. Not bad enough to say “we CAN’T lose to Purdue”. Not good enough to say “great win over Purdue”. In both football and basketball. They’re just… Purdue.

TV/Movie Character: Marie Schrader, Breaking Bad. Why does Hank even have a wife? And what’s the deal with the shoplifting thing? Why does a great show need a Marie?


You can never tell if an Iowa fan is being sarcastic. You’ll be talking to an Iowa fan at a party, and they’ll say something like “I really think Iowa can make the Elite Eight next year”, and you’ll chuckle before giving them the “wait, you were being serious?” Or you’ll get some “once the quarterback settles in his junior year I think back to back Big Ten title games are a lock – whether we win them is still in question.” Am I supposed to laugh? Nod? I never know.

TV/Movie Character: The guy on the Corona commercial who says “crushed it”. Self explanatory.


This is a haters guide, right? So I’m supposed to tell you how to hate us? That’s easy. Illini fans are… overanxious. Remember the Maryland fanbase prior to the National Championship? How you were eager to both be named the Best Team To Never Win A Title AND to shed that title? That’s us, at least in basketball. In football we just wander around saying things like “Sleeping Giant”.

So when we make the Final Four, we descend on that city like 25,000 ex-girlfriends. When a recruit says something on Twitter like “which fanbase wants me the most?”, we tweet like teenage girls. Until we get that elusive National Title in basketball, we’re probably always going to be like this. And in football, we’ll just wander around saying things like “Sleeping Giant”.

TV/Movie Character: Kenny Bania. We’re pretty much just hanging around the Seinfelds of college athletics telling them the Ovaltine joke is gold.

Ohio State

Saved the best for last. Their football program is in the top-5. Their basketball program is in the top-5. They have more money than North Dakota. They’ll probably be in two football title games and three Final Fours in the next decade.

What do you say to that? What insult doesn’t bounce back? How can you hate? Any ounce of hate is pretty much jealousy. Sure, their fans are smug, but wouldn’t you be? Just learn to repeat this: I live in Ohio State and Michigan’s world now. Thank you sir may I have a Ticket City Bowl?

TV/Movie Character: Don Draper, Mad Men. I don’t know about other Big Ten fans, but I pretty much go around in life hoping Ohio State will tell me to stop talking.

(Many thanks to The Diamondback for that Maryland-Big Ten logo up top.)

22 thoughts on “The Hater’s Guide To The Big Ten For Terps Fans (GUEST POST)”

  1. The guy in the Corona commercial that says “crushed it.”

    Whether it’s a perfect description of Iowa fans or not, it’s a given when I meet my first Iowa fan I’ll think of this and laugh.

  2. This guide is GREAT! Thanks! You B1G fans have been great judging from the welcoming comments on all the Terp sites (yes Illini Fan, “Terps” is just fine. That’s what we call ourselves). We’re going to miss hating douchy Duke fans and insufferable Tar Hole fans, but I actually like all the Big 10 fans I know (that’s a lot of them). We WON’T miss the North Carolina Cartel that runs the ACC. Most of us look forward to starting new traditions.
    Hopefully we get you guys into the greatest sport there is, lacrosse. Maryland has been elite for over 40 years.

  3. You “crushed it,” Robert. Well done. Terps, welcome to the conference. I’m sure you’ll learn to love to hate us just as you did your former ACC brethren.

  4. Don’t worry we hate everyone, our fans are fickle jerks, we are sore losers and are worst winners.

    You better hope we never do well, you may have to kick us out.

    Ourstudents draw from Baltimore/D.C/Philly/New Jersey and New York. I can’t think of a group of bigger jerks and I am one of them.

    Good luck until we play!

  5. That was funny. Many of us older types are nostalgic for the ACC that doesn’t exist any longer. We hope to be competitive in the B1G in football someday, we expect to be very competitive in basketball right away, we hope that our lacrosse team doesn’t suffer from our switch, we hope that our others sports continue or improve on the success that they have had, but we’re pretty much excited about the future in your conference. Despite the comment from 2terpgirls4u, our students aren’t jerks – but our fans that love to criticize them are jerks. It still seems strange to think of the Terps as part of the B1G, but ready or not here we come(in 2014). GO TERPS!!

  6. Been a Maryland grad and rabid fan for 38 years. In the ACC we were in a north to south conference, and now we are in an east to west conference. That’s not a big deal to me considering the teams are at least as prestigeous and maybe the schools are better educational institutions. Then there’s the other thing – now we are in a conference of mainly blue states, whereas in the ACC it was definately dominated by red state mindset. That’s more compatible to me. And I didn’t even have to mentions money. By the way, Maryland is the last B1G school to win the national championship in basketball, so, time to fear the turtle.

  7. Let’s get something straight, Robert. Most (not all) tOSU fans are knuckledraggers that would rather defecate in an igloo cooler while tailgating than in a toilet just because “they can.” I guess you could relate them to Don Draper, if you’re referring to Don Draper the misogynistic pubescent with father issues.

  8. Here is the guide to Maryland:
    We have a inferiority complex. When you beat Duke more than Carolina (at least in the recent past), but nobody calls Duke your rival except you, it burns…burns deep. Doesn’t help that all Penn State and Virginia Tech alumni work in DC/MD, so we get football rubbed in our face all year.
    We are that guy at the party playing beer pong that gets overly angry when he loses; calls his cups, hardly ever making them.
    We can’t wait to make fun of the Indiana candy pants.

    Movie/TV Character: Steve Stifler, American Pie

  9. This is awesome. Id like to thank all those in the Big1G who have welcomed us with open arms. Honestly, im kind of amazed we were welcome with the history out there of us having boorish behavior. Do we have an inferiority complex? Sure, look at our history with Duke, Virginia and PSU and youll know why. So dont take it personally when we start yelling about how we are marooned out east and dont get any respect. And yea, our fball team doesnt bring anything to the table, its true. But we have the potential to be much, much better. Better to buy the stock when the price is low, its got nowhere to go but up.

  10. Maryland has two type of fans: 1.) those who actually go to the games and contribute money and 2.) everyone else. Type 1 fans are small in number. Type 2 fans don’t go to games, don’t contribute money but complain that they were “not consulted” on the move to the Big 10.

    Our students like to burn things. You will know that Maryland students have embraced the Big 10 the day they torch US Route ! after a tough loss to Indiana, Ohio State, etc.

  11. Welcome to the B$G turtles. I will weep the first few times I turn on the Rose Bowl game and see Maryland or Rutgers represent us. But hey it hasn’t been the exclusive domain of the Pac10 and Big 10 for 10 years.
    Like terp1 says I too look back and long for the old Big Ten days.
    You movie character will soon be Jack Walsh of Midnight Run. You will have all this money slung over your shoulder and you ask the cab driver if he can break a $1000 for you.
    Good luck.

  12. Glad I found this. Great head start for us. Looking forward to being hated with such civility…While hoping/knowing it won’t last. Thanks for this post though. Go forth Terps; this will be fun

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