The guys over at Black Shoe Diaries posted a pretty good recap of each Notre Dame – Penn State game up to and including last year’s 41-17 win by the Irish. Part of their post has an explanation as to why Penn State fans generally hate Notre Dame more so than the other way around:
* Notre Dame fans consider USC and even Michigan as bigger rivals than Penn State.
* North Eastern Pennsylvania has a high population of Catholics. Growing up in high school I was fortunate to attend just about every single football game and we played a lot of teams from NE PA. I can tell you first hand that probably two out of every three high schools in NE PA have adopted the Notre Dame fight song as their own. Notre Dame is huge up there. They are just as big as Penn State if not bigger. This mix of fan bases living in close proximity gives the feel of a natural in-state rivalry.
* Penn State has a history of being snubbed by the media. Four times Joe Paterno has led an undefeated team that was not awarded the National Championship (’68, ’69, ’73, and ’94). Notre Dame is unquestionably a media darling so it’s only natural Penn State’s hatred of the media would be directed toward the one the writers adore.
While I think most Notre Dame fans will get some amusement out of that last statement – at least based on recent history, overall its a pretty good read even if it may be written some white tinted glasses.