Buckle up Buckeye Nation; this one is going to sting for some of you.

Joe Burrow is undeniably one of the most legendary figures in college sports this century. As a Heisman-winning quarterback at LSU, he not only had a historic individual season but also led his team to a 15-0 record and a national championship victory. That 2019 LSU team is often regarded as one of the greatest college football teams of all time, featuring arguably the most potent offense in the sport’s history. However, before his triumphant run with LSU, Joe Burrow spent three years as a backup at Ohio State, rarely seeing the field.

In the years since his departure from LSU, some Ohio State fans have tried to claim Burrow as one of their own. It’s understandable to some extent: Burrow is an Ohio native, he now plays for the Cincinnati Bengals, and he did spend three years at Ohio State. However, Burrow himself has made it clear where his true football allegiance lies.

During an appearance on Barstool Sports’ Pardon My Take podcast with Big Cat and PFT Commenter, Burrow addressed this directly. “I didn’t play football there (at Ohio State),” Burrow stated. “I mean, I practiced football there. I did a lot of practicing and lifting,” he added. “I graduated. I would say I usually tell people that I went to school at Ohio State and I played football at LSU.”

Big Cat, one of the podcast hosts, appreciated Burrow’s honesty, saying, “That’s good, I like that.” Burrow did acknowledge the importance of his time at Ohio State, emphasizing the growth he experienced through practice and the relationships he built. “I got a lot better from practicing at Ohio State,” he said. “But I didn’t get to play, so I don’t really say that I played there. I still have relationships there to this day that I care about in that building. But I didn’t play there.”

When asked if The Game still holds any significance for him, Burrow replied, “Not as much as the LSU rivalries, I would say.” This prompted Big Cat to remark, “Yeah, you never lost to Michigan right?” To which Burrow confirmed, “No, we were 3-0 when I was there.” Big Cat humorously suggested, “But that maybe that’s what Ohio State fans — you can’t claim Joe Burrow. but you could say ‘we never lost with Joe Burrow.’” Burrow agreed, “that’s true.”

It’s clear that Ohio State was more of a stepping stone in Burrow’s journey rather than the stage where he made his mark in college football. Ohio State fans can take pride in Burrow’s scholastic achievements and the relationships he formed while in Columbus. However, when it comes to his football legacy, it’s time to acknowledge that Joe Burrow’s heart and his historic college career belong to LSU. Claiming Burrow as a Buckeye, especially as if he were a starting quarterback at Ohio State, seems increasingly out of place and somewhat disheartening. Let’s celebrate his achievements for what they are, and recognize his true college football home isn’t Columbus, Ohio.