closer look at how Penn State and Ohio State measure up since the Nittany Lions began Big Ten play in 1993:
Big Ten championships
Ohio State: The Buckeyes have dominated with at least a share of a conference title nine times in the 17 years since Penn State joined the Big Ten. Granted, some of those years (such as in 2005 and 2008) Ohio State lost to the team it split the conference title with, but the Buckeyes' success and consistency in the league has been unparalleled.
Penn State: The Nittany Lions have won three Big Ten titles, finishing first in the conference in 1994 and splitting the title in 2005 and 2008 despite beating Ohio State both years. In three other years, Penn State could have earned at least a share of a conference title with just one more win, but the Lions haven't controlled league like Buckeyes have.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes have been a fixture in the country's marquee bowl games for most of the past 17 years. Ohio State has competed in 10 BCS bowl games and has also earned an undeserved reputation as a team that can't win the big game. The Buckeyes have won six of those 10 games and are the only Big Ten team to win an outright national title since 1993.
Penn State: This is one area where the Nittany Lions have been underwhelming given their stature in the 1970s and 1980s. Penn State has appeared in just four BCS bowl games: the Rose in 1994 and 2008, the Fiesta in 1996 and the Orange in 2005. Aside from the 2008 Rose Bowl loss to USC, Penn State has won the other three marquee bowl games. With a break here or there, an appearance in the national title game was in play every year but 1996.
Note: Appearances in the current BCS bowls from 1993 to 1997 were used to account for the BCS not being created until 1998.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes have been the class of the conference since 1993, racking up a 106-29-1 record in 17 years for a .783 winning percentage. Included in those 17 years is finishing in the top two 13 times. How's this for a stat: The Buckeyes have lost no more than one conference game 10 times in 17 years.
Penn State: The Nittany Lions' showing in the dark years dragged down their overall record; since 1993, Penn State is 86-50 in the conference for a .632 winning percentage. The Lions have had stretches of dominance - most notably in 1994, 2005 and 2008 - but have stumbled most years. Penn State has lost no more than one conference game just three times in 17 years.
Head to head
The series was largely even through the first nine meetings, but Ohio State has won six of eight since 2002.
Overall, Ohio State is 11-6 head-to-head against Penn State, and the Buckeyes are 4-5 at Beaver Stadium. Penn State, meanwhile, is 1-7 at Ohio Stadium.
Although the Lions haven't enjoyed a lot of success against Ohio State, some of the program's most memorable wins of the 2000s have come against the Buckeyes. In 2001, Penn State rallied from 18 points down in what was then the largest comeback in Beaver Stadium history for Joe Paterno's 324th career win.
In 2005, Penn State's renaissance played out on the national stage with a highly memorable 17-10 win over No. 6 Ohio State in a game that spawned the Whiteout. And in 2008, the Nittany Lions earned their first win at the Horseshoe in more than 30 years, winning 13-6 in what current captain Ollie Ogbu said was "one of the five best experiences of my life."