I think a big problem with the Zips is the city of Akron is drawn into the Cleveland television market, and force-fed a continuous stream of Browns/Indians?Cavs propoganda (come spend money on us). Akron is the largest city in the US without it's own television news. In this multimedia generation Akron has become a suburb. I've never been to Ft. Worth or St. Paul, but I wonder if they have the same identity crisis. Or Bowling Green for that matter.
A few miles away, we also have the marketing machine of the NFL and the Pittsburgh Steelers at play. I never figured out why there are so many Steelers fans in Canton. When I started working there, I realized if you live south or east of Canton, the Steelers are your home team.
Add to that the marketing machine and the legacy of Ohio State being the state's official college team does not help. When you're shamed at your own D1 school for not being a Buckeye Honk, you understand why the students look down on their own university.
The Zips have an identity crisis. I don't know how to get past that.