As the Plain White T's say, hate is a strong word. A violent word. But in sports, we don't say we "really, really don't like" teams. We HATE them. An interesting take on this is that football "hate" is highly dependent upon a team's success or failure. Face it. It's hard to hate FIU or North Texas. It's easy to hate Florida or Ohio State.
Of course there are a lot of factors that play into football emotions. Longstanding rivalries, fleeting coaching gaffes, media love, and conference ties (shout out to all of you other SEC homies!) all play into it. There's also the evolution of the BCS...I don't remember hating so much back when the Cotton Bowl meant something. The dissolution of bowls as a reward to players and fans has kicked the whole hate thing up a notch. You know, I've been a Gator nearly my entire 50 years, but I still remember enjoying the fanfare surrounding a classic USC-OSU Rose Bowl or a 'Bama-Penn State Sugar Bowl. Heck, I even road-tripped to NOLA in '78 just to be in town to experience the latter one.
But I digress. Back to the topic. Hate.
If you're a true-blue college football fan you've GOTTA hate some other team. It's in the rule book we all get when we sign up, right below the rule about standing up for the National Anthem. So here's what I've got for you. Let's settle this post-to-post. Just who (or whom, I could never get that right) is The Most Hated College Football Team in America.
Here's how it goes. You give me ONE team. The one you hate MORE THAN ANY OTHER TEAM IN FOOTBALL. Only one. I collect yours and a bunch of others submitted by other football fans. Based on the number of submissions I'll rank them and seed them, and then we'll play them off against each other (in the same manner as those other blogs that rate rock guitar players and scariest movies). This HIGHLY NON-SCIENTIFIC study will show us two things...who gets the most hate mail and who, given the opportunity of playing against a number of other hated teams, would most of us hate until the end of time.
I'll set a preliminary timeline of collecting the front data until Friday, November 7. If I'm getting a ton of submissions I'll extend it. If not, I'll take a couple of days and post the first round of the playoffs.
So here it is. I humbly await your best hate.