College football fans love to debate the AP Top 25 rankings every season, especially when you attend the University of Central Florida. Week after week, teams stake their claim to climb the various polls and prove their dominance. Honestly, it’s all dispensable voting until the final few weeks of the season when the College Football Playoff rolls around, but isn’t it fun to stir the pot?
Outside of professional soccer (Believe me, they’re more wild than you are.), no sporting league in the country boasts more rabid fan bases like college football. From deep in the heart of Texas through the Midwest and back down into the Southeastern Conference, you better make sure you’re wearing the right colors walking into a college town. The Alabama Crimson Tide might not have captured the 2018 national championship, but they top another list that might be most important of all.
The Wall Street Journal conducted a nationwide survey of 1,015 sports fans to find out what college football program was the most hated in the country. There are plenty to choose from, but only one can be crowned “Most Hated.” The research firm Lightspeed collected the results, and they’ve revealed one overarching truth: everybody’s sick of Alabama.
Most Hated College Football Teams
The top 62 percent of the vote landed among nine historic programs, each possessing a quality even more annoying than the next. They’ve all been playing football since pre-1900, so there are plenty of reasons to show disdain for all them.
Here are the most hated college football teams, and some reasons why we despise them:
— Alabama Crimson Tide: From recruiting to national championships to tug-of-war competitions, Nick Saban and the gang just keep on winning everything in sight.
— Ohio State Buckeyes: The Urban Meyer/Zach Smith debacle of 2018, plus Brutus the Buckeye is the most ridiculous mascot in all the land. I mean, it’s a nut with a face on it.
— Notre Dame Fighting Irish: They haven’t been relevant since Sean Astin starred as Rudy Ruettiger in that 1993 movie, yet they act like because having Touchdown Jesus somehow makes them special.
— Penn State Nittany Lions: They hide in their little town deep in the middle of central Pennsylvania, and 80 percent of the population can’t tell you one thing that’s 10 miles outside the city limits.
— Michigan Wolverines: They have one national title since 1949 and act like because they have cool helmets, that makes them important. Plus, I think just about everybody hates head coach Jim Harbaugh and his khakis.
— USC Trojans: The pretty boys on the West Coast still won’t move on from Pete Carroll’s team in the 2000s. There’s not much to see in the Pac-12 these days, especially at USC.
— Texas Longhorns: Just because they carry the state’s name doesn’t make them important. The 1970s called, and they want their dynasty back.
— Oklahoma Sooners: Baker Mayfield. End of story.
— Nebraska Cornhuskers: Aside from those four years in the 1990s, what else have they done? Stop acting like you’re “on the rise” once again.
Teams like the Florida Gators won’t stop referencing Tim Tebow and the Auburn Tigers are just Alabama’s kid brother, but both were left off the list. FSU’s 36-year bowl streak is over, Miami hasn’t reclaimed the success of the early 2000s, and schools like LSU, Tennessee, Georgia and Oregon don’t really muster up that much anger. The biggest missing name has to be Clemson, but they can’t be far behind. You can guarantee that all received more than a few votes from the haters, though.
Who did the Wall Street Journal’s list miss? More importantly, who do YOU think is the most hated team in college football?
This article was originally published August 31, 2018