10 football teams that beg to be hated Roll your cursor over FanBoy and give him a spin • Send FanBoy fan mail azcentral.com Dec. 28, 2001 Before we get into this, FanBoy has to explain something: college football is something near and dear to FanBoy's heart. It's a romance that has lasted a lifetime (and still going, knock on wood). The tradition, the passion, the pageantry, the ridiculous colors fans are asked to wear to support their team – it's all good. To say one hates a college program typically means that college program has been successful for far too long, robbing said hating fan's team of glory and featured highlights on ESPN. But for some programs, being hated is a badge of honor, worn on the sleeves to be flaunted like some schoolyard tease. As each year passes, fans of these programs increase in size, daring others to knock them off as if they were untouchable. With this in mind, FanBoy offers his list of the 10 College Football Programs Most Deserving of FanBoy's Spite: 1. Tennessee: No program deserves to be hated like this one. They're number one for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is "Rocky Top," the most annoying "fight song" ever penned. If this song lifts your spirits, you're either a drunken hillbilly, tone deaf, or both. FanBoy is willing to look past the tutoring scandal, but it's hard to forgive head coach Phil Fulmer and the school's major boosters for stabbing former head coach (and Tennessee football legend) Johnny Majors in the back while Majors was in the hospital. They cram over 100,000 Volunteers fans into Neyland Stadium each home game, all of them wearing school colors which can only be described as "Road Worker Orange," no doubt an extension of a popular major among athletes at the school. Those orange-and-white checkerboard end zones are to college football atmosphere what grafitti is to modern art. 2. Southern California: Trojan fans take the cake when it comes to collective arrogance. USC hasn't produced a truly great performance since the 70s. Neither have the Bee Gees, but you don't see them pretending like they're still the center of the universe. The Trojans play in the cacophonous Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, where a guy dressed in a cheesy Roman costume runs a horse ragged around the track. The USC band, so full of themselves they produce their own CDs, claims to have many songs in their repertoire, but they pretty much only play one. The words, composed by ASU band members tired of hearing the song over and over again, go something like this, "This - is the only song we know - the only song we know - the only song we know - the only song we knoooooooooooooow." The sports information office regularly chides the media to refer to them as "Southern California" or "USC," not "Southern Cal" or "So Cal." The fans are the biggest collection of bandwagoners in the country, usually starting the season with predictions of a national championship and a Heisman Trophy for some otherwise underachieving former blue-chip recruit, silently disappearing into the woodwork by November as their team staggers to .500. 3. Miami: What's not to hate about the Miami Hurricanes? No, they're not as criminal as they used to be, but the stink of punk still lingers. It's hard to forget the new ground they cut in the late 80s, introducing college football to scandals and an attitude that was mostly reserved for the NFL before them. It's hard to fine a die-hard Hurricane fan. If the team is not riding the euphoria of a national championship, they are sometimes lucky to draw 20,000 or so fans to a home game at the Orange Bowl. But if the Hurricanes are enjoying a good year, they can match USC fans in arrogance. All this from a program that was prepared to call it quits before hiring Howard Schnellenberger in 1980. That's right, FanBoy was nearly a teenager before Miami's treasured story began. That's tradition? Miami fans shouldn't be allowed to get sentimental about their halcyon days until Don Johnson goes bald. 4. Nebraska: The Bugeaters, aka the Cornhuskers, are about the only thing going in Nebraska. It's almost enough for FanBoy to pity them … not really. Nebraska has given us 30 years of the most boring offense ever conceived. Yes, they win. They can't help but win. The formula seems to be: recruit he best athletes available, regardless of academic standing or criminal background, then keep things simple and hope no one flunks out or gets caught beating their girlfriend. To be fair, FanBoy has had some good experiences with Nebraska fans. They can be civilized. Of course, when you just beat the opposing team into a bloody pulp, it's pretty easy to rise above pettiness. When they lose, though, the feces will fly, and there's no shortage of that in Nebraska. 5. Oregon State: The Beavers were the laughingstock of college football for years, a place where the fans tore down the goalposts if they finished the season 6-5. People rooted for them because they felt sorry for them. Dennis Erickson arrived and brought with him the code of conduct book he used at Miami. He recruited junior college athletes by the dozen, and suddenly the fortunes at Oregon State were reversed. One good season and a haughty display in the Fiesta Bowl revealed their true colors, which is to say they acted like they had never been to the big city before. The Beavers took taunting to dizzying new heights against Notre Dame, giving extended celebrations for every little thing, like remembering the snap count. OSU fans, relatively new to rooting for a successful team, filled Sun Devil Stadium to capacity. Apparently they were just in from a weekend of hunting and forgot to take off their vests and caps. Either that, or they were shooting the sequel to Deliverance that night. 6. Mississippi: Fans at University of Mississipi refer to their alma mater as Ole Miss. Why? FanBoy thinks it's because they don't want to be confused with New South. It's the only place short of a Klan rally where waving the Dixie flag is still "cool." It's the only reason they're on this list, because with the exception of Archie Manning and his lesser known son, there's no other reason to pay attention to the Rebels. 7. Brigham Young: There's so many reasons to hate BYU it's almost impossible to list them all, but FanBoy doesn't want to overstate his point. All the Mormons FanBoy knows are nice. The football team, however, can take a leap into the Salt Lake. First, there's this Mickey Mouse offense that shorts out scoreboards, but leaves their own defense gasping for air because they're on the field more often than not. FanBoy once heard a recruiting story about a lineman who wanted to attend BYU. He was a big man at 17, a very agile athlete who could bench press a semi. His high school coach raved about him to the BYU staff, talking about his exploits, but the first question from BYU coaches was, "Yes, but can he catch?" If that's not enough, they put teams like Western Montana Tech on their schedule, admittedly play in a weak conference, then whine like a bratty 6-year-old when they don't play in a major bowl game. This is a private school with lots of dough. They could buy a major conference 100 times over. No one should ever feel sorry for them. 8. Notre Dame: It's the most popular sports team in the world. Too big and important for a conference, they have their own major network deal. Fans, many who have never stepped foot in South Bend, Ind., regurgitate Fighting Irish history like we've suddently forgotten it from the last 1,000 times they told us. They pretend like they're somehow above suspicion. In good years or bad, no one can escape the Notre Dame publicity machine. Hiring a new coach receives as much media coverage as a presidential election. 9. Purdue: Why are the Boilermakers on this list? The school that produced respectable Bob Griese? This is all about what Purdue is right now. That offense hurts FanBoy's eyes. Spread offenses that throw 40 times a game are supposed to be entertaining, but this version could put a speed addict to sleep. Is there a route in Purdue's playbook deeper than 8 yards? Someone should tell head coach Joe Tiller – a former linemen – it's OK to throw beyond the first-down marker every now and then. When this offense doesn't function well, afternoon games last well into the next day. At least teams that run the option keep the clock running in a boring game. 10. Stanford: If USC fans are arrogant, Stanford fans are unbearably snooty. Art show, opera, college football, it's all the same in Palo Alto. They more or less run the Pac-10, a conference which thinks of itself in the same class as the Ivy League. Stanford is the Title IX poster school, which is not a bad thing, but at The Farm, it's preached to the world with overbearing, hall monitor-like piety. Why do they call it The Farm, anyway? It's like a cult of grammarians, running around telling people it's "Cardinal" not "Cardinals."