Welcome back! The biannual 'Hate List' is back with a vengeance, definitely with some movements through the years.
It's been one of the VFA's biggest successes, and we look forward to you remarking on this again. And again. And again.
1. Florida (2010 position: 2)
If there could be any tradition more annoying than UF's 'Gator Chomp', then please let me know.
Oh...wait a minute...there is one....the yelling of "Gator Bait!" at full strength to fans of the opposition. That's pretty annoying.
Then there are the Gator fans and students that the wife and I met at Key West, FL, who arrogantly referred to Gainseville as 'Titletown' pretty much non-stop. Unless they were pouring beer over some innocent girl (seriously, we saw it).
But hands on head: Is this the true reflection of Florida fans? We think so. Tell you what, let's 'The Swamp', and we can see your fans' classy side. In your student section, please!
2. Ohio State (2010 position: 6)
Ohio State were pretty low a couple of years ago quite simply because I didn't hate them half as much as I hated the University of Michigan.
But the hiring of Urban Meyer, whose squad at Florida got them No. 2 on the list in 2010, has made them un-rootable for.
Oh, and meeting three of their fans in London—who were actually proud of the fact that their fans threw buckeye nuts at opposition fans, smashed car windows for having out-of-state plates or stickers and had to be told to be classy when Penn State came in last year—sent them right up the list.
We actually rooted FOR Michigan against the Buckeyes last year, which means.....we don't hate them as much. Still love "We Don't Give A Damn For...." though...
3. Notre Dame (2010: 4)
Unless the Irish play Ohio State or Florida, there honestly isn't a team quite as unbearable as the Fighting Irish.
And yes, it's about Touchdown Jesus. Yes, it's about the multi-million dollar TV contract. Yes, it's about the constant referral to Notre Dame's 'history' that is getting further and further away every time they fail to be No. 1.
Of course, the Irish ALWAYS have a difficult schedule—something we applaud—and they are ALWAYS pretty sanctimonious about that schedule, too. That's not something we applaud.
4. USC (2010 position: 3)
Two words (as happened in 2010): Lane. Kiffin.
Excluding this year, they'll move up if they perform as well as they recruit.
By the way, they would have been ranked higher, but we rooted for them against Notre Dame. As we do every year. The only reason they aren't higher up on the list is that we actually root for the Trojans against Notre Dame.
5. Michigan (2010 position: 1)
There used to not be a world we hated without a University of Michigan, but I found myself actually rooting for the Wolverines against a) Notre Dame and b) Ohio State in 2011.
Oh, and the 'Big House Yellow Out' (or whatever it was called) against the Irish—and that amazing finish—was one of the coolest images of the year.
Brady Hoke has made Big Blue a little less hateable (let's face it, they'll never be likeable to this writer). Not to mention, Lloyd Carr's left. Which is great.
6. Penn State (NEW)
Joe Paterno didn't just lie to me. He lied to Penn State Nation, and he lost tens of millions of college football fans' respect in the process.
It might not matter to him because he's dead, but you know what, it matters to this Penn State fan.
I don't hate the players, but I'm finding it hard to like the program right now.
7. Alabama (2010 position: 5)
It's a jealousy thing. Oh, and I said some nice things about Alabama fans being classy in 2010, but that was before a) Harvey Updyke, b) The way an Alabama fan behaved after the LSU National Championship victory (Note: We don't find this funny), c) Nick Saban and d) The fact that the Alabama team is really, really good and could/will dominate college football for as long as the Poisoned Dwarf is coaching there.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
8. Tennessee (2010 position: 7)
Because of their horrific efforts over the last couple of years, the Vols managed to move down the list by a position. But we still don't like bright orange, and we still hate chequered end-zones. We hate running through 'Ts', and 'Rocky Top' is horrible, particularly when it's played 401 times at football games....right in your ear. Trust me.
9. Florida State (2010 position: 9)
The 'Tomahawk Chop' has GOT to be the most annoying 'warchant' in sports. Its repetitive nature can drive a man crazy. That, and the singing that goes with it.
The only reason why they aren't higher? We really like it if FSU beats Florida. Which doesn't happen often. As long as they go 1-11 for the rest of the season.
10. Oklahoma (NEW)
For years, we've always put Texas above Oklahoma on this list, but we realized Texas and Oklahoma are pretty much one and the same.
Plus, burnt orange is a better T-Shirt to maroon, anyway.