Big 12 Power Hate: Rating the Conference's Teams By How They Are Hated

Patrick RungeCorrespondent IDecember 23, 2010

Big 12 Power Hate: Rating the Conference's Teams By How They Are Hated

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    The holiday season is a time of peace and joy, where we all can stop and reflect upon the year coming to an end, revel in the blessings that have been bestowed on us, and share the time with families and loved ones. Peace on Earth, goodwill to men.

    So, what better time to analyze, in great detail, just how much each team in the Big XII conference are hated? Seems just as natural as carols in the snow, cookies by the fireplace, and fruitcake in your stocking.

    OK, there's nothing natural about fruitcake. Fair point.

    To provide some level of objectivity to the levels of hate each team in the conference receives (enjoys?), I tried to break them down into categories. I looked to see which teams had other teams consider them rivals (meaning that other teams really wanted to beat them), as well as arch-rivals (meaning that teams wanted to beat them more than anything else). I also looked at the general animosity the teams evoked around the conference.

    So take a big gulp of Hater-ade, and join me on our holiday quest to find the most hated team in the Big XII!

12: Baylor

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    Rivals - None

    Arch-Rivals - None

    General animosity - Not a lot. This year was Baylor's first bowl appearance in the Big XII era. The Bears' lack of success on the football field, as well as their status as the only private school in the conference, means Baylor hasn't had the success or the history to generate enough hate amongst their brethren.

11: Iowa State

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Rivals - Iowa

    Arch-Rivals - None

    General animosity - Again, a lack of success on the field for the Cyclones makes it difficult to create a tremendous amount of hatred. A renewal of the Iowa-Iowa State Cy-Hawk series has helped add a little venom to the banks of the Skunk River, so the 'Clones get a little hate-bump. But they'll need Paul Rhoads to continue his wizardry in Ames to move up the list and swim deeper in the hate pool.

10: Texas Tech

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Rivals - Texas, Texas A&M

    Arch-Rivals - None

    General animosity - It's a public university in Texas, even one down the pecking order a little bit from some of the big boys, so there's always going to be a few sharp elbows being thrown the Red Raiders' way. Having a coach like Mike Leach will help raise your animosity level amongst your peers, as will running up the score the way Tech did in the Air Raid days against lesser foes.

9: Colorado

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Rivals - Nebraska

    Arch-Rivals - Colorado State

    General animosity - An in-state rivalry always raises the general animosity level for a team, and the Colorado-Colorado State rivalry is one of the nastier rivalries that doesn't get much attention. Plus, Bill McCartney's attempt to manufacture a rivalry with Nebraska left quite a bit of bitterness with NU fans. Couple McCartney's actions with CU's victories over Nebraska, and there's enough venom coming Ralphie's way from Lincoln to move Colorado up the chart.

8: Kansas State

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Rivals - Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri

    Arch-Rivals - None

    General animosity - Again, an in-state rivalry with Kansas helps move the Wildcats up the chart, although KU's blood-feud with Missouri mitigates that somewhat. KSU has had their scraps with Missouri, and there was a strong loathing built between Kansas State and Nebraska in the years when the Wildcats broke their long string of losses against NU.

7: Kansas

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Rivals - Kansas State

    Arch-Rivals - Missouri

    General animosity - Kansas is the first team on the list with a true arch rival in Missouri. The rivalry between the Jayhawks and the Tigers is one of the deepest and nastiest in the country, and gets far less attention than it deserves. When the smack talk between the fan bases involves Civil War references, you know you have achieved a new level of hatred.

6: Missouri

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Rivals - Nebraska, Kansas State

    Arch-Rivals - Kansas

    General animosity - Picking between Kansas and Missouri in terms of hatred received is a tough call. It's a given that KU and MU hate each other, so those hatreds cancel out. Kansas has their in-state rivalry with Kansas State, so it's very tempting to give the hate nod to the Jayhawks. But over the last few seasons, Missouri has been developing an impressive level of hate with Nebraska. When players on both teams openly discuss their disdain for the other, you know you have reached a special rung on the hate meter. Nebraska's departure to the Big Ten does mean that the budding Nebraska-Missouri hate garden will never get the chance to fully bloom.

5: Texas A&M

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    Rivals - Texas, Texas Tech

    Arch-Rivals - None

    General animosity - The enigma that is Texas A&M football continues. Given the size and resources of the fan base, the Aggies should be a dominant power nationally. The fact that they aren't lowers them on the hate parade somewhat. Still, being a big Texas school and clashing with the Longhorns and the Red Raiders on a regular basis makes for an ambient hate level that can't be matched by many of the non-Texas schools. As with many other things, the hate is bigger in Texas than most other places.

4: Oklahoma State

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    Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    Rivals - Oklahoma

    Arch-Rivals - None

    General animosity - So why are the 'Pokes so high? Only one rival, and no arch-rival, so how does OSU get to fourth? Well, because Bedlam is special. Yes, Oklahoma probably cares more about Texas than their noisy orange neighbors to the north. But the Bedlam series is still one of the best, most strident, and most hate-filled in-state rivalries in the country. Bedlam, by itself, is enough to put the 'Pokes in fourth.

3: Nebraska

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    Eric Francis/Getty Images

    Rivals - Missouri, Colorado, Kansas State, Iowa State

    Arch-Rivals - None

    General animosity - Nebraska has never had a true arch-rival. Oklahoma has always cared about Texas and Oklahoma State more than about NU. Colorado and Kansas State didn't stay good long enough to develop a true blood feud with the Big Red. And the budding Missouri rivalry has been nipped in the bud with Nebraska's move to the Big Ten. Still, Nebraska's long history of dominance over most of their old Big Eight rivals, combined with the perception of Nebraska fans as arrogant and entitled (self-describing themselves as "the greatest fans in college football"), and topped off with NU's messy divorce with the Big XII in 2010 means there's plenty of hate for Nebraska, even without a true arch-rival, to push them up the chart.

2: Texas

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Rivals - Texas Tech, Texas A&M

    Arch-Rivals - Oklahoma

    General animosity - The Longhorns are the big dog on the porch that is college football in the state of Texas. As a result, every other Texas school has a grudge against the Longhorns - and as was noted earlier, the ambient level of hate in Texas is greater than in most other places. Add that ambient hate to the true animosity between Texas and Oklahoma, and the Longhorns end up number two on the hate charts.

1: Oklahoma

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Rivals - None

    Arch-Rivals - Oklahoma State, Texas

    General animosity - This one's easy. If you have two teams that hate you more than they hate anyone else, you're the King of Hate. Oklahoma and Texas share a deep and abiding loathing of each other, that is expressed every year at the Texas State Fair. Couple that with Oklahoma State's hatred of the Sooners (with a dollop of "little brother syndrome" hatred added in), and there's no one in the conference that's hated with the passion and intensity of the Sooners.

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