Hate is a strong word, but I really, really, really don’t like you.
As sports fans, we are all susceptible to cross division/league hatred. The degree of that hatred can vary depending on how deep a rivalry actually runs.
However, in college football, inside of any given conference, there is a specific level of dislike that each team feels towards each other.
This hate can be brought on by various reasons, including, but limited to, excessive amounts of winning seasons, unethical play calling, or the stealing of recruits.
While the Pac-10 has a perception of being one of the mild mannered conferences amongst the BCS, don’t let this fool you into believing that there is not a great deal of disgust for teams running through the veins of the passionate fans that devoutly follow this conference.
Let’s check the thermometer and try to gauge just how much hate Pac-10 fans have for the teams in their conference.
Temperature of Hate: Frigid
Reasons for Dislike: There have not been many reasons to hate the Washington Cougars as of late. Although they started off the decade with back-to-back-to-back 10 win season, the downward spiral since then has been nothing less than pathetic.
Over the past two seasons, they have won only two conference games. he only fear that Washington State strikes into the heart of fans is if they need the Cougars to pull out a victory against their rival for ranking purposes.
Temperature of Hate: Slightly Freezing
Reasons for Dislike: Although Arizona State gained a decent amount of hate after several great seasons in the Pac-10, they seem to be lacking a stimulate that ignites the fire to loathe this team with all of your heart.
With Grandpa Erickson running the show, they often feel like a snake with the venom removed from it. The Sun Devils do appear to be turning the corner, but several consecutive terrible seasons have put a slight freeze on the dislike felt towards them.
Temperature of Hate: Chilly
Reasons for Dislike: Jake Locker was probably the biggest reason to hate the Washington Huskies over the past few years. But after the frigid season he had in 2010 and the fact that he is off to the pros, the only real reason to not like the Huskies is because of the 11 Pac-10 championships that they won in the past.
However, with their last championship coming almost a decade ago, hate has had time to diminish, and unless you are USC, facing the Huskies doesn’t strike much fear or hatred the past few seasons.
Temperature of Hate: Brisk
Reasons for Dislike: Since going 12-1 in 1998, the Arizona Wildcats only have three seasons above .500. Whatever hate that lingered from their plentiful seasons in the 90’s has quickly gone cold.
Over the past few years, the Wildcats have started to gain momentum, re-angering some fan bases on their way. But they are still a few years away from being one of the truly hated teams in the Pac-10 again.
Temperature of Hate: Lukewarm
Reasons for Dislike: The bite of the Bears went from vicious to playful after snapping a seven year bowl streak in 2010.
Although Cal has had several outstanding seasons this decade, hating the Bears is like hating one of the many hippies attending their games. They have a lot of bark before the fight actually starts, but when all is said and done, they are more docile than a patient leaving a medical marijuana dispensary.
Temperature of Hate: Balmy
Reasons for Dislike: Despite only winning two Pac-10 Championships, Oregon State has gained a bevy of haters this past decade. Over the past five seasons, the Beavers have won 29 conference games, stepping on the toes of almost every Pac-10 foe on the way.
Although they had a down season in 2010, the possible return of the Rodgers’ brothers gives opponents many reasons to loathe the sight of Oregon State on their schedule in 2011.
Temperature of Hate: Simmering
Reasons for Dislike: Some dislike the Bruins because of their 11 Pac-10 Football Championships. Some dislike them because they are from LA and people outside of the area have a strange need to hate anything and everything that comes from there.
There tends to be a residue of hatred around UCLA despite having numerous sub-par seasons this past decade and one good season seems to reignite the resentment felt towards them. Even after their pathetic showing in 2010, a decent recruiting class the past few seasons has kept their temperature gauge of hatred rather steady.
Temperature of Hate: Sultry
Reasons for Dislike: The recent success of the Cardinal parlayed with a no-nonsense head coach in Jim Harbaugh has escalated the hate factor for Stanford over the past few seasons.
Although they have not made any serious bids for the Pac-10 Championship outside of the 2010 season, the on-field antics of Harbaugh has put a rather large target on the backs of the Cardinal. Harbaugh brings a sense of arrogance to this team that his players love and his opponents loathe.
Whatever he is doing in Palo Alto is working and he is making the entire Pac-10 ask “Whats Your Deal!”
Temperature of Hate: Sweltering
Reason for Dislike: Back-to-back Pac-10 Championships has certainly heightened the hatred felt towards the Ducks, but when you stack Oregon and USC together, fans will probably always hate the Trojans a little bit more.
A national championship for the Ducks could bring the level of aversion to an entirely new level, but even without a title, the hostility towards Oregon and their success is quickly growing.
Temperature of Hate: Scorching
Reasons for Dislike: While the numbers of reasons to loathe the Trojans would probably rival the number of names on Santa’s naughty list, there would not be enough room on this slide to list them all.
Most fans simply hate the Trojans because of the astonishing success that they continue to seemingly have every decade. They recruit well, have winning records against practically every team in the conference, and they have outspoken fans with an awfully catchy fight song.
Suspensions have brought the hatred level down slightly, but a villainized head coach behind an enormously talented squad still gives the Trojan Haters reasons to despise everything they do and enjoy any tumble taken by Troy.