College Football Rankings 2011: Top 20 Cockiest Teams in College Football

Jon GilbertCorrespondent IIMarch 7, 2011

College Football Rankings 2011: Top 20 Cockiest Teams in College Football

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    The cockiest college football teams drive the rest of us crazy.

    Their fanbases are obnoxious. Their players take 15-yard penalties for touchdown celebrations willingly. They claim to be part of the "best" rivalry or have the "best" stadium, ignoring all of the others around the country.

    But it's time to put a foot down and call out the worst of the worst. We're sick of the empty claims to prominence and taunting after occasional good seasons.

    Here are the 20 cockiest college football teams.

20. Oregon Ducks

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    How much time do the Oregon Ducks spend accessorizing before each game? Most college students are obsessed with how they look, but giving them unlimited accessory options can't make the dressing process any quicker.

    Each undershirt shows just enough sleeve but doesn't get in the way of that sweatband that was placed ever so neatly.

    We get it: You've got financial backing. Your locker room had high definition televisions before high definition was invented. Your stadium is loud for its size.

    Win something, and then we'll talk.

19. Harvard Crimson and Yale Bulldogs

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    When Harvard and Yale lost their relevance in the grand stage of college football, neither school took notice. The Crimson and the Bulldogs still feel that they play the most important and best rivalry in college football.

    Never mind that Ohio State and Michigan, Oklahoma and Texas, Auburn and Alabama, and Florida and Florida State play with just as much distaste and often put national title aspirations on the line.

    Sure, Harvard and Yale have a ton of history. But that's exactly what their impact on college football is: history.

18. Georgia Bulldogs

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    I have friends qho are Georgia Bulldogs fans. Go to a sports bar in the fall with them and I am bound to hear "Go 'Dawgs!! Woof! Woof!" throughout the night and then again haunting my dreams.

    They'll keep telling you how awesome Athens, Ga. is—it doesn't matter that they're right—and then carry on to jokes at the expense of Florida and Alabama fans.

    It's the incessant badgering of Georgia fans that makes them so unbearable.

16. Ole Miss Rebels

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    Ole Miss won't hesitate to tell you that "The Grove" is the best tailgating spot in the country. Sure, you have a beautiful atmosphere and everyone dresses with class to create a rare formal party ambiance.

    And then there are the sundresses.

    Okay, so I'm not making a strong argument against this. But it's still cocky!

17. Florida State Seminoles

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    The arrogance has worn off a bit in the last decade since the streak of 14 seasons with a top-five finish—including two national championships—ended. Make no mistake, however—it's just hibernating until it gets its chance to explode.

    Exhibit A: Florida State goes 10-4 in 2010 and loses the ACC Championship Game. Yet, their fans consider their Seminoles as the favorites to win the 2011 national championship.

    So much for those few years we had off from Florida State.

15. Nebraska Cornhuskers

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    Nebraska Cornhusker fans are some of the classiest college football has to offer. But that doesn't mean they can't be cocky.

    They've anointed themselves the class of the Big Ten upon arrival. They see the conference schedule as quite manageable and are already booking their airfare and hotel rooms for the inaugural Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis Dec. 3.

14. Wisconsin Badgers

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    When Wisconsin knows it's better than you, it wants to make sure you do as well.

    The results in 2010 were a 70-3 win over Austin Peay, 83-20 win over Indiana and a 70-23 win over Northwestern.

    The Badgers weren't apologetic about their ransacking ways, even when they came under criticism from the national media. Their attitude: It's the opponent's job to stop us.

    That reasoning doesn't hold up when the opponent is Division I-AA Austin Peay. But Wisconsin feels well enough about itself to keep doing it.

13. Boise State Broncos

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    Coach Chris Petersen is morbidly humble.

    Having said that, Boise State fans have become some of the more vocal fans in college football in recent years. They crowd message boards and talk radio shows with their anti-BCS rants and claims that their sacred Broncos could stand up in the SEC or Big Ten.

    It's clear that Boise State has something good going in Idaho. They are deserving of their spot in the Top 10 in the country over the past several seasons. But the citing of winning percentages and gaudy records can't be taken seriously when many of the wins have come against the likes of Louisiana Tech and Utah State.

12. Brigham Young Cougars

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    In 2007, Cougar wide receiver Austin Collie made a crucial catch during BYU's game-winning drive against arch-rival Utah that kept BYU alive. When asked after the game if it was essentially a lucky break, Collie busted out this gem.

    "I wouldn't say it was lucky. We executed the play well. We should have had another (touchdown). Obviously, if you do what's right on and off the field, I think the Lord steps in and plays a part in it. Magic happens."


    Brigham Young is a private school funded by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Collie is a member of that institution and had served a Mormon mission. But claiming that God plays a part in the outcome of your games might have taken things a bit too far. Just maybe.

    Now they think they're deserving of the Notre Dame BCS treatment and have gone Independent.

11. Auburn Tigers

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    When a team takes its rival's most famous chant and turns it around to shove back in the rival's face, it's brash.

    That's exactly what Auburn does after every Iron Bowl win over Alabama. The Tiger band plays Alabama's Rammer Jammer cheer and the lyrics are altered just a bit.

    "Hey Alabama! We just beat the hell out of you! Rammer Jammer Yellowhammer, go to Hell, Alabama!"

    There's no mincing words here. Translation: "We don't like you. We beat you. Deal with it."

10. Oklahoma Sooners

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    Much like in the case against Ohio State, Oklahoma has selective memory. They remember beating Washington State in the 2003 Rose Bowl or beating Florida State in the 2001 Orange Bowl.

    But they don't have the foggiest recollection of the 2005 Orange Bowl. You know—the game in which USC crushed the Sooners. Then there's the 2007 Fiesta Bowl; Oklahoma fans don't quite recall how that game with Boise State ended.

    They still claim Bob Stoops as "Big Game Bob" despite the record piling up that directly opposes that nickname.

9. LSU Tigers

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    The LSU Tigers want to beat you and their fans go to great lengths to let you know that's the intent.

    Remember the 2005 incident when LSU fans threw beer bottles at the Tennessee team bus and rocked it back and forth?

    They're coming for you and they want you to know about it.

    LSU fans have developed a reputation as some of the rowdiest and cockiest in college football. The team hasn't provided much evidence that it has taken on the same style. But Patrick Peterson's Heisman Trophy pose and subsequent sideline posturing against West Virginia this season was pretty cocky.

8. Michigan Wolverines

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    This is a sore spot for me as a lifetime Ohio State fan.

    Desmond Howard's Heisman pose is famous or infamous depending on where you are from. More specifically, as long as the Ohio state borders contain your home, the pose is largely considered an infamous, cocky act that draws your ire.

    The Michigan cockiness has subsided in recent years while Ohio State has taken its turn dominating the rivalry. But there was the 16-year period before Ohio State's current seven-game winning streak in which Michigan won 11 times and the teams tied once.

    Cockiness, swagger, hubris: All could be used to describe Michigan football in that period.

7. Texas Longhorns

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    Everything in Texas is bigger—even egos.

    The Longhorns pride themselves on having "Big Bertha," once the biggest drum in the world, and the biggest Texas state flag. Above all else, Texas is one of the most storied programs in college football.

    But does this give them the right to flash the "hook 'em horns" hand gesture every time somebody pulls out a camera? It's nearly impossible to get a picture of a Texas football player or Texas alum without that gesture finding its way into the frame.

6. Florida Gators

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    That "Gator Chomp" is really cool—but not after you've done it 300 times and it's halfway through the first quarter.

    It's less of a celebration and more of a reflex.

    Then there's the Tim Tebow situation. He breaks onto the scene, inspires a fanbase and grabs as many headlines as humanly possible. A Heisman Trophy and two national championships—one of which is actually Chris Leak's—and he's suddenly the best player college football has ever seen.

    Is that all it takes to forget Herschel Walker, Archie Griffin and Reggie Bush, among many others?

5. Southern California Trojans

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    Okay, Reggie Bush: We get it. You can dive from eight yards out of the end zone even when there isn't a defender with a chance of tackling you.

    Then there's Pete Carroll and his sideline celebrations. When USC returned to college football's elite in the 2000s, there was no one more ready to let you know about it than the Trojans themselves.

    Now Lane Kiffin is in charge. He's the guy who bragged about landing a recruit over Urban Meyer and wrongfully claimed that Meyer had cheated.

4. Ohio State Buckeyes

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    Losing three straight BCS bowl games from 2007-2009—as well as regular-season poundings from USC—could have tempered Ohio State's general attitude. It didn't, though.

    Ohio State fans kept on claiming their Buckeyes' superiority, not ever letting the facts get in the way.
    With two consecutive BCS bowl wins, including one over an SEC opponent—finally—Ohio State fans again have something to be cocky about.

    Oh, and don't forget: It's THE Ohio State University.

3. Alabama Crimson Tide

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    Nick Saban. Is there much else to say?

    Saban has earned a right to his confident approach. But there is a palpable haughtiness to his demeanor that rubs off on his Crimson Tide players. They don't hope to win; they expect to. Most good football teams possess this trait to a degree, but it feels different with the Tide.

    It may have come back to bite them in the Iron Bowl this season. Was Alabama getting a bit too comfortable with a 24-0 lead, subsequently letting Auburn roar back for a 28-27 win?

2. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

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    Don't bother Notre Dame fans with the facts. I'm talking about the fact that Notre Dame hasn't won a national championship in 23 years, that it hasn't had a Heisman Trophy winner since 1987, or that it is no longer an elite program.

    Fighting Irish faithful will argue otherwise. They list accomplishments of yesteryear like they are the present. They tell you how this is the year that Notre Dame will get back on top. Maybe one day they'll be right.

    But until then, kindly take it down a notch.

1. Miami Hurricanes

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    Cocky doesn't even begin to describe the extent of Miami's swagger over the past three decades. "The U" alumni are constantly reminding fans and opponents where they went to college.

    There were the 1980s, with Hurricanes running rampant and priding themselves on earning 15-yard penalties for excessive celebration. There was Miami's need to defend its rep against Florida International—Florida International!—in an on-field brawl in 2006. Can pregame stand-offs be traced back to the Hurricanes?

    There isn't a more proud and cocky college football program than that of the Miami Hurricanes.