Being a Duck is fun. It’s unique. We win a lot (this century). But it comes with a cost, albeit small: Everyone hates us. Well, now it’s my turn to hate back.
This ranking will cover every program in the Pac-12, from 11 (the most likable) to 1 (the most detestable). I have taken everything I know about the program—its fans, history, coaches, players, whatever—into account. Sometimes my reasoning is short or flawed, but explanations are provided for each selection.
I really can’t find a reason to hate Utah. Yes, they destroyed us in Autzen a few years back, but that’s as much our fault as it is theirs. Almost everything I hear about their setting with Rice-Eccles Stadium and the Muss is positive, and I have a huge amount of respect for Kyle Whittingham.
Cal doesn’t really have die-hard fans, and that makes them a lot less hateable. They have given the Ducks a few sour moments in the past, such as the 2007 touchback debacle or faking injuries to slow down our offense in 2010, but overall they’re pretty much just another conference opponent. The Bay is cool, too.
Boulder and Eugene have very similar “vibes” as far as campuses and student go. Many students who attend one also consider the other. From what I know, Colorado is a very beautiful place. Being mediocre will also help a program’s case on this list, and Colorado is usually not much more than that. I really liked Mike MacIntyre when he was there, too. Even if they look like Duracell batteries on the field, I usually don’t find myself rooting against the Buffs.
If you hate UCLA because of Chip Kelly, I can only tell you that you’re a miserable, vengeful person (nothing personal). Chip didn’t leave us to coach them (like Willie Taggart did at Florida State). He bounced out of the NFL and landed on his feet in L.A. I can, however, hate UCLA because it’s in LA, and LA is annoying. See also: Neuheisel, Richard.
7. Arizona State
Maybe this comes with being the biggest college in the country, but Arizona State’s travelling fans are incredibly annoying. In the handful of ASU games I’ve been to at Autzen, Sun Devils fans were rude, loud, and angry (probably because they were losing). On the field, though, ASU hasn’t beaten us in consecutive years since I was 4 years old. Not much to hate there. I also like Herm Edwards a lot and find myself rooting for the Sun Devils to beat up on fellow Pac-12 North teams.
6. Washington State
The Cougs land this high almost solely because they are in the Pacific Northwest. Ducks and Cougs have a common enemy in UW, and only recently have they become competitive, taking a nice 11-year break from winning records (2004-2014) in my lifetime. Mike Leach is hilarious and although their Air Raid offense makes games last forever, it’s pretty entertaining.
In my mind, Arizona fans will forever be remembered for storming the field too early in 2009. You just hate to see it. However, they have given the Ducks some stinging results in recent history, and seeing Mike Stoops in action was exhausting. Also, they injured Dennis Dixon and ruined our season in 2007.
Stanford appears at #4 because they beat us when it mattered, including a championship-caliber Ducks squad in 2012. Simple as that. I respect the way they do things under David Shaw, and the only players of theirs I have disliked are all white linebackers for some reason (Shane Skov for being too good, Chase Thomas for the fake injury, and Owen Marecic for the fake hype). I can’t hate on the education or area very much, although I can (and have and will) clown on them for never filling their stadium.
Some call them the University of Spoiled Children. I call them barely-relevant since Pete Carroll left. USC acts like it will be a powerhouse every season, even when they lose to Fresno State (no disrespect to the Bulldogs, but come on Trojans). Their lack of consistency gives people a reason to discount the Pac-12 every year. Overall, USC is so high on this list because they used to beat up on us, and now they can’t even put on for the conference.
2. Oregon State
The top two on this list should have been obvious, but the order has changed in recent years. Oregon State hasn’t been to a bowl game since 2013, and the Beavers are without a 10-win season since 2006. Beaver fans are as bitter as ever and try to get a leg up on Ducks whenever they can (even if it means flaunting College Baseball success). At least they know and admit they’re currently inferior, unlike…
Washington fans complaining that “Phil Knight’s Nike money paid the refs!” pretty much sums it all up. Jealous of Oregon’s strong national brand, Husky fans have convinced themselves that winning two Pac-12 titles and losing their only playoff appearance amounts to some sort of superiority (despite losing 14 out of the last 16 matchups). Hate Week has returned to a trash-talking buffet, complete with everything from a new celebration to fake Twitter accounts. It’s good to have a competitive rivalry against a fanbase with a pulse again (sorry Stanford).
So, do you like my list? Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments. Go Ducks!