Ed’s Note: Written by Jonathan Adams
Welcome to the only pre-season poll you’ll see with the Washington Huskies in the top spot. Yes, it’s the Dark Side Poll, so named because I’m about to do what Luke Skywalker never did: give in to the hate and join the dark side. Here you go, Pac-10 teams ranked in order of current level of loathing.
1. Washington – In 2001 the Ducks took a lot of heat when they erected a “Joey Harrington for Heisman” billboard in Times Square. But at least Harrington was coming off a 10-win season and an epic Holiday Bowl performance. The Jake Locker for Heisman campaign seems to be based solely on the fact that Todd McShay thinks he could be the top pick in the NFL Draft. You know, like JaMarcus Russell. It’s certainly not based on any on-the-field results, as the Huskies haven’t won 6 games in a season since 2003.
Listen up Husky fans: settle down. Seriously. Here’s the margin of victory in the last 6 Oregon-Washington games, all of which were won by the Ducks: 25, 24, 20, 21, 34, 24. And yes, the Ducks had some off-the-field issues this year, but I’m not sure we’ve officially ruled out former Husky tight end Jerramy Stevens as the Green River Killer, so let’s ease up on the “Oregon is a dirty program” argument.
Oh, and you wear purple. So stop saying Oregon’s uniforms are ugly.
2. USC – Just when you thought George W. Bush was the king of failing upwards, a new contender emerges: ladies and gentlemen, Lane Kiffin! Look, if my favorite school was on probation and had a football coach with a 12-21 career record I’d probably take my lumps quietly. I mean, they just hired Pat Haden, a former broadcaster(!) to take over the athletic department which is like BP hiring Joe Morgan to manage their clean-up efforts in the Gulf. I’m glad to see USC finally punished for paying their players, but I wish the terms of their probation would have included a ban on that mind-numbing song their band plays after every first down. You know the one: DUN DUN-DUN-DUN-DUN-DUN-DUN-DUN STAB-STAB.
3. UCLA – I hate Rick Neuheisal. That is all.
4. Oregon State – Their fans shouldn’t talk too much about Jeremiah Masoli’s arrest record because they once had a player arrested for kidnapping a gay sheep. And another arrested for beating up a member of the National Guard. But that hasn’t stopped them. Whatever.
By the way, can anyone explain why they play chainsaw sound effects at Reser Stadium? I mean, aren’t Beavers able to cut down trees without tools? Wouldn’t this be like playing airplane sound effects at Autzen? Because like planes, Ducks also fly. Lame.
5. Arizona – Their nickname is the Wildcats, but for some reason they stencil “Bear Down” on the football field. Apparently the zoology program at UA isn’t all it’s cracked up be.
Do you think Mrs. Stoops had any sons who aren’t raging douchebag a-holes?
6. Utah – That’s right, bonus future Pac-12 hate. If we’ve learned anything from the NBA, it’s that fans in Utah are legitimately insane. I look forward to matching them crazy for crazy.
Also, I can’t wait to make insensitive jokes about multiple wives.
7. Stanford – Most potential to rise up this poll as the season goes along. Jim Harbaugh is the next Pete Carroll, and that’s a bad thing. But right now it’s hard to work up too much dislike for a team that ran up the score on USC. Still, I hate that freaking tree.
8. California – Or as I like to call them, Eugene South.
9. Arizona State – To quote Ford Prefect from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Mostly harmless.
10. Washington State – If this was the English Premier League, they’d be relegated to Division 1-AA and Eastern Washington and their new red (yes I said red) turf would be in the Pac-10.
11. Colorado – I can’t hate them because I love Ralphie the Buffalo so much. Seriously, go to YouTube and check out the videos of him. He’s great. I’m a fan of any mascot that has the potential to single-handedly delay a game by getting loose and going on a stampede.
12. Oregon – Classy fans, simple, understated uniforms, and a donor base that never wields too much influence. What’s not to love?
— Which team do you loathe the most?