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Pac-10 Things I Hate About You

10 Things I Hate About You

It’s Halloween, the day we like to do things we’d scarcely be able to stand, on any of the other 364 days of the year. Namely, dressing up like women (Unless you are a woman, in which case, I’m surprised you are reading my column. Please, let me point you towards a writer whose opinions and interests would better line up with your own), bobbing for submerged fruit, taking little kids to every house in your neighborhood, staying home all night – hoping children ring your doorbell so you have give away your food and many other things.

So in the spirit of all things hate, I’ve decided to give a reason why I hate each Pac-10 school. Keep in mind, as a USC fan, I kinda have a vested interest in the conference.

Also, keep in mind SC is currently getting smashed by the Ducks. I may start drinking in a moment. Actually, I already have. Mmm… ruuuuum…

UCLA

I thought I’d get the easy one out of the way, right out of the gate.

As a Trojans fan, I don’t really have a choice when it comes to the Bruins. As inter-city rivals, co-rooting for UCLA would be like rooting for herpes. You just don’t do it.

Unless you are Cory Ritzau that is.

Wait… does Cory Ritzau have herpes? The world may never know.

Stanford

Their mascot is a tree. A freaking tree. Are you kidding me? A tree. Nothing else, just a tree. Not a woodpecker, pecking a tree (Can I say that here? If Britton doesn’t edit it out, I guess I can.) or a chipmunk gathering nuts from a tree, or a monkey swinging from a tree… no… just a tree.

I’ve been to Stanford. It wasn’t that great. It was like the trust-fund version of San Francisco and let me tell you, if you haven’t already been told, San Francisco is ridiculously overrated. In a Seattle, Washington sort of way.

Plus, when I visited Stanford as a twelve year-old or whatever, to watch the Shriners East-West game, Zest was doing a promotion where some football player (I think) was taking a shower on the sideline, in plain sight, for the entire game. Disturbing? Yes. A good fan experience? No. The guy looked like Mr. T.

Now you know why Mr. T scares me.

CAL

This one is a bit tougher for me, as my little brother goes to Berkeley. Plus the little city is quirky in a Santa Cruz sort of way. It has a little bit of flavor. Unfortunately, that flavor happens to be herbal.

The funny thing about CAL is the school claims to loathe Stanford for the whole “having a lot of money thing”, but their own students are just as snobby and the area probably costs even more to live in.

This seems as good of a time as any to mention that New York Yankees center fielder Melky Cabrera has now TWICE ended an inning by making a catch, only to fake-throw the ball into the stands. Giving fans the last out’s ball as a souvenir is nothing new, it happens all the time. Only, this game is in Philly.

Either Cabrera has some sort of amnesia, where he can’t remember where he is at a given moment, or much more likely, he’s baiting the fans. Though with two more games to play, in the city that threw snow balls at Santa; is that really a good idea?

Oregon State

USC losing at Corvallis last season was utterly ridiculous. The Beaver’s running back is Muggsy Bogues for crying out loud. The D-line doesn’t need to worry about “finding” an “elusive”  small back, just fall down, inadvertently pinning the middle schooler down in the process.

So yeah, I’m still a little ticked that our All-NCAA-History defense got lit-up like a pinball machine, ruining any National Title hopes.

And when you think of beavers…

Oregon

Where do I start?

Oregon Ducks Uniforms

Ugliest uniforms ever? Ugliest. Uniforms. Ever.

I hate their sickly puke-color-collage-mis-matched uniforms.

I can’t stand those lame duck feet decals fans plaster the windows of their cars with. They are duck feet. What screams victory like duck feet… I just don’t know.

I laugh at the fact that the state of Oregon still refuses to let you pump your own gas, but though I chuckle, I also think about relieving myself on the attendant’s shoe while I wait.

I told you I’m in a surly mood. The Ducks just finished rushing for nearly 400 yards against Southern Cal tonight.

Phil Knight is also pretty lame. He’s like a richer, less crazy version of Al Davis.

Though I can’t really fault Oregon for Steve Prefontaine. I’m a sucker for a great American story. It was especially cool in the movie when he ripped the Nike swoosh off his spikes, believing they were not aerodynamic enough. I really hope that happened in real life. Can anyone confirm that for me? Thanks.

Arizona

Let’s be real with one another. You hate the Wildcats too. If for no other reason, than for the fact that the last decade they have destroyed your March Madness pools. Reputation always swayed you, but reality always kicked you in the groin.

Arizona State

This time it’s personal. Watching head coach Dennis Erickson rebuild the Sun Devil’s program after doing nothing less than destroy the San Francisco 49ers, well, it sucks. And it makes me really irked.

It does make it slightly strange disliking Arizona and Arizona State when they really haven’t been good at any particular sport in quite some time. In addition, if you recall, I ranked the desert state as No. 3 overall in my best sports states to live in blog. Arizona also strangely ended up at the three-spot on the list my wife and I recently created for states we’d both like to move to, regardless. Strange? Yeah… probably.

Game Three of the World Series just ended on a very strange note and I’m not talking about New York’s win. Joe Buck and Tim McCarver, the great stewards of the sport that they are, just ended the telecast with this conversation:

(Roughly translated…)

Buck: What was your favorite costume?

McCarver: I don’t know. It’s been so long since I’ve dressed up for Halloween.

(Looong pause…)

Buck: Well… it’s just good to spend Halloween with you.

(Another looong pause…)

McCarver: (chuckle)

They couldn’t be… could they?

Washington State

Fact: A fair percentage of our readers live in Washington.

Fiction: I care.

Fact: It’s likely because Britton and I both currently live in the state.

Fiction: I enjoy living here.

Either way, living in the Apple State or not, this website is clearly geared towards Southern Californians and we make no apologies for our Golden State biases.

As for the school from Pullman? They are just atrocious at every sport. It’s actually a little embarrassing.

Washington

Purple is their primary color.

The football team went de-feated last year.

Quarterback Jake Locker may or may not end up being the Huskies’ answer to the Cougars’ Ryan Leaf.

Seattle is overrated. But you already know that.

The question isn’t, “What do I hate?” but rather, “What is there to like?” about the University of Washington.

And the answer is: Not much.

USC

Fear not my friends, my Trojans will not be left off this list of hate.

“Don’t do this to me Doc… not you.”

(It’s not my fault, it’s not my fault, it’s not my fault…)

I am incredibly sick and tired of watching the Trojans lose to crappy Pac-10 teams like Oregon State, Stanford or Washington. Losing to Oregon doesn’t really bother me. The only thing that bothers me about losing to an Oregon team like this one, is that we always seem to catch inconsistent Two-Face teams like the Ducks when they are playing at their peak. Then again, when you are a top-notch team, you expect to catch every team at their best.

Listening to people massage Pete Carrol’s back, when things are going well, – beating the Ohio States, Penn States, Virginias and Notre Dames of the world – but then hearing silence when things are going crappier than a dairy farm pasture, is tedious. And remember, I’m a Carrol fan. I think what he has done and is still doing for the program is great. Really, it is. But when you routinely can’t get your team up, to play lesser opponents, well, you need to be called out for it.

Step-up Pete. Get it done. No excuses.

Above all else, I hate getting sucked in by sub-par Trojan teams.

At the outset of last season, I told everyone who would listen that they weren’t quite good enough (spectacular defense or not) to compete for the BCS Championship and sure enough, they didn’t. Why then was I so ticked when they lost to the Beavers?

For the same reason I was upset at the two losses this season: I had completely talked myself into both teams. Last week against Oregon State was telling for the 2009 SC team though. The tough, smart defense of old was gone. Hey, it happens when you lose all of your starting linebackers. Still, giving up nearly 400 yards on the ground to anyone is just silly. Especially when said team’s best running back was suspended for the season, after sucker-punching a Boise State player after the season opener.

But I still love my team. And I still believe that they will right this ship.

Maybe next year. That seems to be a theme of mine lately.

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  1. andrewyates25
    November 5, 2009 at 11:42 AM

    USC’s problem might not be the coaches. Maybe it’s the players egos. Maybe the players assume that because they’re USC, they’ll be able to beat anyone, even the lowly Washington Huskies. Then again, maybe the coaches are to blame. It’s hard to tell, not being in the locker room with them. Could it be possible that the coaches need to work on teaching the athletes about humility?

  2. kmldog777
    November 5, 2009 at 5:40 PM

    Ben, so quickly we have forgotten Washington State’s 1917 basketball national championship. Give them a break, they are just in a drought. As for USC some losses are absurd(Stanford game), some are acceptable(OSU, Oregon), Washington wouldnt have happened if mays and barkely had played. It aint easy being the team that everyone guns for every game of every year. Plus while the SEC is playing the school for the blind, and division 3 teams out of conference USC is playing ND and Ohio st. Oregon may be the best team in college football at the moment, if we had a playoff system in order we would see that. Oh but wait Dan wouldnt want that.

  3. stewmanji
    November 6, 2009 at 11:02 AM

    The best thaing that happened to Oregon was Blount’s suspension. That will galvinaize a team. However, if they bring him back they will lose all of it. Of course if Blount had played for Florida he would have been suspended for a series… on defense. Oh well, I guess the bright side of Orgeon winning the Pac-10 is that it will bring all of those flashbacks to Ki-Jana Carter’s 83 yard touchdown.

  4. recoveringhumanity
    November 7, 2009 at 12:58 PM

    As an SEC fan, I am trying to make sense of this culturally confusing post. We don’t write rants about hating other SEC teams except on gameday against each team. Being a good college football team in the SEC sometimes means you will have a .500 record that season because the conference is always full of good college football teams.

    As I try to make cultural sense of this article, I assume it is based on frustration of fans historically being the only good team in a fairly weak conference and in recent years being able to live up to that. That probably comes from their lack of understanding how hard it is for USC to truly compete in years when the “NCAA salary cap” of $0 is in full effect.

    It’s either that or perhaps the dominance of USC is overrated. Or maybe it just more closely related to the Buffalo Bills dominance in the NFL in the 90’s.

    Fact: Despite the perceived dominance of USC winning NCAA Div I, Football National Championships, the number of actual National Championships in Ben’s lifetime (according top AP, UPI, or BCS polls) is only 2 – oddly enough, only 1 greater than the Washington Huskies.

    Fiction: Ben will appreciate that fact.

    There is a word to describe teams that find themselves consistently losing to bad teams in a bad conference. Mediocre. Don’t worry though, these teams usually play enough worse teams that they can still get in bowl games in mid to late December.

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