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The Pac-10 loves to hate USC

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

The most-hated program in the Pac-10?

This could go the predictable way or the more nuanced way.

USC is the obvious answer. Why? Because everybody hates a winner.

Everybody hates a six-time champion. Everybody hates a pro football factory that celebrates seven players taken in the first two rounds of the 2008 NFL draft and may nearly duplicate that number in 2009.

Everybody hates a strutting bully. Everybody assumes the worst about one, including that he may be cheating (see Bush, Reggie).

What about that band? Stop for a second, will 'ya? It's almost enough to make a guy pine for "Rocky Top." (Operative word being, almost).

Only one horse in the world makes college football fans dream -- oh, he's so ... white -- about a case of graffiti paint.

And the Song Girls just standing there lazily doing scissor fingers at you? Could a fellow get an Oregon cheerleader or something?

Pete Carroll? Guess what... he's PUMPED! He's EXCITED! He LOVES TO COMPETE!

He talks really fast and it's annoying how much fun he appears to be having.

He's so, so... media friendly. He's SO AVAILABLE. With his OPEN PRACTICES. He acts like COLLEGE FOOTBALL SHOULD BE A FUN THING TO BE AROUND.

(Wait... that's a really cool thing).

Want to see hate? Walk up to a UCLA fan and go, "Stinks about USC, eh? Boy they really own you guys. At least you have basketball, right?"

So, yeah, you can find plenty of hate for those Trojans.

But let's at least acknowledge a strong second place... let's salute the program that a couple of seasons ago had Carroll dropping a series of F-bombs at the opposite sideline for a national television audience to absorb.

(You guys in the Northwest already know where this is going, don't you)?

Let's send out a Pac-10 salute to ... the Oregon Ducks... Nike U... Phil Knight's play pen.

You know: The guys who put up billboards in Times Square for a quarter million dollars. And wear the ugliest uniforms in the history of the world. And brag about it.

The team with the absurdly luxurious locker room, weight room and training center: Thank you Uncle Phil!

And that Autzen Stadium... hey, Quacks, can you give it a rest for just a moment? It's just a second-quarter punt -- no need to make like 54,000 jet engines for the ENTIRE GAME!

And what about that Mike Bellotti. He's so, so... media friendly. He's SO AVAILABLE. With his OPEN PRACTICES. He acts like COLLEGE FOOTBALL SHOULD BE A FUN THING TO BE AROUND.

(Wait... that's a really cool thing).

And, you know, win a Rose Bowl in the Modern Era before you act like you invented football.

So, sure, USC, by virtue of its annoying dominance, is the Pac-10's most-hated program.

But more than a handful of conference fans will tell you they find it surprisingly easy to muster about as much hate for the Ducks.