Analyzing the Most Hated Teams in College Football

The social media alternative website Reddit┬ádid a survey on the most hated teams in college football in the lead up to the 2014 season. Although this type of survey is highly separated from a scientific study at one of the many university listed, but Reddit hating of all trolls on the internet. And the survey says…



As you can see Michigan and Texas are the two dominating teams that everyone seems to hate. Other most hated teams are Alabama, Ohio State, and Ole Miss. So what makes these teams so hated? I’d like to call it the “Yankee Effect”. Most baseball fans hate the Yankees. Why? Because they have lots of money, are from the most famous city in the U.S., and win. The dominance of the Yankees in the late 1990s and early 2000s made them the scorn of anybody outside of the Bronx. There are other subsidiary reasons for the Yankee Effect such as player personality (Alex Rodriguez), monetary impact, history, location and fan culture. You can apply the Yankee effect to any sport. Just look at LeBron James, Manchester United, or even Detroit Red Wings of the 1990s and early 2000s.

So time to apply the Yankee Effect to our most hated college football teams. Texas is one of the best football programs of all time, they make the most money from merchandise out of any college team, they have their own television network, and they reside in America’s top football region. Michigan is also a historic football team and culture that thrives on its past successes. Michigan gigantic network of “fans”, not necessarily alumni, make people face their fan base across the country. Alabama is part of the Yankee Effect because they win. Ohio State is similar to Michigan in the Yankee Effect, plus their historic rivalry has created a legacy of hatred, even though OSU has won 9 of the last 10 seasons.

In a follow up poll, Reddit sorted through the spam entries to create a more balanced view of the most hated teams.



We see a very less hatred for Michigan overall but Texas, Alabama, Ohio State, and Florida expanded. Even without the spam votes we can see a continued trend. All these teams are not only the most valuable college football teams they are the most popular and actively followed.


Via Google

So the Yankee Effect doesn’t just focus on the hate, it focuses on the love. Ironically some of the most hated teams are the most loved teams. Maybe it’s jealously or antagonism. But for college football, it’s rivalry that creates this harsh contrast. Look at Michigan/Ohio State or Texas/Oklahoma, the more fans from either side means the more push back from the opposition. Rivalry promotes hatred, especially if your team is losing.

So don’t feel slighted if your team is the most hated. It probably means their one of the most beloved.


Mikel Sheen is a guest blogger and diehard Penn State fan. He currently works at the Ledges Hotel in Pennsylvania.

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