Throughout this season, we've heard numerous Husker fans talk about how biased ESPN is against Nebraska - how they don't want to give the Huskers any credit when they do well, how they're quick to dump on them when they fall flat, how they love showing Angry Bo on the sideline 20 times a game, and so on. The reasons given for this hatred are varied: ESPN's in bed with the SEC and doesn't want to favor teams in other conferences, Nebraska doesn't have enough TV sets to get ESPN's attention, various individual biases by particular ESPN staffers, and probably others I'm forgetting.
Regardless, the consensus at Corn Nation is clear: ESPN is biased against the Huskers. So that got me wondering -what other teams does ESPN dislike? Surely it's not just Nebraska. We should find out exactly who ESPN hates so we can catalog and watch for their pernicious influence in college football, then counteract it when ESPN tries to subtly enact its secret agenda to manipulate the sport. And who better to determine this than us, the fans - the people who watch ESPN every day, who are eagle-eyed in their ability to perceive every slight and oversight.
So here's the comprehensive list of ESPN's Hated Teams, as determined by us, the fans, revealed for the first time. Everything comes from this football season, because I wanted to make sure we were up to date with the ebbs and flows of ESPN's hatred:
ESPN HATE SEC. All of us.— RAYD (@reedIRL) November 9, 2014
That's, uh, not who I was expecting. OK, so the whole conference. Anyone in particular within that?
I like that everyone at ESPN hates Alabama. Yeah we have a really soft schedule with the top team in the country coming to play this week.— LundenRTR (@LundenRTR) November 10, 2014
Well, sure, Nick Saban's easy to hate.
@TAYLORTOCCI because espn hates and has always hated Arkansas so everyone that isn't a arkansas fan does to— Brady West (@Slim_Brady17) November 22, 2014
He's right - pretty much every comment thread on this blog ends up devolving into rants about how much we hate Arkansas.
ESPN hates Auburn. No matter how well we do, they still doubt how legitimate we are as a football team.— Brett Walters (@Bwaltersau) August 28, 2014
ESPN hates mississippi state. That's the only explanation.— William Drummond (@wdrummond17) September 15, 2014
ESPN hates Tennessee— Michael Holbert (@Holbert_Says) October 18, 2014
There are lots and lots of people who have noticed that ESPN hates the University of Tennessee with the white-hot fire of Hades. I decided just to take the simplest, most direct assertion.
ESPN HATES A&M idk why this is ok— Carly Power (@_carlypower) November 28, 2014
IT'S NOT. It's time to stop ESPN's culture of hate.
I love how ESPN hates the ACC it makes me laugh— audrey (@AudreySchermer) September 29, 2014
Well, shoot. The whole ACC, too?
Convinced that ESPN hates the state of South Carolina........USC and Clemson both— Justin Workman (@jworky_93) December 10, 2014
ESPN hates Florida state. It's so clear.— Dollar (@dubdollar20) October 20, 2014
I could have embedded at least 900 of these tweets. ESPN is clearly intent on leaving the greater Tallahassee area a smoking crater, and Nole fans are ON IT.
Why does ESPN hate us so much (Louisville)...every aspect of their branch doesn't want to give us credit at all. These dudes are pathetic— ♠️✊♦️ (@RodWhitneyJr) December 3, 2014
Apparently fabricating an academic scandal to take down UNC's football and basketball teams isn't enough. ESPN's out for Tarheel volleyball, too.
ESPN hates Syracuse.— Queen of Astoria (@radashlee) December 6, 2014
If there's any proof of ESPN's hatred of a sports team or conference, it's sending a damn woman to announce their games. #men #mancard #manhood #dudes
"@HawkeyeReport: Beth Mowins and Joey Galloway on the call this weekend for Iowa/Minnesota. ESPN2." ESPN hates Hawkeye fans...— Damian Houk (@DamianHouk) November 3, 2014
Not sure if hating Hawkeye fans is the same as hating the Hawkeyes. But I'm good with ESPN on this one. Also, #bros #mancave #sausagefest
Turn on the Maryland game and the first thing I hear is Beth Mowins. The Doris Burke of college football. Why does ESPN hate us— Falan Garner (@falandownawell) November 1, 2014
#guys #guystuff #brosb4hos #dudes
ESPN hates Michigan— UofMDieHards (@UofMDieHards) September 23, 2014
I'm glad ESPN hates us so we don't get much Dan Jockitch.— Nate Gelber (@NateGelber) November 27, 2014
This hate is approved, and also basketball hate. But still hate. We sniffed you out on this one, ESPN.
It's really depressing how much espn hates Nebraska.— Sean Callaghan (@HotelCALLYforni) September 17, 2014
Same here. When I'm in a deep emotional funk, once I think about it for a while, I realize it's usually ESPN hate that's getting me down.
#testosterone #grunting #brochachos #dudes
How to get a job at ESPN: - Hate Ohio State - Hate the Big Ten - Kiss Florida State's Ass - Worship the SEC - and don't forget hate OSU!!!!— Ohio Sports (@goodquotes4u2c) November 23, 2014
Aha - a leaked ESPN employee guideline! Now we're getting somewhere.
It's all good, though - they're bowl-bound.
It's In-N-Out. They're jealous of In-N-Out.
espn hates Arizona so much— jess (@aldaBACONanEGGS) November 1, 2014
ESPN will rip ASU for the rest of forever. Because no matter what team it is, ESPN hates Arizona— Kilea (@kileathomas) November 16, 2014
Well shoot, based on that first Pac-12 guy's comment, I thought Oregon might have escaped ESPN's all-consuming hatred for college football. No such luck.
i guess ESPN hates the Beavs, all their articles call us a less-prestigious program than Wisconsin— Steven (@stevenserver1) December 11, 2014
Pretty much the only way to explain such an egregiously wrong description of Oregon State.
USC Trojans Football (@TRoJaN805_) November 14, 2014
Only pure, unadulterated hatred could have explained an error like this. Appalling.
ESPN hates the Big 12. They always have and always will. No matter what team, they hate us. And so does everyone else. Gah I'm pissed— #logan (@Tacker_11) December 7, 2014
Woof. This is hate the likes of which we have yet to see so far. ESPN's hate scale goes to 11, apparently.
Good grief, could @espn hate on Baylor any more?— Der BereitFürMSU Bär (@DerBaylorBaer) November 12, 2014
No. The answer is none more hate.
It never ceases to amaze me how much ESPN hates KSU.— OptiMISS Smartass (@OptimusSmartass) October 19, 2014
Why do people at ESPN hate the Sooners? I think it is funny. Blessed to be a Sooner fan!— nigel johnson (@nigeljohnson19) October 17, 2014
Blessed are the persecuted by ESPN, for they shall earn a trip to the Russell Athletic Bowl.
Boy ESPN hates TCU don't they— Tyler Walker (@thevagueone) December 7, 2014
@Michael_Crispin ARE YOU SERIOUS! Espn hates Texas as for Alabama or Florida State or Notre dame! Any team with history they bash.— Trip (@tripvick) November 21, 2014
Have yet to see any ESPN hatred for any of these teams, so this theory's got some legs.
@dfbarron ESPN hates all thing Texas not Dallas. Always has.— Chris Burns (@chilib74) December 8, 2014
This would cover Texas Tech. Also Rice, Houston, Texas State, North Texas, and UTEP. Basically, all Texas football except SMU, which, as we all know, is ESPN's current college football darling.
I swear @espn hates WVU. They still hardly talk about us at all.— Tucker Cole (@t_cole20) October 19, 2014
Well, at least ESPN has the kindness to release Lou Holtz from its company-wide Notre Dame hatred policy.
@LightUpTheU espn hates Mormons— #13 MightyAlaskanUte (@MightyAlaskaUte) December 10, 2014
WHY DOES ESPN HATE UCONN MUCH!— Max Turgeon (@Max_Turgeon) November 18, 2014
Probably mostly basketball hatred, but I'm sure it spills over into football one way or another.
I mean, I know ESPN hates us, but at least get our schedule right. Dumbasses.— Rebel Nation. (@WeAreUNLV) November 23, 2014
Same with this case.
i'm sure if UAB was in a different conference, @ESPN would've been all over it..but we know how much ESPN hates CUSA teams. some bullshit..— rachel m (@_raybabyyy) December 2, 2014
None of these teams play FBS football, but just FYI. If you hear ridiculously biased announcing during Villanova's FCS games on ESPN3, now you know why.
Everyone not already mentioned
Except Army and Navy. They don't have a conference, so they're cool.
A few takeaways from this comprehensive survey of ESPN animosity:
- First, ESPN has a truly disturbing breadth and depth of hatred for a sport in which it employs thousands of people to broadcast and cover, not to mention one that has earned it billions of dollars of revenue. One can only conclude that there is something not only truly pathological beneath this bottomless well of hatred, but something deeply and profoundly self-loathing as well. There's no other way to explain hatred that is so thoroughly counterproductive not only to ESPN's bottom line, but to the livelihood and life's work of so many of the individuals within the organization.
- Second, despite the overwhelming nature of ESPN's loathing for all things college football, there are detectable patterns: The following is a rough Top Five of ESPN hatred, based on the volume of instances detected and publicly alerted by Twitter's crack team of media critics:
1) Florida State
3) The Noles
Hundreds of Twitter's media critics are also very concerned that ESPN hates someplace called Kobe, though I'm still trying to determine why the network cares so much about Japanese cities and/or beef.
- Finally, because ESPN has such incredible power to transform perception of a football team in an instant amid millions of members of the American public as well the sort of power brokers who vote for the College Football Playoff, we can pretty well assume that the teams not on the previous list have a massive advantage in the court of public opinion over those on it.
There aren't many Power 5 teams left that ESPN doesn't hate, but I feel comfortable guaranteeing that one of those teams will win the national championship next year based on their possession of the awesome power of support from the entity that really runs college football, ESPN:
North Carolina State
If, however, we take the expert college football fan media critics of America at their word and accept that ESPN hates everyone in every major conference both outside of and including the SEC, then it may be that only two teams in all of FBS football have earned the love (or at least non-hatred) of ESPN:
Which, of course, explains why the Army-Navy game gets nauseating wall-to-wall, 24-7 coverage from ESPN each year. Case closed - well done, college football fans of America.