I have someone who wants cake pops to be stuck into the edge of the cake, all around the edges, to act as decoratiion for the cake. Basically, it will look like a wall of cake pops around the edges of the cake and sticking out of the top. My question is whether the cake pops will be too heavy and rip through the cake (the pops will be on sticks) or if they will just stick out of the cake without issue.
They will rip through and fall because they are top heavy by design.
You could try using straws, like coffee stirrers. I used them on a candy themed cake and they held the weight of big lollipops that were angled into the top of the cake.
You could also fill those stirrers with chocolate where you want the cake pop stick to stop, so they don't fall all the way through the straw. Like plug up an inch or two with chocolate (allow to dry) before inserting into the cake and then insert your cake pop.
Here is a picture in CC for what you are looking for. I think it will help. I do not think they will rip off if you stack then correctly.
I believe the picture link above is a cake ball cake in which the cake balls are stuck to a styrofoam cake dummy therefore it's secure. I think that if you try to do that to a real cake, it will tear the cake apart. Just my .02.
If you look closely to the picture and description each tier is labeled with their flavor. I think they are stuck on with maybe candy melts and no sticks were inserted in the cake. I have commented on that post let's see what they say. I agree that a lot sticks in the cake will make the cake very weak.