Sometimes you don’t really need to have a good reason to hate someone for any reason other than where they are from. Before you go crazy on me, I am not talking about racial profiling; I’m talking about college football rivalries. Every team starts the season with aspirations of division, conference, and/or even national title hopes in mind. Of course most teams can’t live up to those dreams. But there is a something that any team would gladly have as the consolation prize to a championship — beating their hated rival. Here are the biggest rivals in the history of college football.
Army Vs. Navy
While this rivalry may not have the significance that is use to in the college football spectrum, but it is still one of the most time-honored rivalries in all of sports. The first Army-Navy game was way back in 1890 and has been played each year for the last 80 years. Navy has won the last eight in the row and holds the series lead, 54-49-7.
Michigan Vs. Ohio State
Simply known as ‘The Game,’ the rivalry between these two football powerhouses began over a century ago in 1897. Ask some die-hard fans and they will tell you that the rivalry is just a modern recreation of the Toledo War, a border dispute between the state of Ohio and the Michigan territory, from way back in 1835. Of the 106 times the two teams have met, Michigan holds the series lead 57-43-6.
Texas Vs. Texas A&M
A state that loves football like Texas takes their rivalries seriously. This one has been going on for the last 116 years with only six breaks (1895-97; 1912-14). Either on or right after Thanksgiving, you could rob the state blind while they watch this game. People would sooner miss the birth of a child than miss watching this one. It will take some time for the Aggies to draw even with the Longhorns; Texas holds a 75-36-5 advantage.
Auburn Vs. Alabama
The Iron Bowl has been one of the hardest fought rivalries in college football. This one got heated enough in the early days that the series had to be halted; it took another 40 years and some encouragement from the Alabama legislature to get it started again. Alabama currently holds the series lead, 40-33-1.
Florida Vs. Georgia
The winner gets to take home the Okefenokee Oar, but the fans get to enjoy what has been known as the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. Both schools have tried to ditch the name, but when you have a moniker as cool as that it will never go away. It helps that the football games are usually pretty good ones too. Of the 87 meetings that have occurred since 1915, Georgia holds the advantage 46-39-2.
Miami Vs. Florida State
There is no trophy here, just two schools that have had some of the most historic contests over the last few decades. Whether it’s been wide right or wide left, these games once had national title implications every year. While it has been sometime since that has been true, it is still one of the most watched rivalries each season. Since 1951 the two teams have met 54 times; Miami holds the series lead, 31-23.
Notre Dame Vs. USC
This is another one that has fallen off in recent years, but at one time it was host to two of the most dominant teams in the country. Both have won numerous national titles and have had a number of Heisman trophy winners among its alumni. Five of the ten most watched football games in history were played between these two historic franchises. Every year the winner takes home the Jeweled Shillelagh; Notre Dame has taken it home the most, 42-33-5.
Oregon Vs. Oregon State
The seventh oldest rivalry in college football has two teams battling it out for the Platypus Trophy. Silly as it sounds; the two teams take the game seriously enough that a number of altercations have taken place. Of the 113 meetings since 1894, Oregon currently holds the lead, 57-46-10.
BYU Vs. Utah
When a game has been nicknamed the Holy War;’ you know things must be serious. The name actually comes more from BYU being owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Over the years with both teams being so close to each other and each school being successful, this rivalry has thrived. What better way to make your season then knock your rival out of title contention? Since the first game in 1896 the two teams have met 91 times with Utah holding the lead, 53-34-4.
Texas Vs. Oklahoma
Once known as the Red River Shootout after the river that separates the two states, this longtime rivalry changed its name officially to the Red River Rivalry just a few years ago (somehow the sponsors thought that the shootout name might encourage gun violence). This one has held conference if not national title significance in recent years. Of the last ten meetings, six times one of the teams went onto play for the national title. The first meeting began back in 1900, before Oklahoma was even a state; Texas holds the lead, 59-40-5.