1. Harvard-Yale. I know these are no longer "bigtime" programs, but this one is old and fiercely contested every year. Tradition, tradition, tradition.
2. Army-Navy. Again not bigtime programs, but they fill evey stadium they play in. Tradition is rich and of course they hate one another for one day a year.
3. Alabama-Auburn. I would have listed this one first, but it has lost some of its luster since moving from Legion Field and the passing of the Bear. Even though Auburn is always playing catchup, this is one of the greatest in-state games. I've personally seen several and the atmosphere is electric. One reason is that majority of players on both teams are "home-grown". Much bragging rights.
4. Florida-Florida State. This one is big because the last few years it has had national championship implications. Not as old as the above since State was a girl's school until the '60's.
5. Michigan-Ohio State. Woody and Bo made this game a classic. We don't get too fired up about it, but there are many who do.
6. Texas-Texas A&M. Another great in-state match. Not too much interest out-of-state though. Most players on both teams are Texans. Much color makes for a good TV game.
7. Notre Dame - USC. By popular demand from our readers. I guess it is the only true inter-sectional rivalry that now has a bearing on national rankings and BCS picks. For awhile this one cooled though. Depends on the rankings as to whether it is as big as others listed here.
8. Clemson-S. Carolina. These folks really hate each other. This one has gotten a lot of coaches fired,
9. Tennesse- Alabama. This one used to give folks chill bumps. Again the loss of the Bear and all the troubles at Bama have taken away some of the mystique.
10. Texas-Oklahoma. Am sure there are lots of folks who really get into this one. Another made for TV success.
January 3, 2005
You must be from the South. You somehow managed to leave USC vs. Notre Dame off your all time rivalry list while leaving a truly marginal all-timer like South Carolina and Clemson on. South Carolina? Get real. Might as well include BYU and Utah.That has no legitimacy. Now, USC and Notre Dame are not only two of the all-time best programs and have played with many championships at stake, but they are true intersectional rivals from different parts of the country who recruit "nationally."
Well, I lived in New Orleans for a while so I know how southerners view college football. Very myophically. Otherwise, you have a decent site.
Cheers, Craig Carrozzi
Enjoy the page, just wanted to drop one comment. In your section about
rivals you give Tennessee vs Florida an honorable mention...now back in the day
that was true with the rivalry between Tennesse and Alabama. But as you said
that rivalry has kinda fizzled a bit and been taken over by Florida. It seems
now there isn't a bigger game at Neyland than the Florida/Tennessee game and its
always a hard hitter. So I just thought maybe you might want to update that a
Hum, Ralph, you might be right.
Qualifications as a top rivalry:
1. A relatively long history
2. At least some sense of balance between the two teams
3. Strong feelings between the two teams
1) Alabama vs. Auburn
This is a rivalry that goes back to 1893. Alabama leads this series 38-28-1. Both teams have sent some powerhouses to the NFL including Joe Namath from Alabama and Vincent "Bo" Jackson from Auburn.
2) Ohio State vs. Michigan
Over 100 years old, this rivalry began in 1897. Michigan leads the series 56-37-6. The game has gone beyond the field with an annual "blood battle" which benefits the Red Cross and collections for food banks.
3) Florida vs. Georgia
Known as the "World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party," this rivalry has become known more for the all day parties before and after game day than for the plays on the field. Georgia leads the series 45-32-2.
4) Harvard vs. Yale
This is one of the oldest rivalries in college football going back to 1875. In this battle of the Ivy League schools, Yale leads the series 64-50-8.
5) Oklahoma vs. Texas
Dubbed the Red River Shootout or Red River Rivalry, this game between the University of Oklahoma and the University Texas dates back to 1900. The Red River is part of the boundary between the states of Texas and Oklahoma. Oklahoma leads the series 57-39-5.
I think the best rivalry is determined by how long the loser carries the weight and shame of the defeat with them. Clearly the Alabama-Auburn rivaly tops the list with Clemson-South Carolina second and Oklahoma-Texas third, neck and neck with Alabama-Tennessee (probably the most bitter in the top 10). Southern Cal and Notre Dame souuldn't even be in the top 10 as it's only important on the day of the game then forgotten. Likewise, Harvard-Yale and Michigan-Ohio State are usually mentioned because of their longevity rather than the shame that comes with losing. Flagman