College Football’s Best Rivalries

It is rivalry week in college football, and ESPN’s SportsNation poll is up. Based on the options provided, my rankings are as follows:

(1) Army – Navy
(2) Alabama – Auburn
(3) Ohio State – Michigan
(4) Florida State – Miami
(5) Texas – Oklahoma
(6) Florida – Florida State
(7) USC – Notre Dame
(8) Florida – Georgia
(9) Florida – Tennessee
(10) USC – UCLA

How do you rank the rivalries?

Related Links of Interest:

* College Football’s Newest Rivalries by Pete Fiutak

* Paranoia Sets In During Rivalry Week by Bill Curry

* Tom Dienhart’s Rivalry Week Picks

General NCS Football

8 Responses to College Football’s Best Rivalries

  1. Jeff 11/17/2005 at 8:04 PM #

    I found Fiutak’s Top 10 Rivalries after I posted this. I thought that it was a good link….and, it makes me feel very good about my choices:

    (1) Michigan vs. Ohio State
    (2) Miami (FL) vs. Florida State
    (3) Alabama vs. Auburn
    (4) Army vs. Navy
    (5) Oklahoma vs. Texas
    (6) Notre Dame vs. USC
    (7) Florida vs. Georgia
    (8) UCLA vs. USC
    (9) Florida vs. Florida State
    (10) California vs. Stanford

  2. BJD95 11/17/2005 at 10:19 PM #

    My list, with comment:

    (1) Ohio State – Michigan – Hands down, an easy choice.
    (2) Alabama – Auburn – the South’s best
    (3) Florida State – Miami – so many memorable games
    (4) Florida – Georgia – best named rivalry
    (5) USC – Notre Dame – solid and underrated
    (6) Army – Navy – great tradition, seldom meaningful in THAT way
    (7) Florida – Florida State – overrated, but decent games
    (8) Texas – Oklahoma – games usually a letdown
    (9) Florida – Tennessee – played too early, many mistakes made
    (10) USC – UCLA – fanbases too laid back, secondary rival for USC

  3. Trout 11/18/2005 at 8:56 AM #

    I’d put Clemson/SC ahead of USC-UCLA, personally. That rivalry is intense.

  4. Haredogg 11/18/2005 at 10:14 AM #

    It’s hard to rank them, IMO.

    Ohio St vs Michigan is clearly the best rivalry, IMO.

    The Florida / Tennesse rivalry was much better about 5-6 years ago. It seems to have lost it’s luster with both teams having down years (for them).

    The Iron Bowl is always a classic.

    Auburn vs Georgia – The deep souths oldest rivalry is always a great game.

    Notre Dame vs Michigan – usually produces great games.

    In the 90’s, Florida vs Florida St was probably the best since both schools were competing for NCs.

  5. site admin 11/18/2005 at 3:00 PM #


  6. TigerFan 11/18/2005 at 3:52 PM #

    As usual, ESPN shows a complete misunderstanding of the SEC. While the Egg Bowl and UGA-Ga Tech are on the ballot, UGA/Auburn (the oldest rivalry in the Deep South), Tennessee/Bama (historically the most important rivalry in the SEC), and even LSU/Ole Miss (the most under-rated rivalry in the SEC) are not included. Georgia would rather beat Tennesseee, Florida, or Auburn than Ga Tech given the choice, and no one cares about the Egg Bowl except the 10 or 20 Mississippi State fans in the world. Even when Ole Miss is bad, the Rebels always consider themselves in a different league than the Bulldogs, and anyone who’s been to both the Grove and Starkpatch would have a hard time disagreeing. Ole Miss cares most about one game – LSU. In 2003, Mississippi would have traded Elvis, Oprah, Walter Payton, Jerry Rice, Jimmy Buffett, and Tennessee Williams for a win over the Tigers. Nationally it doesn’t have the allure it once had and it doesn’t need to be on the list, but the Apple Cup, the Civil War, Lehigh/Lafayette High, and the Egg Bowl – Give me a break.

    Okay Jeff, my top 5.
    Iron Bowl – any game cancelled for 40 years because they couldn’t get along has to top the list.
    OSU/Michigan – more than any other rivalry, this game consistently presents two very good teams and plenty of upsets
    Miami/FSU – well, maybe not more than this rivalry. This one’s always good and always has national significance (when Spurrier was at UF, UF/FSU might have taken this spot)
    UT/OU – this is the one the Longhorns care about. Like Ole Miss/MSU, the Texas A&M game doesn’t matter to UT nearly as much.
    ND/USC – a storied history, sometimes blown out of proportion, but this is certainly the best long distance rivalry in the country.

  7. Jeff 11/18/2005 at 7:00 PM #

    ^ I completely agree about the fallacy of the ommission of Tenn-Bama

  8. TigerFan 11/19/2005 at 12:25 PM #

    Watching GameDay today gave me another thought. In which of these rivalries would a team rather go 7-4 and beat the rival versus 10-1 with a loss to the rival. I think the Iron Bowl, OSU/Michigan, and Army-Navy are the only ones where that’s true.

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