College football has a tremendous impact on the lives of millions of fans across the United States. The heated rivalries that have defined the sport for decades are at the heart of this tremendous passion. Rivalries are a distinguishing feature of college ball, setting it apart from the NFL. These rivalries are more than just competitiveness on the field; they symbolize deep-rooted traditions, regional pride, and a desire for domination.
From the iconic “Game” between Ohio State and Michigan to the intense Iron Bowl between Alabama and Auburn, these rivalries inspire intense emotions and create unforgettable moments that shape the game’s history.
So, join us on this thrilling journey through the annals of college football as we explore the top 5 rivalries. Get ready to experience the excitement and passion that have made these matchups a cornerstone of the sport. These rivalries epitomize the essence of college football and exemplify the unbreakable bond between teams, fans, and the game itself.
Michigan vs. Ohio State
Before checking on college football odds, it is essential to know different rivalries, as this can be a factor to check out before placing a bet. For fantasy football players, aside from FanDuel fantasy odds, this can also be useful when doing research.
One iconic rivalry to start is the Michigan vs. Ohio State rivalry. The yearly showdown between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Michigan Wolverines, dubbed “The Game,” is a longstanding and heated rivalry in college football.
Due to the schools’ closeness, comparable traditions, and continuously great football teams, this clash has stoked the enthusiasm of spectators and players alike since 1897. “The Game” is usually held in late November and significantly impacts conference championships and national standings. Over the years, both teams have played spoiler, with Michigan upsetting Ohio State’s prospects of an undefeated season several times.
This historic rivalry captivates fans and draws a broad viewership, making it one of college football’s most anticipated games. The passion and history of “The Game” have solidified it as one of the sport’s great rivalries, leaving lasting memories and influencing the landscape of college football.
Oregon vs. Oregon State
The Oregon-Oregon State rivalry, known as the Civil War, is one of the oldest and fiercest rivalries on the West Coast. Since their first meeting in 1894, these in-state and in-conference opponents have faced off 123 times through 2020. In 1960, Oregon fans allegedly kidnapped the Oregon State homecoming queen, marking one of the memorable incidents in the series.
Similarly, in 1972, opposing fans engaged in an intense brawl, adding to the notable moments of the rivalry. Although the nickname “Civil War” was dropped in 2020, the rivalry continues to draw significant interest and passion, representing the longstanding tradition and competitiveness between these Oregon programs.
Texas vs. Oklahoma
The Red River Rivalry is one of college football’s classic matchups, featuring the University of Texas (Longhorns) and the University of Oklahoma (Sooners). This long standing rivalry began in 1900 and is played annually at the Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas, Texas. The game’s significance goes beyond the football field, representing the cultural and historical ties between neighboring states.
With passionate fan bases and strong football traditions, the Red River Rivalry never fails to deliver excitement and draw national attention. The rivalry has produced memorable moments and has been a fixture in college football for over a century. The game’s importance is further amplified by the success of both programs, with a combined 11 national titles and 82 conference championships.
Beyond the on-field competition, the Red River Rivalry weekend in Dallas is known for its vibrant atmosphere and unpredictable events on and off the field. The rivalry is unique in college football history, dating back to 1900, seven years before Oklahoma became a state.
Army vs. Navy
The Army-Navy football game is a longstanding rivalry between the US Military Academy (Army) and the US Naval Academy (Navy). The competition has been among college football’s oldest and most prestigious since 1890. It symbolizes the friendship and rivalry between the two military academies.
Beyond football, the game represents the virtues of honor, courage, and devotion fostered in the students. It is traditionally played in Philadelphia at the end of the regular season and highlights the players’ devotion. The Army-Navy game has its traditions, such as both teams singing their alma mater at the end to show mutual respect.
Even though the service academies do not compete for national titles, the game is essential for both teams. The Navy is now the all-time leader in the series and has dominated in recent years. The game also determines who wins the Commander-in-Chief Trophy, contested by the Army, Navy, and Air Force Academies.
Alabama vs. Auburn
The rivalry between the University of Alabama (Crimson Tide) and Auburn University (Tigers) has a long history in Alabama and extends beyond the football field. This clash, dubbed the “Iron Bowl,” has been a highlight of college football since 1893. The fan bases’ enthusiasm and dedication to their institutions make it one of the most competitive in the sport.
The Iron Bowl often determines the Southeastern Conference (SEC) title race and shapes the fate of both teams’ seasons. Alabama has primarily dominated the series, but Auburn fans take pride in their moments of success. The intense hatred between the fan bases adds to the excitement of the game, making the Iron Bowl a highly anticipated event in Alabama, transcending mere sport.
The world of college football unquestionably brims with intensity, passion, and numerous fierce rivalries and competitions. These five matchups we’ve explored are just a glimpse into the rich tapestry of competition on the gridiron. From historic rivalries steeped in tradition to modern-day clashes fueled by sheer determination, college football captivates fans year after year.