The Greatest Rivalries in College Football

The Greatest Rivalries in College Football

A new football season is right around the corner, both in the NFL and the NCAA. For many, the professional game is the be-all and end-all, and seeing top stars such as Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, and Joe Burrow shine under the bright lights is the pinnacle of being a sports fan. That particular league starts back up on September 7th as the aforementioned Mahomes and his reigning champion Kansas City Chiefs welcome the underdog Detroit Lions to Arrowhead Stadium for this year’s curtain raiser. 

And while there are those that prefer the NFL, many critics of the league feel that it lacks passion and relies solely on money and showmanship. That’s where the college game comes in. What the NFL lacks, the NCAA more than makes up for. Each team’s supporters have a connection to their team unlike anything else and seeing them get their just desserts is more fulfilling than following the likes of the Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots. 

The new campaign gets underway the week before its professional rival, with the curtain being raised on August 26th when the Navy Midshipmen battle it out against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in a blockbuster highlight in Dublin, Ireland. The Georgia Bulldogs enter the new campaign as the defending champions, having won back-to-back titles. They dominated the TCU Horned Frogs in the National Championship game, recording an impressive 65-7 victory at SoFI Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Rams. Looking ahead to the next season, the latest college football odds heavily favor the Bulldogs to make it a three-peat and retain their crown once more, pricing them at +200 for glory. 

When passionate fans are clamoring for their teams to succeed, energy-charged rivalries are sure to be born. In the NCAA, those rivalries are rooted in deep, decades-long competition and often result in epic showdowns that captivate audiences nationwide. Few things in sports stir up real and raw emotions like college football rivalries, and these games are etched in the hearts and minds of fans forever. 

Michigan vs. Ohio State

Whenever Michigan and Ohio State square off, you know that you are about to bear witness to a battle. The matchup is simply known as ‘The Game’, and that is really all it needs to be called. As WWE superstar Triple H will tell you, having such a nickname is sometimes all one needs to strike fear into an opponent and truly amp the pressure up a notch. 

However, this rivalry is distinguished by its intensity and competitiveness beyond its excellent records, resulting in superstars such as quarterback Justin Fields and other top players being bred. Whether it’s the yearly rivalry game at the end of the regular season or a high-stakes bowl game, this showdown never fails to be dramatic and exciting. The drama has endured the test of time and continues to captivate fans of college football all across the world. 

Oklahoma vs. Texas

Another big rivalry game that’s always marked on the calendar is Oklahoma vs. Texas. Since 1900, the two teams have played one other practically annually, and each contest is a struggle for power. The Red River Shootout is the name of the rivalry, which is one of the most significant games in the Big 12 Conference. The stakes are generally high anytime Oklahoma and Texas compete since they are both successful heavyweight programs, and the battle between the pair in the upcoming 2023 campaign promises to be as fierce as ever. 

Heading into the 2023 season, however, the Sooners certainly have a point to prove. They were thumped 49-0 by their greatest rivals last October, with Longhorn quarterback Quinn Ewers throwing for a whopping 289 yards including four touchdowns. They also decimated the ground as well, with running back Bijan Robinson amassing a mighty 130 yards en route to a one-sided victory. 

Alabama vs. Auburn

Alabama vs. Auburn is another key matchup in this fiercely competitive world of college football. The fact that both teams have faced off against each other every year since 1893 and are located in the same state, the hostility between the two has intensified over the years. The contest is known as the Iron Bowl, and each team in this rivalry has fervent supporters who are staunch in their belief that their squad is superior to that of their rivals. 

Florida State vs. Miami

An intense rivalry matchup between two Florida-based teams is Florida State vs. Miami. Due to the pair’s close proximity to each other and as the rivals have squared off regularly since 1951, it was until the late 1980s and early 1990s that the hostilities between the pair began to rise due to both programs enjoying great success throughout that period. As was the case with the aforementioned Oklahoma vs. Texas matchup, Miami also has plenty to prove this season after being crushed 45-3 last November by their greatest rivals.

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