Top 8 Greatest Rivalries in College Football History

July 24, 2023 by Staff

College football is a tradition and history-rich American pastime. One of the biggest draws of college football is the intense rivalry between teams. These rivalries have been built over time, often stemming from historical events, geographical proximity, or cultural differences.

Further, college football rivalries are known for bringing fans to stadiums with unbridled passion, unity, and loyalty, making them some of the most exciting and intense competitions in the world of sports. This article will rank the top 10 most significant rivalries in college football history, considering each rivalry's history, intensity, passion, and competitiveness.

Michigan vs. Ohio State

If you are looking at National Championship betting odds, you must consider factors such as team performance, injuries, and strength of schedule. One way to check team performances is to look at the greatest rivalries in college football history, such as the historic rivalry called "The Game." Since 1918, Michigan and Ohio State have competed annually in what is referred to as "The Game."

It is regarded as having one of the sport's fiercest and most fervent rivalries. On the field, the Wolverines and Buckeyes aggressively contend with one another, displaying their excellent football skills and intense national and local pride. The game is a symbolic representation of the historical achievements of the two programs, both being powerhouses in college football.

This rivalry has seen great plays, iconic moments, and nail-biting finishes that have cemented its place in college football history. Together with the shared history of the two shows and the fervent fan support, all contribute to making "The Game" an enthralling experience for everyone. "The Game" captures collegiate football rivalries' thrill, enthusiasm, and exceptionality.

Alabama vs. Auburn

The University of Alabama Crimson Tide and Auburn University Tigers, referred to as "The Iron Bowl," is another legendary matchup in college football history. This rivalry is a significant aspect of the sport, with more than 80 games played between the two teams.

It is characterized by intense competition on the field and an electrifying atmosphere in the stadium. It also represents immense cultural and regional pride and has far-reaching implications for the teams' records. Fans find it thrilling to watch because of its reputation for emotion, intensity, and unpredictability.

Army vs. Navy

Since 1890, the United States Military Academy (USMA) and the United States Naval Academy (USNA) have competed in a fierce football rivalry known as the Army-Navy game. As one of the most significant athletic events in the military, this matchup has been an annual tradition since 1930

The intense competition on the field reflects the storied and enduring rivalry between these two oldest military branches. Currently, the Navy holds the lead in the series with a record of 62-54-7. In addition to the Army-Navy game, another engaging rivalry for the USNA is their croquet match against St. John's College. Although less traditional, this matchup further showcases the competitive spirit of the Naval Academy.

Notre Dame vs. USC

The University of Southern California and the University of Notre Dame, two schools in different states, have been in a spirited football rivalry since 1926. While many rivalries hinge upon geographic proximity, the Battle for the Jeweled Shillelagh is unique. This annual matchup between USC and Notre Dame is named after an Irish club decorated with ornaments and is currently led by Notre Dame 50-38-5.

Interestingly, the two coaches' wives reportedly initiated the game and agreed to convince their husbands to start the long-standing tradition. Despite the distance between these two institutions, the USC vs. Notre Dame rivalry endures as a testament to the competitive spirit of college football.

Florida vs. Georgia

The Florida-Georgia football game, known as the "World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party," is among college football's most passionate rivalries. This Southeastern rivalry has seen disputed records, with Florida claiming Georgia's lead at 54-44-2, while Georgia argues it is 55-44-2. The schools have differing opinions on the first "official" game, with possibilities in 1904 or 1915.

The annual matchup is renowned for its on-field competition and lively tailgating traditions, which have earned it the humorous nickname "World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party." This spirited rivalry continues to captivate fans from both universities up to the present.

Tennessee vs. Alabama

In the South, the Third Saturday in October signifies the highly anticipated matchup between Alabama and Tennessee. For over a decade, the Crimson Tide have been dominant in this series, winning 15 consecutive games. However, the Volunteers broke through this season with a thrilling 52-49 victory in Knoxville on October 15th.

The overall record on the field stands at 59-38-8, with Alabama having to vacate their win from 2005 and the tie in 1993. This rivalry holds excellent significance to fans in the South and continues to captivate audiences with its fierce competition.

Oregon vs. Oregon State

Oregon's rise to prominence in college football has brought increased significance to its annual Civil War game against Oregon State. However, the series has been largely one-sided.

While there was a period when Oregon State dominated the rivalry, Oregon has won the last seven matchups and has been in control since the 1980s. Additionally, Washington has historically been an unpopular opponent for Oregon. Nevertheless, Oregon State serves as the regular-season finale for the Ducks.

Miami vs. Florida State

While the Florida vs. Florida State football rivalry is well-known, the Sunshine State is also home to another intense rivalry between the University of Miami and Florida State University. This matchup has been taking place since 1951.

Currently, the Miami Hurricanes hold a 35-32 lead over the Florida State Seminoles. This rivalry dates back to when Florida State transitioned to a coed institution, and Miami eagerly embraced them as a rival. The clash between these two teams continues to captivate fans and add excitement to the football landscape in Florida.

Wrapping It Up!

These rivalries have shaped college football and have become a source of excitement and pride for the fans. Through these intense rivalries, we see the best of what college football has to offer.