College football rivalries are among the most intense competitions in sports. College football is all about the fans’ pride for their schools paired with watching talented college athletes on their way to becoming NFL professionals.
Pride is a powerful emotion that consumes college football fans and for good reason. The skills, strategy and sheer talent of players and coaches at this level are unmatched by any other sport. Players, coaches and fans lay it all on the line when they come up against their arch enemies.
Nothing is better than a good old-fashioned football showdown, and we’ve got a round of the top ten rivalries in college football history.
- Navy vs Army
This is one of the best rivalry games, hands down. Both schools go above and beyond to put on a show. Bragging rights and the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy (awarded to each season's winner of the triangular series between the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, and U.S. Air Force Academy) mean plenty to the Midshipmen and Black Knights. These men leave the glory of football behind to protect our country.
- Alabama vs Auburn
This is the most heated rivalry in the country. The state of Alabama lives in constant tension during football season. Before, during and after the Iron Bowl residents actions are fueled by this age old rivalry. The winner of the past seven matchups has made a play for the national title. It doesn't stop on the field either, recruitment season can get downright nasty.
- Michigan vs Ohio State
Much of the tension between Michigan and Ohio State stems from the battles of the "Ten Year War." The contests between coaches Bo Schembechler and Woody Hayes back in the 1970s were epic. This has become an annual must-watch game for not only both schools but all college football fans.
- Texas vs Oklahoma
In the middle of the Texas State Fair, these two teams split the crowd down the middle, for the historic Cotton Bowl. With the Cotton Bowl, comes national-championship-game bids and conference titles. One team goes home with their hearts filled with joy while the other spends the next year defending their mistakes.
- Norte Dame vs USC
Switching off between Los Angeles and South Bend this is an iconic rivalry in college football. National title hopes and Heisman-Trophy bids are a large component of the history between these two powerhouses. When these two meet, the walls come down.
- Georgia vs Florida
This game is seeping in history and on every sports fan’s bucket list. The yearly matchup is so big it is held in neutral territory. A rivalry so intense, neither team can agree on when the first game took place resulting in conflicting record keeping.
- Miami vs Florida State
This is one of the most watched games of the year for both college and NFL. There are games in this series that came down to the final seconds. Both teams are now in the ACC, making the game more than just bragging rights but conference standing. These results are constantly going down in history as some of football's greatest moments.
- Yale vs Harvard
While both schools are known for their intelligence, studying is thrown to the wayside during this football contest. One of the oldest rivalries on this list, the two schools meet annually to compete for the Ivy League Cup and bragging rights.
- Stanford vs Cal
This is the eighth most played in college football and is always a battle, affectionately called "The Big Game." The annual game produced the most famous play in college football history in 1982. On the final play, Cal lateraled their way through the Stanford defense. They made it into the end zone for the win with seconds to spare.
- Clemson vs South Carolina
The Palmetto Bowl is the nastiest of rivalries in the country. The campuses are close and cause the state to split down the middle each football season. It doesn't stop there either, South Carolina is a SEC team and Clemson is ACC. Both teams spend their seasons trying to stand out from the rest of their conferences.
It’s no surprise that these top rivalries are also top of the college football standings year in and year out. Making it to the College Football Playoff is no easy feat. Making it to the national championship game is even harder. The rules and selection process can be found here. You can be in the stadium this year in the final contest of wills at the National Championship. We know it’s too early to guess the final teams but it’s never too early to plan your trip.