Typically people need to have a reason to dislike someone; a legitimate reason like so and so stole our milk money, made a pass at our girlfriend, shot our dog–you know, something personal. However, there are some people that it is okay for us to hate. It has nothing to do with race, gender, sexual preference, or what side of the tracks you grew up on.
It’s where that person went to school.
Rivalries are one of the things that makes college football as great as it is. Whenever it’s time to play the big rival nothing else matters. It is the one game of the year where records don’t matter. Talent levels are obsolete. Injuries don’t hurt. It is the one game where you can guarantee that each and every player will play harder than he has all season.
You can be suffering through the worst season in school history, but beat your rival and all is right in the world. It’s the one game that a win can help save a coach’s job or a loss can guarantee coach’s time with the team will soon come to an end.
Over the years there have been some tremendous rivalries with the longest running between two FCS schools, Lehigh University and Lafaytte. Dubbed “The Rivalry” the two have played 147 times since 1884 and continuously since 1896.
Many of the best ones have been played well over 100 times (i.e. Pitt-WVU; Texas-Texas A&M; Oregon-Oregon State), and have some awesome names (Backyard Brawl; Lonestar Showdown; Civil War). It doesn’t always have to make sense as to why they exist; the important thing is that they do.
Many of college football’s greatest rivalries have already played this season; the Red River Rivalry, Texas-Oklahoma; Michigan-Michigan State for the Paul Bunyan Trophy; The Big Game, Stanford-Cal; Florida-Georgia, The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party; the list can go on and on.
For a look at some of the greatest rivalries yet to be played this season and a nod to a couple past greats that are not active this season be sure and check out the gallery!