College football has a long and storied history of intense rivalries, with many games steeped in tradition and folklore.
Here’s a look at some of the best college football rivalries, based on their history, intensity, and overall cultural significance:
- Michigan vs. Ohio State: This rivalry dates back to 1897 and is one of the oldest and most heated in college football. Dubbed “The Game,” the matchup between the Wolverines and Buckeyes is typically played in late November and often has major implications for the Big Ten conference and national championship picture.
- Alabama vs. Auburn: Known as the “Iron Bowl,” this rivalry between the Crimson Tide and Tigers is one of the fiercest in college football. The two teams first played in 1893, and the game has become a cultural touchstone for the state of Alabama.
- Army vs. Navy: This annual matchup between the U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Naval Academy dates back to 1890 and is steeped in tradition and symbolism. The game is typically played on the second Saturday in December and is considered one of the highlights of the college football season.
- USC vs. Notre Dame: This rivalry between the Trojans and Fighting Irish has been played annually since 1926 and is one of the most historic matchups in college football. The two teams have combined for 22 national championships and 13 Heisman Trophy winners.
- Oklahoma vs. Texas: Known as the “Red River Rivalry,” this matchup between the Sooners and Longhorns is one of the most intense and colorful rivalries in college football. The game is played annually at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas and is typically accompanied by a weekend-long festival of events and activities.
- Harvard vs. Yale: The rivalry between these two Ivy League powerhouses dates back to 1875 and is one of the oldest and most prestigious in college football. The annual matchup between the Crimson and Bulldogs, known as “The Game,” is steeped in tradition and cultural significance.
- Florida vs. Florida State: This in-state rivalry between the Gators and Seminoles has been played annually since 1958 and is one of the most intense and bitter in college football. The two teams have combined for six national championships and numerous conference titles.
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- Oklahoma vs. Nebraska: This historic rivalry between the Sooners and Cornhuskers dates back to 1912 and was one of the most important in college football during the mid-20th century. The two teams played annually until 2010, when Nebraska left the Big 12 Conference for the Big Ten.
These are just a few of the many great college football rivalries that have captured the imaginations of fans and players for generations. Each of these matchups is steeped in history, tradition, and cultural significance, and they continue to be some of the most highly anticipated games on the college football calendar.