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What are the biggest rivalries in college football?

College football rivalries are known for bringing fans to stadiums with passion, unity, and loyalty, making them the sport’s most exciting competitions.

Ohio State vs. Michigan
Leon HalipGetty Images

College football is renowned for its intense and historic rivalries that captivate fans nationwide. These rivalries are some of the biggest and most storied in college football and are one of the primary reasons why people love college football. When considering why college sports are so popular in the United States, it is essential to consider why you or people you know might enjoy the sports played and enjoyed in your country. As a general activity, sports provide entertainment, something to root for, and often a sense of community.

Nothing makes one feel more like a part of their community than cheering for their college team in the stadium, representing a pantheon of sports, morals, and self-identification. 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.

Ohio State vs. Michigan (The Game)

The Ohio State vs Michigan game is a popular annual event in college football. The rivalry has been ongoing for over a century, with each team vying for supremacy in the Big Ten Conference. The game is typically held in November, and the stakes are always high, as the outcome can have significant implications for the conference championship race or even the national championship picture. This storied rivalry has produced some of the most memorable moments in college football history, and the passion and intensity of the fans on both sides make it one of the season’s most exciting games.

Alabama vs. Auburn (Iron Bowl)

The Iron Bowl is a longstanding college football rivalry game played annually between the University of Alabama Crimson Tide and the Auburn University Tigers. The game is one of the country’s most intense and highly-anticipated football matchups, with a rich history dating back to 1893. The game significantly impacts the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Championship and is often a decisive factor in determining the national title hopes of both teams. The two teams compete fiercely for bragging rights and the coveted victory in this storied rivalry, which has seen countless memorable moments and thrilling finishes over the years.

Army vs. Navy (Army-Navy Game)

The Army-Navy Game is an annual college football game played by two of the most prestigious service academies in the United States, the U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Naval Academy. The game is held towards the end of each football season, usually in December, and is considered the biggest rivalry in college football. The Army-Navy Game has a longstanding tradition dating back to 1890, with a storied history that includes famous moments and legendary players. The game is also known for its pageantry, with cadets and midshipmen from both academies participating in various pre-game rituals and ceremonies. Overall, the Army-Navy Game is a highly anticipated event that brings together two outstanding institutions and celebrates the spirit of competition and camaraderie.

Texas vs. Oklahoma (Red River Rivalry)

The Red River Rivalry is one of the most important games in college football and is played between the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma. The game takes place at Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas and often significantly impacts the Big 12 Conference.

Florida vs. Georgia (Florida-Georgia or World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party)

The annual football game between the University of Florida and the University of Georgia, an SEC rivalry held in Jacksonville, is known as the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” due to the festive atmosphere surrounding the event.

Harvard vs. Yale (The Game)

Since 1875, “The Game” has been a highly anticipated Ivy League rivalry between Harvard and Yale that has become renowned for its rich history and prestige in college football. The tradition of these two prestigious universities facing off on the field has continued for over a century, with each game being a testament to the athletic prowess, dedication, and competitive spirit of the players and fans alike. From the storied moments of past games to the excitement that builds each year leading up to the next match, “The Game” is truly a spectacle of college football that captures the hearts of fans everywhere.

Notre Dame vs. USC

The longstanding rivalry between the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the University of Southern California Trojans is one of the most highly-anticipated matchups in college football. With a storied history from 1926, the annual game is a source of pride for both institutions and their fans. The game’s outcome has far-reaching implications for the team’s postseason aspirations and national rankings and reputations. The intense competition and high-stakes nature of the Notre Dame vs. USC game make it a must-watch event for football fans nationwide.

Clemson vs. South Carolina (Palmetto Bowl)

Clemson University and the University of South Carolina face each other annually in the Palmetto Bowl, a rivalry that has intensified with both teams achieving success in recent years.