25 rivalries that make college football the best sport in America.
November is a month where rivalry week at the end of the month caps the regular season where “rivalry week” can serve as the last chance to salvage a down season with a win against your bitter rival and send them into the offseason with the sour taste in their mouths from a loss to their rival.
A rivalry can mean different things to different people, but the common thread that all great rivalries have is rooted in history that transcends from one generation down to the next. Grandparents sharing their disdain for their rival with their children who pass it on down to their children ensures a cycle of rival-hating behavior that ensures a rivalry will never die.
Many of these great rivalries that are featured on this list of college football rivalries share that common bond of historical relevance with many of these series dating back to the 19th century when the game of football was a far cry from the game we have come to know and love today. Before the days of high definition tv, 100,000 seat stadiums and even the NFL, rivalries were forged among the young men who gave their all for their university.
A rivalry needs more than just history attached to it to rank among the best, it has to have some cache and national relevance to truly be one of the best of all-time. If you’re not competing for conference titles and national titles, the historical element loses some luster and as a result won’t rank as highly as others on this list, unless you can offer some added intangible. I guess we can call that the “it” factor that is difficult to describe, but you know it when you see it.
After reading through this list of the top 25 college football rivalries, please leave your thoughts and opinions on the list in the comments section below and share your favorite rivalry game and your favorite moment in that series. One caveat to this list is that these rivalries are still active, meaning the Notre Dame-Michigan, Texas-Texas A&M and Pittsburgh-West Virginia rivalries are excluded.