What is CFB’s greatest rivalry? There will be a lot of opinions on this one. Every school feels they have a great rivalry game. There are many great rivalries in college football. But, the best rivalry is clear cut! With that being said, this will begin the debate of CFB’s greatest rivalry.
CFB’s Greatest Rivalry
To be perfectly honest and objective, there’s no need for a top 25 or even top 10 list here. There are only five or six rivalry games that deserve a mention as CFB’s greatest rivalry. With that being said there are really only three games that are truly up for debate with the proper hate involved.
USC vs Notre Dame: Notre Dame 47-37-5
Battle for the Jeweled Shillelagh
First of all, the name needs some work. The average football fan neither knows what a shillelagh is and definitely doesn’t care.
Of course, there is certainly no question that Notre Dame and USC are storied and worthy of mention college football programs. But this game doesn’t inspire the hate that others on this list have. Important to note, the only reason this rivalry began was from the urging of Bonnie Rockne (yes Knute Rockne’s wife) and her good friend Marion Wilson (wife of then USC athletic director Gwynn Wilson). Rockne’s wife wanted a road trip with warm weather in lieu of a Lincoln, Nebraska trip.
Georgia vs Florida: Georgia 52-43-2
The Worlds Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party
Given that these two teams have a tremendous tradition of being great college football programs, any game referred to as a cocktail party can’t possibly be the greatest rivalry in football. Be that as it may, this sounds too much like two schools had a party and decided to play a football game. The bottom line is just not enough hatred here. Next…
Army vs Navy: Navy 60-51-7
This may not be number one in terms of CFB’s greatest rivalries, but it has the criteria needed. This game has the hate needed and a ton of tradition. No self-respecting college football fan can watch this game without being filled with patriotism…before, during, and after the game. Consequently, this game should be on the bucket list of every avid college football fan.
Michigan vs Ohio State: Michigan 58-50-6
Numbers three and two are virtually interchangeable. Comparatively, the only reason for the order is recent dominance by the SEC and the “kick 6” in 2013.
This rivalry has produced many great college football moments, and its inclusion is well earned. Without question, it has the proper amount of hate! There’s no secret the animosity these two teams have for each other. In addition, this game has traditionally been played at the end of the season with the Big 10 championship hanging in the balance more often than not.
Alabama vs Auburn: Alabama 45-36-1
The Iron Bowl
Without a doubt, these two schools hate each other! At one point this rivalry became so hostile they didn’t play for 41 years. Fortunately for true college football fans, the game has been played annually since 1948. Currently, Alabama has won seven of the last 10 years. Arguably the most dramatic ending in this or any other rivalry was the (kick 6) in 2013. Alabama attempted a 57-yard field goal by Adam Griffith with one second left in a 28-28 game. The kick came up one yard short, Auburn’s Chris Davis returned the kick 109 yards for the Auburn touchdown and victory.
This what rivalries are made of.
Oklahoma vs Texas: Texas 63-45-5
Red River Rivalry/Red River Shootout
No rivalry can truly compare to Oklahoma vs Texas. This game inspires unapparelled hatred from both sides, from fans to players to coaches…even the politicians get involved with side wagers.
Equally important, in recent years, Oklahoma has won seven of the last 10 meetings, while garnering four consecutive Big XII titles. With that being said Texas has an influx of talent under head coach Tom Herman. At the same time, they need to translate that on the field success to a Big XII title, instead of focusing on the horns down hand gesture! Historically, horns down have been part of the hatred for Oklahoma/Texas since 1963. It’s just part of the game.
One of the unique features of the rivalry is the venue. The tickets are split 50/50 with burnt orange and crimson and cream meeting on the 50-yard line. This game is a piece of football tradition, as the game has been played at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas since 1929. The game always coincides with the Texas state fair.
Another one of the most unique characteristics of the Cotton Bowl in Dallas is both locker rooms empty into a common corridor so that players take the field through the same tunnel. Now, on more than one occasion, as Texas and Oklahoma have prepared to charge onto the hallowed stadium’s turf, they have encountered each other in a highly charged, emotional moment. Just part of the animosity that makes this CFB’s greatest rivalry.
As an illustration, the week leading up to this game has had its share of calamity as well. During the Barry Switzer era at Oklahoma, the then Longhorn head coach and Oklahoma native Darrel Royal accused Oklahoma of sending a spy to watch Texas practices.
The Final Word
Clearly, Oklahoma vs Texas is the greatest rivalry in college football. This gridiron battle has been aptly coined the Red River Shootout or Red River Rivalry…both titles are accurate. Many schools claim to hate a rival one game a year. The hatred between Oklahoma and Texas is 24/7/365.
In conclusion, this is definitely a bucket list game for any college football fanatic! As a bonus, below is our prediction for this year’s Red River Shootout.
Oklahoma 38 Texas 27