One of the best parts of college football is the rivalries. As a fan, nothing feels better than beating your rival school and having the ability to gloat for the next year. Due to conference realignment we have lost some of the best rivalries because schools have changed conferences or do not have as many non-conference games. Some schools have taken the liberty to schedule the rivalries for a few years, but I would prefer to have them every year.
1: Michigan vs Notre Dame: As a Big Ten fan, this was consistently one of my favorite games to watch every year. I remember watching Denard Robinson lead Michigan down the field to beat Notre Dame in the final minutes of the game. The Notre Dame vs Michigan matchup was always one of the highly anticipated games because it was played in September. Notre Dame opted to end the rivalry after the 2014 season. The two teams met for a home and home series in 2018 and 2019. The Fighting Irish and Wolverines are schedule to play again in 2033 and 2034.
2: Kansas vs Missouri: The Boarder War has been played 120 times with the first meeting coming in 1891. Kansas and Missouri hate each other so much the two schools cannot agree on the record in the series. The Boarder War came to an end in 2011 when Missouri moved to the SEC. While this rivalry may not compete for championships on a yearly basis, the two programs have a bitter hatred for each other. The 2007 game was the most watched regular season game for that season. Missouri and Kansas both entered the game ranked in the top 3 with a chance to move to number one with a victory. The two programs are scheduled to meet in 2025 and 2026.
3: West Virginia vs Pitt: The Backyard Brawl has one of the best rivalry name in all of sports. West Virginia and Pitt are located less than 80 miles apart. In 2007 Pitt played the ultimate spoilermaker to West Virginia’s season. The Mountaineers had a chance to play for the National Title but they needed one final victory over Pitt. West Virginia kicker, Pat McAfee, missed two field goals which allowed Pitt to win by a margin of 13-9. The Panthers and Mountaineers are scheduled to open the season in Pittsburgh this season. West Virginia and Pitt are also scheduled to play in 2023, 2024 and 2025.
4: Utah vs BYU: The only reason the Backyard Brawl is not the best rivalry name is because The Holy War exists. Utah and BYU have faced off 101 times and many college football fans are surprised to know this game has not been played yearly. The Holy War was played yearly until the schools took a break after the 2013 season. BYU and Utah coincidentally met in the 2015 Las Vegas Bowl. Religion plays a huge part in this rivalry. BYU is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints while Utah has a large population of Latter-day Saints students. BYU won the most recent game in 2021. The two schools will not meet again until 2024.
5: Miami FL vs Florida: The Florida Cup is the champion Miami, Florida, and Florida State. Miami and Florida State play a conference game in the ACC every season while Florida State and Florida schedule a yearly non-conference game. The cup was created in 2002 and has been awarded a total of six times since its inaugural season. Miami and Florida have met 56 times in their history. This rivalry is not as intense as some of the others on this list but it should still be played yearly. The Florida schools are typically loaded with talent and should provide excellent football games in the not too distant future.
6: Oklahoma vs Nebraska: Nebraska and Oklahoma have one of the most storied rivalries in college football history. In 1959, Nebraska ended Oklahoma’s 74 game conference win streak. Between 1964 and 1989, Oklahoma gave Nebraska their only loss of the season on five different occasions. In 1971, the schools enter the game ranked number 1 and number 2. Nebraska exited the game victorious winning by a margin of 35 to 31. The Cornhuskers traveled to Oklahoma last year and narrowly lost in Norman. The Sooners will travel to Lincoln in the last scheduled match up in the rivalry.
6: Texas vs Texas A&M – The Longhorns and Aggies have not played since 2011, Texas A&M’s last season in the Big 12. The two schools have been playing a game of chicken when attempting to schedule a nonconference game against each other. As recently as 2019 both schools said they were interested in renewing the rivalry. In 2017, the schools polled their student body asking if the rivalry should be renewed and an overwhelming majority voted yes at both colleges. The Aggies and Longhorns have met a total of 118 times. Texas A&M hosts the Aggie Bonfire which is an event that takes place before their annual game against Texas. The Longhorns have their own event know as the Hex Rally before playing Texas A&M. Luckily for college football fans, we will see a return of the rivalry when Texas joins the SEC.
7: Penn State vs Pitt – Penn State and Pitt met regularly until Penn State joined the Big Ten in 1992. The two schools have met a total of eight times since Penn State joined the conference. The rivalry between Pitt and Penn State has rich tradition and history. From 1981 to 1986 where either the Nittany Lions or the Panthers were ranked either No. 1 or No. 2 four times in six years. Penn State won the last meeting in 2019 by a score of 17-10. No game is scheduled between the two schools. The state of Pennsylvania would benefit watching these two schools play on a yearly basis.
8: Utah vs Utah State – The state of Utah makes a second appearance on this list with the Battle of the Brothers. Utah and Utah State have played 112 times with the first meeting coming in 1892. Until the 1950s, this game was traditionally played on Thanksgiving. Similar to the state of Florida, Utah also has a trophy for the best team in the state. The Beehive boot is awarded to the school with the best record against their instate rivals. The three schools have not competed against each other since 2015. Utah is a culturally unique state and the fans should see the home state schools play each other.
9: LSU vs Tulane – Known as the Battle for the Rag, LSU and Tulane have met 98 times in their history. The two schools are located about 80 miles apart in southern Louisiana. LSU and Tulane play for a “rag” which is decorated with LSU and Tulane colors. The rag was created to promote good sportsmanship after rising tensions between the Tulane and LSU fan bases. Tulane and LSU have taken different trajectories since the early 2000s but this does not mean the game should not be played. Many smaller schools want a chance at the larger program in their state. While LSU may consistently win, Tulane will continually give them their best shot. The two programs have not met since 2009 and no future game is currently scheduled.
10: UCF vs UConn: Okay this one might be a joke but it is one of the funniest “rivalries” in all of college football. The Civil ConFLiCT was a rivalry created by former UConn coach, Bob Diaco. UConn created a trophy after beating UCF in 2015. UCF beat UConn in 2016 and actually left the field without accepting the trophy. UConn women’s basketball head coach Geno Auriemma said the rivalry “might have been the dumbest thing in the history of sports.” Based upon UConn’s current trajectory, they would struggle to ever win the Civil ConFLiCT again.