Sorry Army-Navy, you are not included in this post. This top five is only for games traditionally played on the last week of the regular season. USC is also going to be left off this list because they typically play either UCLA or Notre Dame but the opponent is not consistent. Rivalry weekend is one of the best parts of college football because of the pure passion and hatred fans have for the games. Fans look forward to this game for the entire season and winning means bragging rights for the next 365 days. This weekend will have some fans living on cloud nine while the others will live in misery for the next year.
5: Oregon vs Oregon State – Formerly known as “The Civil War”, the rivalry between Oregon and Oregon State has been lopsided in recent year. Oregon has won 12 of the past 14 matchups between the two schools. The Ducks and Beavers will meet for the 126th time this weekend. The series has been played every year since 1945. Eugene and Corvallis are close in proximity as they are located just 50 miles apart. The Beavers and Ducks restored playing for the Platypus Trophy in 2007 after it was lost for more than 50 years. The trophy was found in a closet in Oregon’s basketball arena. Oregon has won the Platypus Trophy 13 times since 1959 while the Beavers have won the trophy five times.
4: Minnesota vs Wisconsin – Paul Bunyan’s Axe is the coolest trophy in college football. Who would not love to swing an axe after defeating your most hated rival? Wisconsin and Minnesota will meet for the 132nd time this weekend with the Badgers leading the series 62–61–8. The two schools used to play for The Slab of Bacon until Paul Bunyan’s Axe was introduced in 1948. The best part of this tradition is when the game is final and the team is allowed to celebrate with the trophy. If the winning team does not retain the trophy, the opposing team rushes the opponents sideline to steal the trophy. The team then proceeds to “chop down” one of the goal posts in celebration. The celebration was put on hold after the 2013 matchup after Minnesota surrounded the goal post and prevented Wisconsin’s celebration.
3: Ole Miss vs Mississippi State – The Egg Bowl is one of the most underrated games on rivalry weekend. Ole Miss and Mississippi State has started to become a staple of Thanksgiving Day. While the NFL typically dominates Thanksgiving, college football fans also get to watch an intense rivalry on the holiday. The 2019 edition of the game was dubbed “The Piss, the Miss, and the Double Dismiss”. Elijah Moore scored with just 4 seconds left to bring Ole Miss within one. Moore celebrated by mimicking a dog peeing and was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct. Ole Miss was forced to kick a 35 yard extra point and would miss the attempt. Mississippi State would win but both head coaches would be fired.
2: Auburn vs Alabama – The Iron Bowl is one of the best rivalries in college football and one with rich tradition and history. Alabama and Auburn took a 41 year hiatus from 1907 to 1948 before an agreement was reached to restart the rivalry game. Numerous stories exist why the two programs cancelled the rivalry game including Alabama’s coach employing his elaborate formations and shifts, violence between fans and a disagreement on per diem. The Iron Bowl has been the host to some of the best games in college football over the past two decades. Auburn defeated Alabama in the memorable “Kick Six” game while the Crimson Tide pulled out a victory last season in a four overtime game. This year’s matchup could be considered lack luster but look for Cadillac Williams to have something up his sleeve.
1: Ohio State vs Michigan – This might be partial bias but I also truly believe Ohio State vs Michigan is one of the top two rivalries in the sports next to Army vs Navy. Ohio State and Michigan have built the rivalry off pure hatred. The rivalry between the two programs reached new heights during the 10 year war between Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler. Ohio State players are awarded a pair of gold pants after each of their victories over Michigan which include the final score. Countdown clocks exist at both universities so players are constantly reminded when they play their biggest rival. The Buckeyes and Wolverines will enter the game with flawless records for the first time since 2006 when Ohio State and Michigan ranked number one and two in the country. The scarlet and gray clashing with maize and blue will be a beautiful sight on Saturday.