ArmChair QB TOP 25: BIGGEST COLLEGE FOOTBALL RIVALRIES of
25. You can't have a rivalry countdown with out ARMY/NAVY. Traditionally played all by its lonesome the week after the college football season end, and before the bowl season begins, the pageantry is unrivaled. Thousands of men and women dressed to the nines in their Navy Blues and Army Greys. All standing for the entire game. One of the greatest American traditions.
24. Forget the unbelievable heart stopping finish between Georgia and Tennessee in 2016. This border war usually flies a bit under the radar, but carries huge ramifications in the SEC east every year. Also, the winner gets a leg up in the hot bed of northern Georgia high school recruiting.
23. Clemson vs. South Carolina is one of the nastiest rivalries in any sport! If the Gamecocks raise their profile to the level of the defending national champion Clemson Tigers, this one will sky-rocket up this poll. End of the year in state clashes are always extra special.
22. Notre Dame vs. Michigan State usually carries the weight of the rest of the season for both. It's usually played early in the season, before the Michigan State-Big Ten and Notre Dame-ACC schedule begin, and it sets the tone for where these two programs. This year it is a September 23rd night game on FOX.
21. USC vs UCLA: It lacked some luster for a while, but USC vs. UCLA is back as a relevant player in college football. November 18th very well could be a date with destiny. UCLA will try to knock off the college football playoff favorite Trojans. Maybe, by then, Josh Rosen might have HIS team in the mix too. Careful what you wish for Josh; Bama might be there waiting for you with all of that bulletin-board material.
20. Ohio State vs. Penn State: A blocked field goal in 2016 started an all-time controversy that will spring board the next several years of this rivalry to more of a national relevance. Divisional rivals and all-time great college football programs helps add spice, as well. This year the game is in the Horseshoe. Ohio State wants to prove that W was a fluke. Penn State is looking to prove that THEY should have been the college football playoff participant, not OSU. There is a good chance that this year's game will be for all of the marbles to get to the Big 10 title.
19. Ole Miss vs Miss State means one thing; THE EGG BOWL. These two programs have been more relevant recently, and the hate here is REAL! To stay on this list going forward these two programs will need some wind. Pssst.... Ole Miss, the NCAA is watching, so watch your step on how you rebuild the Hugh Freeze fiasco.
18. Oregon vs. Oregon State. This game rarely has a great deal of buzz around the country, but it is as big as it comes. This is the only game that matters in the state of Oregon. Pac 12 implications can add flavor, but conference titles be damned, THE CIVIL WAR is about who wins THAT game. No others.
17. Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State THE BEDLAM SERIES: The rivalry has always been great, but it has gotten even greater. The little brother has grown up (Oklahoma State), and he is ready to make his own mark. Bob Stoops is gone, so this rivalry is heading into another chapter. The game that usually ended the season, is slated for November 4th this year. Put it back where it belongs, so fans can build their season to a crescendo. Still, this one will be fun, just not top 15 on our list kind of fun.
16. UGA vs. GA Tech. The ACC emergence is no more obvious than the fact that this game is now on the college football map. A Coastal Division favorite in the ACC, the Ramblin' Wreck of GA Tech host the Bulldogs on Thanksgiving weekend this year. This one could be a tune up for ACC and SEC title game appearances just a week later. No better way to eliminate one from the College Football Playoff talk.
15. Florida vs Tennessee: There have been a lot of remember-able games in this young rivalry. Not really becoming a rivalry until SEC Divisional play began in the early '90s, the winner of this game tends to have the inside track to a ticket to Atlanta and the SEC Championship Game. Though UF has owned the rivalry, folks up on Rocky Top always have this game circled. Win it, and they start making hotel reservations for Atlanta in December. Lose it, and Vol Nation already starts with 'wait til next year' in just late September.
14. Michigan vs. Michigan State: 2015 gave us one of the most legendary endings to any game EVER, when a botched punt attempt turned into the game ending 6 points Michigan State needed to pull out the victory. Not only is it an inner-state rivalry, but it is also a Big 10 divisional match-up. All bragging rights and recruiting edges are on the line for the Paul Bunyan Trophy.
13. Auburn vs LSU: Alabama, LSU and Auburn are the three teams that usually have a strangle hold on competing in the SEC West. This game starts the round robin in October. Both known as Tigers, the question is always simple that weekend; are you a WAR DAMN EAGLE or are you yelling GEAUX TIGERS.
12. It began years ago, before Florida State entered the ACC, with a trick play in Clemson's Death Valley. The Fumble-Rooskie game is still talked about in this rivalries lore. Bowden-Bowls continued to build the legacy, and now Jimbo Fisher and Dabo Sweeney have built two of the biggest and baddest programs in all the country. This divisional game in the ACC makes it very difficult for the loser to get to the title game. This year the game lands in Death Valley, but the Seminoles are loaded and ready to reclaim the throne and crown of the ACC.
11. LSU vs UF: These two programs are always deep and talented especially on the defensive side of the ball. So many of these guys will be playing on Sundays. The hate factor is rising with each contest, and the win always looks great on the resume as the selection committee begins their process.
10. The 3rd Saturday in October; Tennessee vs. Alabama: 'Nuff said.
They've been playing each other for well over 100 years. This General Neyalnd, Bear Bryant, Johnny Majors, Gene Stallings, Phillip Fulmer and Nick Saban. This is Peyton Manning, Joe Namath, Al Wilson, Cornelius Bennett, Doug Atkins and Derrick Thomas. Tradition oozes out of this one. Though Tennessee is not the program Alabama currently is on paper, the games are usually highly entertaining when these two meet on the field.
9. Auburn vs. UGA: The Deep South's Oldest Rivalry. Starting play in 1892 for a total of 120 games. It is a cross-over divisional game in the SEC, so the stakes are not quite as high as others, but wow is it exciting. The ending to the 2013 game off of a deflected 4th down pass was jaw-dropping. Tigers vs, Dawgs will always be a sweet southern treat, but oh how we miss the Dooley vs. Dye days.
8. Oklahoma vs. Texas; The Red River Rivalry: Played in Dallas every year, the Red River Rivalry IS Big 12 Football. No game is bigger West of the Mississippi. The Big 12 is re-instating a conference championship game this season, and this game will have a lot to say who's in it. To keep your hopes alive, you HAVE to win this one.
7. USC vs. Notre Dame: East vs. West, well Midwest vs. West get it on every year in this one. Arguably the two biggest names in college football history face-off with the season on the line.
The chase for national championships begin and end with the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame vs. the Southern Cal's Men of Troy.
6. Michigan vs. Ohio State: Big Ten football has been built on this game. Plain and simple, college football is better when these two giants of college football are at the top like they were last year. This would be higher, but The Armchair Quarterbacks are 'Southern Sports Talk', so this is as high as we can go #SorryDude.
THE GAME is in The Big House this year. Dotting of the i and 'Hail to the Victors'; what a great way to kick your rivalry weekend off at noon EVERY SINGLE YEAR!
5. Florida State vs. Miami: Wide Right I II & III, The U, The Tomahawk Chop, Bobby Bowden and Jimmy Johnson. It has it ALL; Neon Deion Sanders, Michael Irvin, Charlie Ward, Jim Kelly, Derrick Brooks and Warren Sapp. It has Marvin Jones, Ray Lewis, 8 national titles since '84 and 5 Heisman Trophies. The game is always very entertaining and vital towards the national picture. Last year was decided when FSU blocked a game tying extra point with seconds left in the game.
4. Alabama vs LSU: This one decides the SEC West EVERY year, The SEC West winner wins the SEC
EVERY YEAR and the SEC Champion goes to the playoffs EVERY year. Added to the party is all of the NFL talent on the field. This game matters on so many levels.
3. Florida vs. Georgia: The game is extra icing for the week. This is what they say it is; THE WORLD'S LARGEST OUTDOOR COCKTAIL PARTY! Even when the teams stink, the game is fun. This year it appears it will be for SEC East supremacy ..... CHEERS.
2. The Sunshine State Showdown: Hate is not a strong enough word for the Florida State vs. Florida rivalry. It is the first rivalry mandated by law. The state of Florida says that these two HAVE to play every year. It's that serious.
These two programs are perennial power houses since the days of Bowden and Spurrier. Every year one or both are in the discussion for playoff/national title aspirations. Though UF started this rivalry with massive dominance, recent history has belonged to Florida State. The Noles are 19-12-1 vs. the Gators since 1997. Both with 3 national titles, a total of 6, in the last 23 years. Over a quarter of the national champions and Heismans have came from the 90 minutes separating Tallahassee and Gainesville since 1993.
1. The Iron Bowl: Starting in 1893, the Iron Bowl has only been played 81 times. The rivalry was suspended for 41 years due to bad blood between the schools (from funding disputes to illegal shifts being used by Alabama). The rivalry came back in 1948. Since then, it has been at the forefront of the southern college football landscape. If you live in Alabama, you simply must pick a side. National Champions, SEC titles and blood on the field; it all adds up to the most heated rivalry in college football.