The Game (Michigan at Ohio State, at 3:30pm on ABC if you haven't heard) casts a shadow so vast that it is almost forgotten that Auburn plays Alabama. This picture sent in by James (courtesy rammerjammeryellowhammer.com) reminds us how dark and macabre things can get in Alabama...
So we have an alignment of stars today - This is my 100th post and what better time to share my favorite college football rivalries. Please feel free to run me ragged with your input, or simply share your own list.
I hear that is what this bloggery is all about.
1) Ohio State and Michigan
"Judgement Day" or "The Game" (stolen from Harvard-Yale, btw)
Michigan leads the overall series 57-39-6.
Not just the best college football rivalry, but ESPN voters and pundits called it the finest rivalry in sports.
Columbus Dispatch Pre-Game Detroit Free Press
My fondest memory: Growing up in Akron, this one meant a lot during the Schembechler-Hayes era. Unfortunately, all my great memories are of Michigan - Tshimonga Biakabutuka rolling for 300 yards, Desmond Howard striking his pose, and John Cooper showing John L. Smith-like inability to finish.
Ohio State fans, help me out with some good memories!
2) Auburn and Alabama
"Iron Bowl" at Alabama Live
Alabama leads the series over Auburn 38-31-1.
I have lived in Florida the last twenty years so I have a preference to the state war here, but I tell you I can see it in the eyes of Tide and Tiger fan alike - this games means more than any of the other games to the state's citizens listed but one. People have been maimed ouside the stadium. The state simply stops operating.
3) Florida and Georgia
"The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party"
Georgia holds a 46-37-2 advantage.
Anyone know where the best indoor one is? Errict Rhett getting 40 carries in the rain in 1993 is the highlight of the only game I attended in this series. It never fails to make me laugh and get goosebumps when they play the "Run Lindsay Run!" call from the great Bulldog broadcaster Larry Munson - pure, unadulterated homerism without shame!
4) Cal and Stanford
"The Band is on the field!" "Big Game"
Stanford leads the series record at 54-43-11
(49-40-10 if you do not include rugby games from 1906 to 1914!).
Left Coasters may remember when this game was much more relevant. I am sure this rivalry is positioned every day in Silicon Valley as one smart guy tries to one-up the others' patent or something.
5) Florida and Florida State
Gators up 29-19-2
The 35-35 tie. Jacquez Green gets deep on a beautifully thrown ball by Doug Johnson. Chris Rix's best games ever against the Gators. I don't know where to start - commentors?
6)USC and UCLA
Or is Notre Dame a bigger rivalry for the Trojans?
7) Oklahoma and Texas
"Red River Shootout"
Texas leads Texas leads the all-time series 57-39-5
My most memorable part of this matchup was making SO MUCH MONEY betting against Mack Brown in this series - until last year. Remember he had a reputation as a choker?
8) Army and Navy
Navy leads 50-49
Used to be a museum for fans of triple-option football. This year be sure to catch the navy QB sensation Kaipo-Noa Keheaku-Enhada. Interestingly, when these true warriors are there to support their team, you would expect some boorish behavior, but it is so much worse when the Eagles fans flock to the old Vet or the new Link.
9) Harvard and Yale
the original "The Game"
Yale leads the series, 64-49-8
Great clip from Wikipedia - Apocryphal tales assert that before the 1908 Game, Harvard coach Percy Haughton strangled a bulldog to death in the locker room to motivate his players. Whether this is true or not, Harvard did win 4-0, the culmination of a 9-0-1 season.
10) Oklahoma and Oklahoma State
"The Bedlam Series" - it is more than just the football.
Oklahoma Sooners 77-16-7 (football only)
In case you forgot, Oklahoma A&M was a powerhouse in the 1940's and 1950's - but since then the Sooners have been one of the more successful programs in the game. My favorite moment - learning the name WR Raushaun Woods and QB Josh Fields (now in the White Sox system) as the Cowboys laid a beatdown on the Sooners in 2001. I attended the 2004 version in Stillwater which the Wikipedia author calls the best matchup of the series - I wish good health to Adrian Peterson, maybe just after this season's game.
I am really shocked as I wrap this up that the Miami Hurricanes aren't on here at all. Not versus Notre Dame, not Florida State. Shocking, but I will stand by it. It is MY list after all.
Thanks to Wikipedia.org for the factual research.