College football players and fans everywhere have been looking forward to this weekend since August. Week 14, known as Rivalry Week, is without a doubt the most exciting week of the college football season. There’s a special kind of passion associated with rivalry games that a non-fan simply wouldn’t understand.
Before the Harvard vs. Yale game in 1916, it’s said that Yale coach T.A.D. Jones tried to inspire his players by unequivocally asserting, “Gentlemen, you are now going to play football against Harvard. Never again in your whole life will you do anything so important.”
To some, that’s crazy. To true fans of college football, it’s real.
College football in general is built on a foundation of history, community and tradition. It’s the reason that fans plan their fall calendars around when their team is playing. It’s why you can run into a stranger wearing your team’s logo and become instant friends. It’s why my dad, a die-hard Ohio State fan once told me if I were to ever get married on the Saturday of an OSU vs. Michigan game I’d need to look for someone else to walk me down the isle. Of course he was joking – I think?
Here’s a list of what I think are the 5 Best College Football Rivalries.
Anything can happen in rivalry week games. The energy and excitement that goes into these games makes predicting the outcomes based off stats nearly impossible. This year, the first in the playoff era, means more to some teams than just bragging rights.
Highly ranked teams like Alabama (No.1) and Florida State (No.3) control their own destiny this week. A win against either of their rivals, Auburn and Florida respectively, puts them in the playoffs clean and easy. But like I said, anything can happen in a rivalry game. A loss could shake either program.
Ohio State and Michigan will face off in Columbus at 11 a.m. on ABC. At 7-0 in the Big Ten, Ohio State has already earned a spot in the conference championship game next week. Having already been beat by a bad Virginia Tech team early in the season, a loss a the hands of the Wolverines would surly end the Buckeyes playoff hopes. Look for this to be a serious battle.
Georgia Tech (No. 16) at Georgia (No. 9) will be another interesting rivalry to watch. Although their playoffs hopes were squandered by a Missouri win Friday, beating rival Georgia Tech still means a lot to the Bulldogs. They’ll need to have a storing showing against Tech, who’s won four straight and boasts the fourth best rushing attack in the nation.
No matter which rivalry you choose to watch this college football Saturday you’re sure to witness some scrappy and heartfelt football. Let me know which game you most enjoyed!