The Best College Football Rivalries of All Time: A Look at the Most Intense and Historic Matchups in NCAA History

College football rivalries are some of the most intense and passionate matchups in all of sports. These games have a long-standing history and tradition that dates back decades. Fans of both teams look forward to these games all year, and the players themselves often consider them to be the most important games of their season.

There are many great college football rivalries, each with its unique story and significance. Some of these rivalries are based on geography, while others have developed due to historical events or cultural differences. Regardless of the reason for the rivalry, these games always bring a level of excitement and intensity that is unmatched in other sports.

Historic Rivalries

College football has a long and storied history, and many rivalries have been born from that history. Here are some of the most historic rivalries.

Michigan vs. Ohio State

Michigan vs. Ohio State is one of the most intense rivalries in college football. The two teams first played in 1897, and the rivalry has only grown since then. The game is often played on the last weekend of the regular season, and it has determined the Big Ten Conference champion on many occasions.

The rivalry has produced many memorable moments, including the “Snow Bowl” in 1950, when the two teams played in a blizzard. Michigan won the game 9-3, but Ohio State fans still claim that the game was unfairly played in such bad conditions.

The rivalry has been marked by close games and controversial finishes. In 2016, Ohio State beat Michigan in double overtime, and the game was so close that the referees had to measure the distance between the ball and the first down marker with a piece of paper.

Overall, Michigan leads the all-time series with a record of 60-51-6, winning the last 2meetings.

Modern Rivalries

While college football has a rich history of rivalries, some of the most intense and exciting rivalries have developed in recent years. Two of the most notable modern rivalries are Clemson vs. South Carolina and Alabama vs. LSU.

Clemson vs. South Carolina

The Clemson Tigers and South Carolina Gamecocks have been playing each other since 1896, but the rivalry has intensified in recent years. The two teams have played each other every year since 1909, with the exception of a few years during World War II. The rivalry is known as the Palmetto Bowl, named after the state tree of South Carolina, and is one of the most heated in college football.

One of the most memorable moments in recent years came in 2013, when Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd led the Tigers to a 31-17 victory over the Gamecocks. After the game, Boyd famously said, “We’re the real Death Valley,” referring to Clemson’s nickname for their stadium.

Alabama vs. LSU

The rivalry between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the LSU Tigers has been one of the most intense in college football in recent years. The two teams have played each other every year since 1895, and the rivalry has only grown stronger in recent years.

One of the most memorable games in the rivalry came in 2011, when the two teams met in the BCS National Championship Game. Alabama won the game 21-0, and the Crimson Tide defense held LSU to just 92 total yards. The shutout victory gave Alabama their second national championship in three years.

The rivalry has been marked by close games and dramatic finishes, and is always one of the most anticipated games of the college football season.


College football rivalries are an integral part of American culture. They bring together fans from all walks of life to cheer on their favorite teams and engage in friendly (or not-so-friendly) banter with their rivals. Each rivalry has its unique traditions and moments that make it special. NCAAF betting odds often fluctuate significantly during these rivalry weeks, as fans and bettors try to predict the outcomes of these highly contested matchups.

Ultimately, what makes a college football rivalry great is the passion and dedication of the fans. And as long as there are college football teams, there will be rivalries that bring fans together and ignite their passion for the sport.